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Arlington Park stakes recap (6/19/05)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 19, 2005) -- Al & Saundra Kirkwood's Rugula, a graded stakes placed filly on dirt, turned her turf debut into a stroll on the lawn with a 1 3/4-length victory in the $42,000 Double Delta Stakes before a Father's Day crowd of 24,961 at Arlington Park.

The Grant Forster-trained daughter of Bernstein covered the mile over firm turf in 1:36.50 under jockey Jesse Campbell, whose twin brother Joel won the Lady Canterbury Breeders' Cup Stakes in Minnesota aboard Two Bayou earlier in the day.

"She handled the grass very well today," Campbell said. "She broke very alertly. She threw her ears up at me and rated very kindly. She just let (Shadowy Waters) go and sat right off her. When I asked her turning for home, she kicked into another gear. She was the best horse today."

Prior to the Double Delta, Rugula last ran seventh against the best sophomore distaffers in the country in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. Earlier this year, she finished second in the Grade II Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

The Double Delta was her first victory of the season as well as her first in stakes competition while her overall record improved to three wins and three seconds from seven starts. The $25,200 winner's share boosted her bankroll to $129,400.

"We're really excited about this filly," Forster said. "We purchased her privately over the winter. We took a big shot running in the Kentucky Oaks and were probably in a bit over our head at that point. We wanted to try her here on the grass course. We've got options with her for the rest of the summer, turf or dirt. Now she's a stakes winner and the Pucker Up (Stakes, Sept. 17) is definitely on our radar."

More Than Promised ran second in the seven-horse field, a length clear of Mrs. Debbie M. Where's Bailey, Shadowy Waters, A Classic Life and Ascot Dream completed the order of finish.

Rugula, the 2-1 favorite, paid $6.20, $4 and $3.20. More Than Promised returned $4.40 and $3.20. Mrs. Debbie M paid $4.

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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