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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: The Grade I Beverly D.

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Aug. 9, 2006) – The best grass-favoring fillies and mares from across the United States – topped by Gorella and Honey Ryder – plus a rising star from overseas will assemble at Arlington Park on Saturday for the 17th running of the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes.

The mile and three-sixteenths test over Arlington’s world-famous turf course is the sister race to the Grade I Arlington Million which also will be contested Saturday along with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds as part of the suburban Chicago track’s International Festival of Racing.

Gorella, who was installed as a slight 5-2 favorite in the morning line, is owned by Martin S. Schwartz and trained by Patrick Biancone, the team behind last year’s Beverly D. heroine Angara. A daughter of Grape Tree Road, Gorella comes into the Beverly D. off a neck victory in the Grade II Just a Game Handicap at Belmont Park in June. As a 3-year-old last year, the French-bred filly ran third in the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland in her North American debut on Oct. 15 and two weeks later finished third against male rivals in the Grade I NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile at Belmont Park. Julien Leparoux, who leads the nation in races won this year, has the mount Saturday.

Glencrest Farm LLC’s Honey Ryder, listed second in the morning line at odds of 3-1, carries a three-race win skein into the Beverly D. after prevailing by a head as the odds-on choice in the $295,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Delaware Park in her last start. Previously, the Todd Pletcher-trained daughter of Lasting Approval annexed the Grade II Sheepshead Bay Handicap at Belmont in May and the Grade III Orchid Handicap at Gulfstream Park one month earlier. John Velazquez has been named to ride the 5-year-old mare.

Slated to face the top duo in the Beverly D. are S. D. Brilie Ltd. Partnership’s Chic Dancer (Chris Emigh); Courtland Farms’ Film Maker (Ramon Dominguez); Shawn L. Dugan’s Live Life (Victor Espinoza); Vinery Stables and Tom Ludt’s Minge Cove (Shaun Bridgmohan); Glen Hill Farm’s Rich in Spirit (Mark Guidry); Richard L. Duchossois’ Royal Copenhagen (Rene Douglas); J. Paul Reddam, Suarez Racing Inc. & Mark Schlesinger’s Sharp Lisa (Edgar Prado); Claiborne Farm’s Wend (Garrett Gomez); and Gary A. Tanaka’s Rising Cross (Martin Dwyer).

A daughter of Dynaformer, Film Maker returned to the races in June with a 3 ¼-length victory in the Grade III All Along Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Colonial Downs in her lone start this year. The H. Graham Motion trainee won the Grade II La Prevoyante Handicap at Calder Race Course to close out 2005 after finishing third in both the Grade I Alberto VO5 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and the Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational, both at Belmont Park.

The lone European and lone 3-year-old in this year’s Beverly D. lineup is Rising Cross. The daughter of Cape Cross finished third in the Group I Irish Oaks at The Curragh in her most recent start after finishing an uncharacteristic eighth in the Grade I Italian Oaks at San Siro in June. Previously, the John Best pupil ran second after she stumbled a furlong out in the Group I English Oaks at Epsom. Martin Dwyer makes the trans-Atlantic journey to partner with the British-bred filly.

The Beverly D. Stakes is part of the “Road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships – Powered by Dodge” television series airing on ABC (3:00-5:00 p.m. CT). The Beverly D. Stakes is one of the top Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf Division races for female grass runners being pointed to the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs on Saturday, November 4. Beverly D. starters – Honey Ryder, Film Maker and Gorella – are ranked second, fourth and sixth, respectively, in the latest Filly & Mare Turf Division standings.

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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