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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Arlington Handicap

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 19, 2006) -- Walter R. Swinburn’s Red Fort, third in the Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park, and Muller Thoroughbred Stable Ltd.’s Rush Bay, winner of his last two starts at Churchill Downs, share starting high impost of 118 pounds for Saturday’s $200,000 Arlington Handicap.

The Grade III race, the final local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million, which will be run here August 12, is contested at the Million distance of a mile and a quarter over Arlington's world renowned turf course. The Arlington Handicap is one of three six-figure stakes races on the turf that comprise the track's Million Preview Day program that also includes the Grade III $150,000 Modesty Handicap for fillies and mares and the Grade II $250,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s, for 3-year-olds.

A son of Green Desert, Red Fort was beaten only 3 ¼ lengths by Lava Man in this year’s Whittingham at the Arlington Handicap distance of a mile and a quarter. In his only other start this season, the 6-year-old gelding was fourth in the Grade III Inglewood Handicap at Hollywood. Last year, the Neil Drysdale trainee was second beaten only a head by Sweet Return in the Whittingham and second beaten only a nose in the Inglewood. Eddie Castro has the call Saturday.

Rush Bay comes into the Arlington Handicap off back-to-back tallies over the Churchill Downs turf course where he captured the $100,000 Opening Verse Handicap in his most recent effort. The son of Cozzene, who is trained by Tom Amoss and will be ridden Saturday by Robby Albarado, won the Grade III Jefferson Cup at Churchill last year.

Weighted just a pound behind the top pair at 117 pounds is Sidney L. Port & San Gabriel Investments’ Artiste Royal. The Laura de Seroux-trained son of Danehill was second in the Inglewood and ran fifth in the Whittingham, his only two starts this year. He made his North American debut last year with a sixth-place finish in this race. Four-time Arlington Park riding champion Rene Douglas gets the call Saturday.

The rest of the field for Saturday’s Arlington Handicap (with jockey and weight assignments) consists of Flying Zee Stable’s Cosmonaut (Julien Leparoux, 115 pounds), winner of the Grade III Golden Gate Field’s Handicap in March; Gary A. Tanaka’s Embossed (Larry Melancon, 113), a recent victor in a Churchill Downs turf allowance; and Shannon Ritter & Michael Rogers’ Load a Chronic (Francisco Torres, 112), who captured the $50,000 Brooks Fields Stakes at Canterbury Park last month.

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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