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|Arlington Park stakes recap (5/28/05)
Contact: David Zenner
'GAME' LORDS OVER HANSHIN CUP FIELD
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 28, 2005) -- Lord of the Game, a $10,000 claim out of his first start on Dec. 31, 2004, earned the biggest score of his brief career when he rallied from well off a quick pace to capture the Grade III Hanshin Cup by a half-length on Saturday at Arlington Park in 1:34.60, the fastest mile at Arlington in nearly two years.
Eusebio Razo Jr. rode the Tom Tomillo-trained son of Saint Ballado, who races in the colors of William Slevin's 2 Blondes Inc., giving that stable their first graded stakes victory from their first claim.
"I didn't have a real good break so after that I put him into position," said Razo. "At the three-eighths pole, he didn't want to go by those horses. This is the first time he had to come from way back, so he didn't really know what he was doing. After that, he really leveled out and went by those horses. The pace wasn't that fast the first quarter and they weren't coming back to me. He had to work today to win."
Since being claimed out of that first start, Lord of the Game rattled off four straight allowance victories before tasting defeat for the first time in the Grade III National Jockey Club Handicap where he finished third to Pollard's Vision and Badge of Silver.
"The last time he ran at Hawthorne, he ran against some of the best horses around and he really gave (them) a tough race," said Tomillo. "He's amazing."
The Hanshin Cup was the sixth win in seven starts for the 4-year-old gelding and the $60,000 winner's share boosted his bankroll to $169,400.
Gouldings Green rallied from far back to finish second in the eight-horse field.
"He felt great," said C. H. Marquez, Jr., who had the mount aboard the runner-up. "I had to ride him all the way up the backside because his mind wasn't on business. Coming down the lane he just took off and he just got beat."
Longshot Nkosi Reigns battled defending champion Crafty Shaw through early fractions of 23.24 seconds, 45.89 seconds, 1:09.36 and 1:22.01 before finishing third and fourth, respectively. Home of Stars, Missme, Pass Rush and Stormy Impact completed the order of finish.
"I'm sick," said Nkosi Reigns' rider Chris Emigh. "I thought I was going to win it. Then about the last 70 yards or so, he fell apart on me a little bit."
Sent off as the second choice in the wagering at odds of 5-2, Lord of the Game paid $7.40, $4 and $3. Gouldings Green returned $4 and $3. Nkosi Reigns paid $5.40.
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 www.arlingtonpark.com.
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