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Contact: David Zenner
FORT PRADO FINDS DAYLIGHT TO WIN MISTER GUS STAKES
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 30, 2005) -- Team Block's Fort Prado, champion Illinois-bred 3-year-old last year, picked up his second win in as many starts as a 4-year-old when he rallied from off the pace to win the $42,000 Mister Gus Stakes by three-quarters of a length over Major Rhythm before a Memorial Day crowd of 16,358 at Arlington Park.
The Chris Block-trained son of El Prado covered the mile over good turf in 1:36.87 and was ridden by Eusebio Razo Jr., who earned his second stakes score of the weekend. On Saturday, Razo captured the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup aboard Lord of the Game.
"I couldn't go anywhere early," Razo said. "I got lucky that a hole opened up. As soon as he saw daylight, he just opened up on the other horse. We were all pretty compact and I was just hoping to see a hole open up anywhere."
"He was slow to come around," Block said of his family's homebred. "We started to see some of this late in the season last year on the turf. He just needed the winter off. He really matured over the winter to become a stronger and faster horse this year."
The Mister Gus was Fort Prado's fifth victory in 14 trips to the post and the $25,200 earned for the win pushed his bankroll to $182,212.
Major Rhythm rallied in the center of the track to finish second, a neck ahead of Cloudy's Knight. Scooter Roach, Big Glori, Garesche, Herculated and Shake the Bank completed the order of finish.
Fort Prado, the 5-2 favorite, paid $7, $4.20 and $2.80. Major Rhythm returned $5 and $3.60. Cloudy's Knight paid $2.80.
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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