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|Arlington Park stakes recap (6/11/05)
Contact: David Zenner
CLOUDY'S KNIGHT WINS MAC DIARMIDA HANDICAP
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 11, 2005) -- S J Stables LLC's Cloudy's Knight once again showed his affinity for the Arlington Park turf course by capturing the $40,000 Mac Diarmida Handicap by 3 ¾ lengths on Saturday before 9,948 fans on a hot and humid afternoon at the suburban Chicago racecourse. Ridden by Chris Emigh, the Frank Kirby-trained son of Lord Avie covered the mile and a half over a firm course in 2:28.64.
Cloudy's Knight sat just off the pace in the marathon event while 14-1 longshot Gwaihir set rather quick fractions of :24.96, :49.17, 1:14.13, 1:39.31 and 2:04.35 before being overtaken by the eventual winner near the top of the stretch.
"This horse is so big and has such a long stride," said Emigh. "I was a little worried going a mile and a half in his second start back (off a six-month layoff) but he just galloped. I jumped to the outside in his first race (back, the Mister Gus Stakes on May 30) and I thought I still had enough horse to catch them but I think he just got a little tired being his first start back and he came up just a length short."
The victory was his fifth in 11 trips over the Arlington grass and his sixth win in 16 starts overall. The $24,000 winner's share boosted his bankroll to $195,735.
The Mac Diarmida serves as a prep race for the $200,000 Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf to be run here July 3 and Kirby said that mile and a half race in on Cloudy's Knight's agenda.
"We've been wanting to run this horse a mile and a half for a long time," Kirby said. "If he comes back from this race all right, we're heading to the Stars and Stripes. We'd love to get to run him in the (Arlington) Million (August 13). We hope he's that good."
Sent off as the 6-5 favorite, Cloudy's Knight paid $4.40, $3.40 and $2.40. Gwaihir returned $9 and $4. Gin and Sin finished third in the seven-horse field and paid $2.40. Lord Carmen, Foreign Ruckus, White Buck and Private Bound completed the order of finish.
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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