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Arlington Park stakes recap (7/17/05)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 17, 2005) -- Mrs. & Larry D. Williams' Lucky Pulpit rallied wide in the stretch to overtake front runner So Gifted inside the final sixteenth of a mile to win the $47,250 Smile Stakes by a half length at Arlington Park on Sunday before a crowd of 11,611. Jesse Campbell rode the Grant Forster-trained son of Pulpit who covered the five furlongs over firm turf in a speedy 56.50 seconds, just .14 off the track record.

"The race unfolded the way we expected it to," said Campbell. "We wanted to lay about four or five lengths off the lead and try to run them down. That's exactly what he did. He broke real sharp but about a sixteenth out of the gate, he took a bobble step, but as soon as he hit the turn, he just grabbed the bit and took me where I needed to go."

"He's a very hard horse to train," added Forster. "He's a bit bull-headed and can be frustrating most of the time. He has a lot of ability and I'm glad we were able to get it out of him today and get a stakes win."

The Smile was the first added-money victory for the 4-year-old colt who improved his overall record to three wins, three seconds and three thirds from 15 starts. He earned $28,350 to push his bankroll to $176,264.

So Gifted, who led through fractions of 21.25 seconds and 44.40 seconds, was a clear second, 1 lengths ahead of Rapid Raj. Fifteen Rounds, Chachacharlie, Eldixie and Casual Cat completed the order of finish.

Lucky Pulpit paid $15, $6.40 and $4.60. So Gifted returned $3.60 and $3.40. Rapid Raj 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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