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Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/11/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Arlington's stakes coordinator Craig Lytel -- in the midst of hustling nominations to Valvoline Instant Oil Change closing weekend at Arlington Park -- had 10 names checked off as possible starters in this Saturday's Grade III Pucker Up Stakes, the 42nd running of Arlington's nine-furlong turf test for 3-year-old fillies.

Among them are Richard & Nancy Kaster's Flying Glitter, heroine of the Grade III Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks Aug. 14; Richard L. Duchossois' Royal Copenhagen, second in Del Mar's Grade II San Clemente Handicap July 30; Eliah & Lisa Kahn's Sweet Talker, second in Churchill's Grade III Regret Stakes June 18; Elkhorn Oaks Racing LLC's Gallant Secret, runner-up in the Arlington Oaks Aug. 20; and Stan Fulton's Unbridled Danz, winner of her first three starts and most recently third in the Hatoof Stakes Aug. 27 as a prep for this event.

Also likely for the Pucker Up are Everest Stables Inc.'s Isla Cozzene, third in Hollywood's Grade II Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap; Glen Hill Farm's Grat, fifth in Gulfstream's Grade III Herecomesthebride March 19; Robert Courtney Jr. & Doug Hendrickson's Quiero Ganar, a winner of her last two; and John & Kim Glenney's Sunny Disposition, a two-length victress in her last start Aug. 27.

Gould Family Trust & Paul Dixon's Singhalese, heroine of the Grade I Del Mar Oaks Aug. 20, is also still under consideration for the Pucker Up.


Irish-born jockey James Graham -- increasingly a Chicagoan in this his second Arlington summer -- solidified his third-place ranking in this season's local standings with a four-win afternoon on Saturday.

Three months after he accomplished that feat for the first time at Arlington this season, Graham joined leading rider Shaun Bridgmohan as the only rider to have a four-win afternoon more than once during the 2005 local season.

Graham began the program by winning the opener on Eaglestone Farm Inc.'s Royalty Gal for trainer Carl Nafzger, captured the fifth astride Sharon Mitchell's Golden Verse for trainer Tony Mitchell, came right back in the sixth aboard Ralls & Foster LLC's Ladyburn conditioned by Paul McGee, and then took the eighth and featured $42,000 John Henry Stakes with Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Home of Stars trained by Bobby Springer.

The 26-year-old from Dublin missed a five-win day by a neck when he finished second in the fifth race aboard Mrs. & Michael Brickman's Alabama Clay, trained by Spanky Broussard. Bridgmohan, an Eclipse Award winner as an apprentice, remains the only jockey to have enjoyed a five-win day at Arlington this summer. This summer's runaway champion has already made 125 trips to the winner's circle.

Graham, who won Arlington's "Rising Star" Award last summer, finished fifth in the 2004 Arlington standings with 58 wins. This summer, justifying his awarded title, he has ascended to third in the standings through Saturday with six racing days left in the season. He is six wins in front of Jesse Campbell, currently in fourth place, and six wins behind Chris Emigh, currently in second position.

Graham may move his tack across town after Arlington closes Sept. 18, but with the Fair Grounds meeting cancelled, where he was runner-up during New Orleans' winter season, his plans for the winter are uncertain at this time.


Mrs. John Magnier, who won the Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 13 as fourth leg of the 2005 World Racing Championship with Powerscourt, captured the sixth leg of the series Saturday on the Emerald Isle when her sophomore star Oratorio won the Group I Baileys Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien, who won the first Arlington Million of his career with Powerscourt, captured the Irish Champion for the third time when Oratorio visited the winner's circle.

Irish jockey Kieren Fallon, who rode Powerscourt to victory this summer in Chicago, was also astride Oratorio in Ireland on Saturday.

The Royal Ascot Racing Club's Motivator finished second by a half-length in the Irish Champion, after also being the runner-up behind Oratorio in the Group I Coral-Eclipse at Sandown this summer. The filly Alexander Goldrun, owned by Mrs. Neville Callaghan, gained the third spot in the Irish Champion, while favored Azamour, owned by H H Aga Khan, was never in serious contention.

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