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Arlington Park stakes recap (8/20/05)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 20, 2005) -- John C. Oxley's Miss Matched stalked the pace of longshot Ritzy, overtook that rival at the top of the stretch and was all out to hold off a slew of rivals inside the final furlong to prevail by a length in the $100,000 Arlington Oaks at Arlington Park on Saturday. Shaun Bridgmohan rode the John Ward Jr.-trained daughter of Formal Gold who covered the mile and an eighth over a fast track in 1:49.39.

"She seems to run for me," Bridgmohan said. "She did it on her own. You just have to let her think she's the boss. She's a very, very gutsy filly. She rated real kindly for me. She was just waiting for me to push the button at the top of the lane and then she gave me everything."

The Oaks was her fourth victory in five starts this year ranging in distance from six to nine furlongs. Previously, the sophomore filly captured the $40,000 Ribbon Handicap when sprinting on opening day and parlayed that score into a graded stakes tally around two turns in the Grade III Dogwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs in June. She earned $60,000 for Saturday's win to boost her bankroll to $283,093 while bettering her overall record to five wins from eight starts.

Gallant Secret, who was third in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks in May, rallied from the back of the back to finish second in the eight-horse field, a head clear of Tappin For Gold.

"If knew if she ran back to her Kentucky Oaks form, she'd fit in this race," said Jesse Campbell, who rode the runner-up. "The pace compromised me a bit. The first half was a little bit soft. I thought if there was a little more speed, I may have had a shot at them. I opted to go around rather than stay inside because C. H. (jockey Marquez on Whimsy) was on the inside and I didn't know if he was going to get through and I knew everybody was going to be running at the end. All in all she ran a real good race."

"I had a perfect trip," said Tappin For Gold's jockey Mark Guidry. "She's pretty steady. She's kind of a grinder, and she ran a good race."

Eyes On Eddy, 17-10 favorite Whimsy, Easily, pacesetter Ritzy and Flip Side completed the order of finish.

Miss Matched, dispatched at odds of better than 6-1, paid $14.20, $7.80 and $4.40. Gallant Secret returned $12.40 and $6. Tappin For Gold 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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