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Arlington Park news release

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 18, 2005) -- Eighty-nine different horses have been nominated to the six stakes races that comprise the June 25 Prairie State Festival including five horses that have been cross-nominated to multiple stakes races.

The six $75,000 races that make up the Prairie State Festival are:

  • The Purple Violet Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile
  • The Springfield Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile
  • The Isaac Murphy Handicap for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs
  • The White Oak Handicap for 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs
  • The Lincoln Heritage Handicap for fillies & mares 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf
  • The Black Tie Affair Handicap (formerly the Cardinal) for 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf

Five of last year's divisional champions in year-end balloting have been nominated to the 2005 Prairie State Festival including Team Block's Fort Prado, champion Illinois-registered 3-year-old in 2004, who heads a list of 19 turf specialists nominated to the Black Tie Affair Handicap.

The Chris Block-trained son of El Prado won the $88,050 Springfield Stakes during last year's Prairie State Festival and later captured a state-bred allowance race over the Arlington lawn before faring well in open competition including a second-place run in the $100,000 Storm Cat Stakes at Keeneland in October. In two starts as a 4-year-old, Fort Prado is unbeaten including a victory in the $42,000 Mister Gus Stakes here May 30.

Others nominated to the Black Tie Affair include: Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Home Of Stars, a multiple Illinois stakes winner who was third in last year's $84,650 Cardinal Handicap; and multiple grade III stakes winner Butterfly Stable's Scooter Roach, the adjudged winner of the Hawthorne Derby as a 3-year-old and hero of last year's Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap at Hawthorne as a 5-year-old.

Hussar Racing Stable LLC's Lighthouse Lil, the recipient of the first award as Illinois champion turf female and winner of last year's $85,850 Lincoln Heritage Handicap, returns to defend her title. The Chris Block-trained daughter of Hold for Gold was injured shortly after the 2004 Lincoln Heritage while prepping for the Grade III Modesty Handicap and only recently returned to the races. In the first start of her comeback bid, she was seventh but beaten only four lengths in the $42,375 Reluctant Guest Stakes on May 29.

Among the others also nominated to the Lincoln Heritage are stakes winners Jaguar on the Run Stable's Jaguar City, winner of the $40,000 Your Ladyship Handicap June 3; Kansas Oaks heroine Lady Riss, who races in the colors of Dana Waier Thoroughbreds LLC; and William Lydon & Carson Springs Farm's Ms. Lydonia, who was awarded the top spot in the $100,000 Peach Of It Stakes at Hawthorne following the disqualification of Jaguar City.

Everest Stables Inc's Slewville, champion 3-year-old filly of 2004, and Lamont Nienast LLC's Synco Peach, last year's champion older female, are among 14 distaffers nominated to the Isaac Murphy Handicap. The former, by Petionville, won the $100,000 Lady Hallie Stakes at Hawthorne and the $85,850 Purple Violet here en route to her division championship. The latter, a 5-year-old daughter of Whadjathink, won the $40,000 Unique Type Handicap here and the $100,000 Powerless Handicap at Hawthorne during her championship season.

Others nominated to the Isaac Murphy include defending champion Ben Barnow's Dharma Girl; Jim Edgar's Fighting Fever, winner of the $100,000 Governor's Lady Handicap at Hawthorne; and the cross-nominated Lady Riss and Jaguar City.

Ben Dover Stable's Take Achance On Me and Terry Renfrow & Eugene Young's Silver Bid, the one-two finishers in the $100,000 Chicagoland Handicap, are prominent among 11 sprinters nominated to the White Oak Handicap.

Nancy A. Vanier's Win Me Over, champion Illinois 2-year-old last year, and Ron Armstrong & Jack Wallace's Humor At Last, runner-up in that division, could square off in the Springfield Stakes. The former, a Brian Williamson-trained son of Friendly Lover, won the $100,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity at Hawthorne last December. The latter, a son of Distorted Humor trained by Tony Mitchell, won the $100,000 Sun Power at Hawthorne and finished second to Win Me Over in the Futurity.

The undefeated Pretty Jenny, who races for Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm & William Lydon, tops the list of 14 sophomore fillies nominated to the Purple Violet Stakes. This Christine Janks-trained daughter of Pioneering won the $100,000 Lady Hallie Handicap at Hawthorne in just her second trip to the post.

Also nominated to the Purple Violet are stakes winners J B Stable Inc.'s Cart's Turn, who took the $35,000 All Sold Out Stakes last year and the $40,000 Slight In The Rear Stakes last time out; and Asiel Stable's Meadow Bride, heroine of the $100,000 Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante at Hawthorne last fall.

Arlington Park -- the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- is running a 94-day meet in 2005 from Friday, May 13 through Sunday, Sept. 18. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Lucky's featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at




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