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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Pucker Up Stakes (G3)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 7, 2006) – Soothsay, placed third in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks in her last trip to the post, has been installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite in a field of 10 3-year-old fillies entered in Saturday’s Grade III Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington Park. The $200,000 race at a mile and an eighth on the grass is Arlington’s main event for the sophomore distaff set.

The daughter of Mujadil, who races for Bruno & Rachel DeBerdt & Deron Pearson, was steadied late in the Del Mar Oaks and was moved up from fourth to third following the disqualification of original second-place finisher Take the Ribbon in that mile and an eighth turf test. Prior to that, the James Cassidy-trained filly rallied to finish third in the Grade II San Clemente Handicap at the seaside oval July 29 and closed well take down the place spot in the $100,000 Flawlessly Stakes at Hollywood Park earlier that month. Mike Smith comes in from his Southern California homebase to ride the Irish-bred Soothsay.

Topping the local contingent is Lothenbach Stable Inc.’s Vacare. The daughter of Lear Fan is undefeated in her only two trips to the post. The Chris Block trainee broke her maiden by four lengths on June 9 and was impressive in her next start, besting a first-level allowance group by 5 ¾ lengths July 26. She missed her final Pucker Up prep when she was scratched from the $42,250 Hatoof Stakes Aug. 19 when she came up with a cough. Regular rider C. H. Marquez Jr. has a return call for Saturday’s headliner.

Joseph Allen’s Ballet Pacifica makes her North American debut in the Pucker Up. The daughter of Minardi won the listed Prix Madame Jean Couturie Stakes at Fichy on July 16 before running third in the Group II Prix de la Nonette at Deauville in her most recent effort Aug. 20. Trainer Jean-Claude Rouget has given the mount to locally based jockey Eddie Martin Jr.

Corbet F. Bryant Jr. & Tim F. Gavin’s Palace Rumor carries a three-race win skein into the Pucker Up. Last out the Burl McBride-trained daughter of Royal Anthem rallied from far back to win the $50,000 Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park by a neck Aug. 12 to keep her perfect 2006 season intact. Arlington Park’s leading jockey Chris Emigh has the call.

Completing the field for the Pucker Up (with jockeys listed are): Glen Hill Farm’s Walklikeanegyptian (Jose Ferrer); Hugh G. King III’s My Chickadee (Francisco Torres); Ralls & Foster LLC & Smith Ridge Stable’s Ladyburn (James Graham); Kenneth L. & Sarah K. Ramsey’s Precious Kitten (Rene Douglas); Harley Stepp’s Royal Dazzle (Larry Sterling Jr.); and Peter Amadio, Andy Spitalny & Carliwood Farm’s Chetten County (Eusebio Razo 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

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