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Arlington Park stakes recap (6/4/05)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 4, 2005) -- Under a well-timed ride by James Graham, Eliah & Lisa Kahn's Exceptional Ride rallied from well off the pace to win the $42,250 Awad Stakes by a neck on Saturday at Arlington Park. The Ken McPeek-trained son of Arlington Million XVIII winner Chester House covered the mile over a turf rated "yielding" in 1:37.68.

"The speed got away from us early and we got to sit real good," said Graham. "He got to pick them up and pick up the pieces. That other horse (Raving Rocket) ran a big race. I didn't think he would go that far. He showed that he wants to go two turns and he seemed to appreciate the grass."

The Awad was the first victory in three starts this year for Exceptional Ride who won the Grand Canyon Handicap as a 2-year-old last Fall at Churchill Downs. Overall his record improved to four wins and two third from 11 starts and the $25,530 elevated his earnings to $131,553.

Raving Rocket, who was making his first start on turf, set the pace in the Awad with easy fractions of :24.97, :49.44 and 1:14 before being overtaken in the final strides. It was another 1 lengths to third-place finisher Ready Ruler.

Kid Grindstone, Sir Winzalot, Three Hour Nap, Win Me Over and Summer Legacy completed the order of finish.

Sent off as the even-money favorite, Exceptional Ride paid $4, $2.80 and $2.40. Raving Rocket returned $5.60 and $3. Ready Ruler paid $3.40.

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

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