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Arlington Park stakes recap (9/17/05)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (September 17, 2005) -- Royal Copenhagen, a French-bred filly owned by Arlington Park Chairman Richard L. Duchossois, rallied from far back to overtake race favorite Singhalese inside the sixteenth pole to win the Grade III $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes by a half-length on Saturday at the suburban Chicago racecourse.

Leading rider Shaun Bridgmohan rode the Laura de Seroux-trained daughter of Inchinor who covered the mile and an eighth over good turf in 1:48.76. The 6-1 shot paid $14.20, $4 and $2.80.

Royal Copenhagen sat well off the pace set by 65-1 longshot Extravagant Gal, who led through moderate fractions of 23.47 seconds, 47.17 seconds and 1:12.69 before fading through the pack. Singhalese, the 1-2 post time choice in the crowd of 8,428, rallied three-wide at the top of the stretch and had a 1 -length lead at the eighth pole before being run down by the winner in deep stretch.

"I knew (Singhalese) was the horse to beat," said Bridgmohan, who was riding Royal Copenhagen for the first time Saturday. "I was behind her and fortunately I was able to clock her the whole time. When she moved, I decided I was going to move right behind her and my filly just out-kicked her the last part and finished up really well. She was really running the last sixteenth of a mile, I didn't even hit her with the stick. She was doing everything I wanted her to, so I just hand rode her from there."

The Pucker Up was the first victory in the United States for Royal Copenhagen, who earned $120,000 for the win to boost her career bankroll to $278,318. It was a satisfying win for her owner, who has loftier goals for her next season.

"The race I'd really like to win is the Beverly D.," said Duchossois, referring to the Grade I race named for his late wife and the sister race to the Grade I Arlington Million.

Singhalese was clearly second, four lengths clear of third-place finisher Isla Cozzene. Singhalese paid $2.20 and $2.10 while Isla Cozzene returned $3.40.

"I'm a little aggravated," admitted Mike Smith, who rode the beaten favorite. "She was too close (early), but she was pulling hard and I didn't want to completely throw her down, but I probably should have. I tried to do a little of both, let her run and but keep her back. I probably should have just taken her back."

You Dancing Devil, Siberian Amur, Special Grayce, Gallant Secret, Extravagant Gal, Sunny Disposition, Grat and Quiero Ganar completed the order of finish.

Earlier in the day, Gabe Grossberg's Cosmic Kris rallied in the stretch to win the $42,375 Paradise Creek Stakes by three-quarters of a length in 1:43.42 for the mile and a sixteenth on the turf. E. T. Baird was aboard the Frank Springer-trained daughter of Storm Creek who was the 5-2 second choice in the wagering and paid $7, $3.60 and $2.80.

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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