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|Arlington Park stakes recap (8/6/05)
Contact: David Zenner
FORT PRADO WINS SEA O'ERIN BREEDERS' CUP MILE
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 6, 2005) -- Team Block's Fort Prado overtook Old Deuteronomy mid-stretch and drew off to win the $117,000 Sea o'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile by a length and a quarter on Saturday at Arlington Park. Eusebio Razo Jr. rode the Chris Block-trained Illinois-bred son of El Prado who covered the mile over firm turf in 1:36.18.
Fort Prado tracked front running Gondolieri from just off the pace, moved off the rail on the second turn to rally three wide into the stretch and took the lead in the vicinity of the eighth pole en route to the score.
"You can put this horse anywhere you need to," Razo said. "I wanted to be in a spot that we were comfortable with. I wanted to stay out of trouble because sometime you get in more trouble in a small field than in a 12-horse field. It worked out good for me."
The Sea o'Erin was the fourth victory in as many starts this season for Fort Prado, who picked up $60,000 to boost his bankroll to $264,382 while improving his overall record to seven wins, two seconds and a third in 16 starts. This was the second win in the Sea o'Erin for the Block Family, who captured this race in 2002 with Illinois-bred champion Mystery Giver.
Old Deuteronomy was second in the five-horse field. It was another four lengths back to third-place finisher Remind, the 4-5 betting favorite. Gondolieri and Mr. Mabee completed the order of finish.
"I had a good trip," said Shane Laviolette, who rode the runner-up. "Niall (trainer O'Callaghan) and I talked about the race beforehand and he told me this horse likes to break first but if someone else wants the lead he can set back. So I eased him back and he settled nice and when that other horse (Gondolieri) backed up to me I let him run. He ran good for me but he got to gawking at the crowd a little bit and the winner got by me. He dug in again when he saw the winner but by that time that horse had gotten away a little too far."
Fort Prado, second choice in the betting, paid $7.20, $4 and $2.20. Old Deuteronomy returned $11 and $3. Remind paid $2.10.
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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