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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/24/06)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Hugh Robertson and Homewrecker Racing LLC’s Three Hour Nap, hero of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Futurity two years ago, breezed a half-mile in :48 Tuesday at Arlington in preparation for Saturday’s Grade III Hanshin Cup, initial graded stakes event of the 2006 season at the Northwest Chicago oval.
Last summer, Three Hour Nap visited the Arlington winner’s circle following his neck tally in the $42,000 Native Dancer Stakes here June 26 at a mile and an eighth, while Saturday’s Hanshin, like the local Futurity, is at one mile. Which distance did Three Hour Nap prefer?
“He really wants a mile and an eighth,” said trainer Hugh Robertson Wednesday morning. “To win at a flat mile, he needs a fast pace in front of him. But everything is going fine with him right now, and we’d like to give him the chance in the Hanshin.”
Three Hour Nap, by Afternoon Deelites, won the Grade III National Jockey Club Handicap at a mile and an eighth in his last start. The Kentucky-bred colt is also nominated to Monday’s $40,000 Mister Gus Stakes at a mile over Arlington’s turf course.
The first of four Monday racing programs during Arlington Park’s 2006 meeting occurs this weekend as Chicago’s Northwest suburban oval celebrates the Memorial Day holiday with four straight days of racing and other festivities.
Friday’s twilight racing program, with its late post time of 3 p.m., kicks off Memorial Day weekend at Arlington, giving Arlington guests a chance to enjoy the Miller Lite Party In The Park atmosphere with the Caribbean music of ‘rhumbuzzz’ –- featuring Arlington bugler Bonny Brown.
Friday’s party continues into the evening with the return of “Party on the Patio” at Trackside Arlington Park, featuring live music, great food and top-notch simulcast horse racing action from across North America. The fun begins right after the live racing program at Arlington Park. The “Houseboyz” (formerly “Kato the Houseboy”) headline the first “Party on the Patio” of the season with the music getting underway around 7:30 p.m. “Party on the Patio” continues each Friday through Sept. 1.
On Saturday morning, the first “Breakfast at Arlington” program of the 2006 season will be conducted, with a breakfast buffet served from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Track announcer John G. Dooley and Arlington television analysts Liane Davis and Lauren Massarella will all host the morning program that allows guests to stay for the races that afternoon.
New Arlington chaplains Stephen Guarneros and Ernesto Reyes will conduct a bake sale during the “Breakfast at Arlington” program with proceeds benefiting the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA).
Also Saturday, when Arlington’s first post reverts to its regular 1 p.m. time slot, the Bud Light Summer Bash & BBQ will be held in the Park Area with blues music by Kevin Purcell & the Nightburners. A slow smoked pulled BBQ pork sandwich will be featured on the grill.
On Sunday this weekend, Arlington guests can “celebrate the Luck O’ the Irish” as the Pepsi Family Day theme, sponsored by the Daily Herald. The McNulty Irish Dance Team will add a touch of Celtic magic to the day with performances of traditional Irish dances at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Between shows, kids will be able to play games and win prizes.
The Junior Jockey Club theme Sunday involves “show and tell” of Arlington’s track equipment. JJC members will get the chance to see some of the machines that are used to take care of the track and meet track superintendent Javier Barajas.
Arlington Park will be open for a special holiday Monday card of live racing on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29. Gates will open at 11:15 a.m. and post time will be at 1 p.m. In addition to Family Day activities in the Park Area including pony rides, face painters and a petting zoo, there will be live rock music on the band stage by Chicagoland’s favorite all-girl band “Catfight.”
Because of the special Monday racing program, there will be no live racing at Arlington Park on Wednesday, May 31.
The first two races of the 2006 season involving Arlington’s $100,000-guaranteed Turf Trifecta pool will be offered in Friday’s third and sixth events.
The popular wager, introduced last season with its six-figure pool, includes all turf races with a minimum of eight betting interests run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday programs.
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