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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Arlington Classic (Grade III)

Contact: David Zenner


Mott-Trained 3-Year-Old Headlines Turf Stakes

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 29, 2006) -- Pin Oak Stable LLC’s Equal Opportunity, recent winner of the $41,625 Awad Stakes here, has been installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $150,000 Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve.

The Grade III race for 3-year-olds will be run at a mile and a sixteenth over Arlington’s world famous turf course and serves as the first leg of the track’s Mid-America Triple. The series continues with the Grade II $250,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s, on July 22 and concludes with the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 12.

A son of Rahy, Equal Opportunity invaded from his Kentucky base to win the one-mile Awad Stakes over this course on June 3. Dispatched as the 4-5 favorite, the Bill Mott trainee rallied from off the pace, took command in the stretch and drew off for a decisive 2 ¾-length victory. Eddie Martin Jr. has a return call aboard the chestnut colt on Saturday.

Also invading from Kentucky for the Arlington Classic is Mike McCarty’s Storm Treasure. The son of Storm Boot finished third in the Grade II Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs in his turf debut June 17. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Storm Treasure ran 11th in this year’s Grade I Kentucky Derby, presented by Yum! Brands, after finishing second in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. Shaun Bridgmohan, Arlington’s leading rider from 2005 will be making his first appearance of the current season to ride Storm Treasure.

Taking a longer route to Arlington for Saturday’s feature is Gary A. Tanaka’s Proudinsky. The German-bred colt will be making his North American debut after making his two previous starts in his native country where he was second in a listed stakes last time out. Brice Blanc gets the call aboard the son of 2001 Arlington Million winner Silvano for trainer Mario Hofer.

Team Block’s Creative Force, champion Illinois 2-year-old of 2005, looks to make it two straight over the Arlington grass after winning a second-level allowance over this course in May. In his only other turf start, the Chris Block-trained son of Red Ransom broke slowly and finished 10th in the $60,000 Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park in February. Eduardo Perez has been named to ride.

Completing the field for the Arlington Classic (with jockeys named) are: Oxbow Racing LLC’s Kingship (Robby Albarado); Golden Racing Stables’ Arbuckle Bandit (C. H. Marquez Jr.); G Five Stable LLC’s Icy Ridge (Larry Sterling Jr.); and Jerry D. Lee’s Desert Wheat (Chris Emigh).

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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