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Arlington Park stakes recap (5/13/05)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 13, 2005) -- Jer-Mar Stables LLC's Smoke Smoke Smoke sat just off the pace of Raving Rocket, overtook that rival at the top of the stretch and drew off to win the $40,000 Shecky Greene Handicap by two lengths on opening day at Arlington Park. Seth Martinez rode the Hugh Robertson-trained son of Smoke Glacken who covered the six furlongs in 1:08.92.

"He seemed just as comfortable sitting off the pace as he was if he would have gone head and head with (Raving Rocket)," said Martinez. "He was relaxed and did everything just perfect.

"I can't ask for any better right now. Horses are just running for me," continued Martinez, who won two races on the opening day card but departs tomorrow to ride at Canterbury Park in Minnesota where he is defending leading rider. "I'm on my way home right now. I ride for Mac and Hugh Robertson up there and I've been fortunate enough to stick there."

The Shecky Greene was the second straight win for the 3-year-old colt who captured the $100,000 Lost Code Breeders' Cup at Hawthorne in his last start on April 9. The $24,000 winner's share here boosted his earnings to $107,094 while his record improved to five wins, a second and two thirds from nine career starts.

Raving Rocket was a clear second in the five-horse field. It was another 5 lengths back to Three Hour Nap, who finished third. Bigboybdancing and Lite Brigade completed the order of finish.

The 1-2 betting favorite, Smoke Smoke Smoke paid $3, $2.20 and $2.10. Raving Rocket returned $2.60 and $2.10. Three Hour Nap paid $2.10.

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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