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|Arlington Park stakes recap (9/10/05)
Contact: David Zenner
HOME OF STARS WINS $42,000 JOHN HENRY STAKES
Jockey James Graham Picks Up Fourth Win of the Day
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (September 10, 2005) -- Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Home of Stars rallied widest of all from next to last at the top of the stretch to win the $42,000 John Henry Stakes by a neck over Lacer at Arlington Park on Saturday. The Frank Springer-trained son of Home At Last was ridden by James Graham, who notched his fourth victory of the day, and covered the mile and a sixteenth over firm turf in 1:42.11.
Longshot Big Glori set a stout pace in the race, taking the field through fractions of 23.74 seconds, 47.71 seconds and 1:11.71 before giving way late. At the top of the stretch, Home of Stars launched a wide rally while Lacer tried to find room on the rail and had to take up sharply before finding an opening late to get second.
"He was really relaxed," said Graham. "Bobby (trainer Frank Springer) told me not to rush him and not to get in any hurry with him. We sat back there, made a little run on the turn and he picked it up when I asked him. There was a lot of speed in the race today which really helped my cause. This horse can lay anywhere, sitting off the pace or sitting just one or two (lengths) off the lead. He finishes either way."
The John Henry was the second stakes win of the year for Home of Stars but his first in open company. The Illinois-bred previously captured the restricted $100,000 Milwaukee Avenue Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course in April. Overall, his record improved to seven wins, four seconds and five thirds from 21 starts and the $25,200 earned here boosted his bankroll to $325,910.
Ole Faunty was third in the eight-horse field, followed by Gondolieri, Diplomatic Agent, Exploited Storm, Shiloh Bound and Big Glory.
Third choice in the wagering, Home of Stars paid $8.40, $4.20 and $2.60. Lacer returned $5.40 and $3.20. Ole Faunty, the 2-1 post time favorite, paid $3.
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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