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|Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Arlington Breeders’ Cup Sprint
Contact: David Zenner
PAST ARLINGTON SPRINT HEROS FIFTEEN ROUNDS AND GOLD STORM MEET IN ’06 RENEWAL
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Aug. 24, 2006) – Fifteen Rounds, Elusive Jazz and Level Playingfield – the first three finishers in last year’s Arlington Breeders’ Cup Sprint – will be joined by the 2004 race winner Gold Storm on Saturday in this year’s renewal of the $150,000 six-furlong race.
Fifteen Rounds, the defending champion owned by Ken Meeker & Carson Springs Farm, looks to rebound in the Sprint after finishing third as the 1-5 betting favorite in an optional claiming-allowance race here July 15. Previously, he was beaten a nose in a similar race on June 22. In May, the 6-year-old son of Fit to Fight was first through the line in the Grade III Hanshin Cup but was disqualified and placed second for interference in the stretch. In last year’s Sprint, the Christine Janks-trained gelding gamely held off Elusive Jazz to win by a neck. Arlington Park’s leading jockey Chris Emigh will again partner with Fifteen Rounds, who has drawn the rail for Saturday’s affair.
Last year’s runner-up in the local Sprint, Stony Oak Farm LLC’s Elusive Jazz, was a neck winner in the $46,650 Better Bee Stakes earlier this month. The 5-year-old Elusive Quality horse was making his first start of the season in the Better Bee. Last October, the Bobby Barnett charge won the Grade III Phoenix Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland before finishing fifth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Belmont and concluding his 2005 campaign with a sixth-place run in the Grade I Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park. Robby Albarado gets the call Saturday.
Keith McKinney’s Gold Storm returns to Arlington Park after a two-year absence. The Seeking the Gold gelding returned from more than a year on the sidelines to win in his first start back when he captured the $75,000 Need For Speed Stakes at Evangeline Downs. In his last trip to the post, the C. W. “Bubba” Cascio-trained 6-year-old finished eighth in the Grade II Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder Race Course during the South Florida track’s Summit of Speed card. Tracy Hebert has been named to ride.
Fly Racing LLC’s Level Playingfield looks for his first win since February in Saturday’s feature. The son of Level Sands has been competitive of late in graded stakes company finishing third in the Grade III Churchill Downs Handicap and the Grade III Aristides Breeders’ Cup Handicap at the Louisville racetrack. Last out, the Bob Holthus charge ran fifth in the $70,000 Bet On Sunshine Handicap under the Twin Spires. Mark Guidry picks up the mount.
Lee Battaglia & James P. DiVito’s Coach Jimi Lee carries a three-race win skein into the Arlington Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The son of Roar won the $47,000 Prairie Express, the $125,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap and the $74,000 Prairie Meadows Sprint Handicap all at the Altoona, Iowa, racetrack. Though it has been two seasons since Coach Jimi Lee has raced here, the DiVito-trained 6-year-old is four for seven over this track. Eduardo Perez will be in the irons.
Summerplace Farm’s Kelly’s Landing ran fourth in the Smile last time out and prior to that finished second behind champion sprinter Lost in the Fog at Churchill in the Aristides in June. The Eddie Kenneally-trained son of Patton will have the services of Corey Lanerie.
Shari & Michael Brickman’s Alabama Clay owns the fastest six-furlong time of the meet with his 1:08.60 clocking when he beat Fifteen Rounds among others in a July 15 optional claiming allowance race. Carlos Silva rides the son of Jade Hunter who is trained by “Spanky” Broussard.
Completing the field for the Arlington Breeders’ Cup Sprint are (with jockey listed): Elisabeth S. Lavin’s Junior College (Jesus Castanon) and Liz & Jerry Squyres & Martin Leinneweber’s Rogue Scholar (C. H. Marquez Jr.).
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 www.arlingtonpark.com.
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