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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Prairie State Festival

Contact: David Zenner


Reigning Horse of the Year Returns for State-Bred Showcase

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 22, 2006) -- Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.’s Original Spin, the 2005 Illinois Horse of the Year, is the star attraction among the 64 horses who passed the entry box (including one horse cross-entered) for the six $75,000-added stakes races that comprise the seventh annual Prairie State Festival to be held Saturday, June 24, at Arlington Park.

The six races that make up the showcase for state-breds are:

  • The Purple Violet Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile
  • The Springfield Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile
  • The Isaac Murphy Handicap for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs
  • The White Oak Handicap for 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs
  • The Lincoln Heritage Handicap for fillies & mares 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf
  • The Black Tie Affair Handicap for 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf

A daughter of Distorted Humor, Original Spin earned her local horse of the year honors by winning her first two starts as a 2-year-old including the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Lassie and later finishing third in the Grade I $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Belmont Park.

In her only start this season, the Tony Mitchell-trained 3-year-old was eased under the wire in the Grade II Forward Gal Stakes at Gulfstream Park in March and she was promptly given time off. Unraced since, she has been working forwardly for her return in the Purple Violet Stakes and on Monday she breezed five furlongs from the gate in a bullet :59.40 under jockey Jesse Campbell, who has the call Saturday.

Her main competition in the Purple Violet will likely come from Oxbow Racing LLC’s Rich Fantasy, recently a six-length victress in open competition in the $49,600 Ribbon Handicap on May 13.

Team Block’s Fort Prado, a multiple graded stakes-winning son of El Prado, returns to defend his title in the Black Tie Affair Handicap. Since taking last year’s Black Tie Affair, the 5-year-old Chris Block trainee has won four times including his last three in open stakes competition, capturing the Grade III Fair Grounds Breeders’ Cup Handicap, the Tampa Bay Breeders’ Cup and the Grade III John B. Connelly Breeders’ Cup Handicap in Texas.

Among those slated to face Fort Prado in the Black Tie Affair Handicap is Nancy Vanier’s Air Academy, five-for-five in the money this year and second last time out in the mile and a half Mac Diarmida Stakes over this course.

Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm & the Estate of William Lydon’s Pretty Jenny and Bob & Nancy Bartels’ Bluesbdancing will vie for favoritism in the Isaac Murphy Handicap. The former, a 4-year-old daughter of Pioneering trained by Christine Janks, won the $41,750 Fit For a Queen Stakes last time out and captured the $86,800 Purple Violet Stakes during last year’s Prairie State Festival. The latter, by Golden Gear, is trained by Terrel Gore and took the $94,000 Governor’s Lady Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course in April.

Quarter B. Farm’s Beau Happy, winner of last year’s Lincoln Heritage Handicap, and Hussar Racing Stable LLC’s Lighthouse Lil, the 2004 heroine of the same race, will match strides in the 2006 renewal of the Lincoln Heritage where they will face, among others, Crown’s Way Farm’s You Dancing Devil, Illinois champion turf female of 2005.

S. D. Brilie Ltd. Partnership’s High Expectations, winner of the 2005 Springfield Stakes during last year’s Prairie State Festival, has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite in the White Oak Handicap. The Christine Janks-trained son of Peaks and Valleys, who is also entered in the Black Tie Affair, won the $41,000 Zen Stakes earlier this month.

Also entered in the White Oak is the venerable 8-year-old gelding Silver Bid, owned by Eugene Young, winner of the 2004 edition of this race and third in last year’s renewal.

Abruzzo, Carver & Swearingen’s Barely Union Scale is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the Springfield Stakes. The son of Dixie Union finished second to High Expectations in the Zen last time out. Earlier this year, the Tom Swearingen pupil rallied to win the $99,000 Land of Lincoln Stakes at Hawthorne.

Arlington Park –- the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -– will run a 95-day meet in 2006 from Friday, May 5 through Tuesday, Sept. 12. 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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