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Arlington Park stakes recap (8/27/05)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 27, 2005) -- Ken Meeker & Carson Springs Farm's Fifteen Rounds emerged victorious after engaging Elusive Jazz in a stretch-long duel to win the $150,000 Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint by a neck in stakes-record time of 1:08.51 under jockey Chris Emigh.

The Christine Janks-trained son of Fit to Fight was sent off as the race's 7-5 post time favorite following the defection of morning-line favorite Wildcat Heir, who was scratched Saturday morning due to a minor foot abscess.

Breaking from the rail, Emigh kept Fifteen Rounds just off the lead which was held by 8-1 outsider Rodeo's Castle who maintained a slight advantage from the outside through a half mile in 44.89, forcing Emigh to keep his mount on the inside, which was not the best part of the track.

"I just wanted to get my horse to relax," said Emigh, who has partnered with Fifteen Rounds all year. "I was hoping to get to the outside because I thought the rail was a little dead."

In the stretch, Elusive Jazz rallied along side of Fifteen Rounds, who dug in gamely to prevail.

"This horse has a big heart and the main thing was getting him to relax," Emigh continued. "He's learned how to relax and now he can finish. (Elusive Jazz) got about a head or neck in front of me but 'Fifteen' wouldn't give up."

The Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint was the fifth win at the meet for Fifteen Rounds and the 12th victory in 20 starts overall for the 5-year-old gelding who added $90,000 to his bankroll, which now stands at $327,033.

"This is the icing on the cake for me this year," Janks said. "Being a homebred, he was basically raised by my husband Barry and he did all the work with him before he came to the track. Rob (Dobbs), my assistant, is the only one who gallops him and he does a fabulous job. This horse has shown up for five wins this meet and I'm really proud of him."

Elusive Jazz was two lengths better than Level Playingfield, who ran third in the six-horse field and was followed by High Blitz, Rodeo's Castle and Fire Slam to complete the order of finish.

"I had a perfect trip," said Brian Hernandez Jr., who rode the runner-up. "I had a lot of confidence in my horse today. We stayed on the outside and when I asked him to run he dug in real hard. He tried to stay with the other horse but we just got beat by a super horse in stakes record time."

Fifteen Rounds paid $4.80, $3.80 and $2.40. Elusive Jazz returned $11.20 and $3.40. Level Playingfield paid $2.60.

Earlier in the day, K. K. and V. D. Jayaraman's Dearest Queen rallied widest of all to win the $42,375 Hatoof Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by four lengths over Special Grayce. Shaun Bridgmohan rode the Steve Hobby-trained daughter of Proudest Romeo, who covered the mile and a sixteenth over "good" turf in 1:43.57 and paid $22.40, $9.80 and $4.40.

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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