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ARLINGTON PARK

Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/20/06)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

ARIEL FLYS AGAIN IN FRIDAY’S DAILY DOUBLE

Accomplishing his second sweep of Arlington’s Daily Double this week, jockey Ariel Smith rode Frank Calabrese’s Dreaming of Anna to a four-length tally in Friday’s first race for trainer Wayne Catalano and came right back with a one-length score astride Dee Poulos trainee Coin of Truth, owned by the Black Paw and Ernie Poulos Racing stables, in the second.

Smith, a newcomer to Arlington Park but the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice in 1999 while on the New York circuit, has now climbed into a tie for fourth in the local standings through Friday with seven wins, and his in-the-money ratio of 63 percent is currently the highest among Arlington’s top 10 jockeys. The son of former jockey Alfredo Smith Jr. also rode both halves of Sunday’s Daily Double and is the only jockey at the meeting to have won the first two races on any Arlington program this year through the first 11 racing days of the meeting.

“Ariel came here to prove a point,” said his new Chicago agent Penny Ffitch Hayes Saturday morning during training hours. “He is a very strong rider and a very good rider. He didn’t win an Eclipse Award by accident.”

ENGLISH APPRENTICE GETS EARLY ARLINGTON WIN

English-born apprentice jockey Lori Keith, the only female to have ridden at Arlington so far this season, rode her first Chicago winner with only her fourth Arlington mount when she came from off the pace to capture Friday’s eighth race by two and three-quarter lengths astride Sharon Morgan’s Defuhr, a Langfuhr mare trained by John Wainright.

“I’m just grateful to the trainer for giving me the chance to ride without knowing much about me,” said Keith the morning after her winning ride. “He asked me to do what I could to settle the filly down during the first part of the race, and fortunately there was enough pace in the race for me to be able to do that. She’s a lovely filly to ride and I thank the trainer for giving me the chance. I felt like I needed a win to get the ball rolling for me here at Arlington.”

Keith, 23, was born in Epsom, came to this country more than two years ago and galloped horses in Southern California for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale before riding 35 winners at Turf Paradise this winter.

DIVINE COMIC LOOKING LIKE SERIOUS RACEHORSE

Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.’s Divine Comic, the 2-year-old full brother to 2005 Illinois Horse of the Year Original Spin, also owned by the Reineman family, breezed three furlongs in :37 Friday morning at Arlington.

“He continues to be very professional,” said trainer British-born trainer Tony Mitchell, 47, a native of Brighton, when speaking of the juvenile son of Distorted Humor, sire of 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide. “Actually, he’s a little more advanced at the present time than I thought he’d be.”

“I think he’s the real deal,” said Illinois Racing Board clocker Bobby Belpedio, one day after Divine Comic’s second local move. “I told Tony: ‘It looks like you’re going to the races with this one.’ I like him a lot.”

Original Spin, incidentally, third in last fall’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Belmont Park Oct. 29, is due shortly at Arlington from her winter headquarters in Aiken, South Carolina.

“I’m waiting for the chance to put her in a box stall and ship her here directly rather than her having to stop off in Louisville,” said Mitchell.

ARLINGTON MILLION CHAMP POWERSCOURT TO SHUTTLE

International Group/Grade I winner Powerscourt, hero of last summer’s Grade I Arlington Million while racing in the silks of Mrs. John Magnier, is currently standing his initial season at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky, but will shuttle to Chile in July for the upcoming Southern Hemisphere season.

Powerscourt, 6-year-old son of Sadler’s Wells who also won Group I Tattersalls Gold Cup at Ireland’s The Curragh in 2003, will stand at Haras Paso Nevado, located in Talca, a two-hour drive from Santiago.

Powerscourt holds the distinction of being the only horse to finish first under the wire in two successive Arlington Millions, but was disqualified from first and placed fourth in the 2004 renewal for interfering with rivals.

Elevated to the win position in the 2004 Arlington Million was Brushwood Stable’s Kicken Kris, trained by Michael Matz, who saddled Lael Stable’s Barbaro to win this year’s Kentucky Derby and Florida Derby and attempts the second leg of the 2006 Triple Crown in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore, Maryland.

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