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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/270/06)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Arlington Park’s Junior Jockey Club gets an additional assignment Sunday when its members put the finishing touches on an oversize get-well greeting card for Barbaro, the hero of this year’s Kentucky Derby whose racing career was prematurely ended by injury in the Preakness Stakes.
Barbaro, who won the Florida Derby five weeks prior to his score in the Run For The Roses, was undefeated in six starts going into the Preakness but was pulled up shortly after the start with severe injuries to his right hind leg.
The colt’s continuing recuperation following a five-hour surgery that employed the latest medical technology continues to go well, but the prognosis for an eventual complete recovery remains guarded. In the meantime, the thoughts and prayers of the entire nation are with Barbaro, and the younger Thoroughbred racing fans of the JJC will complete his multi-paged get-well card Sunday.
The card will be available for Arlington guests to sign on Memorial Day Monday from 11:15 a.m. until the seventh race that day, and will be placed at the bottom of the Grand Staircase for easy public access.
The cardboard pages of the approximately 3’x 3’-sized greeting are bound in loose-leaf design to allow as many signatures as possible through the holiday weekend program.
After being completed with the names of all who wish to sign, the get-well message will be mailed directly to the Pennsylvania home of Roy and Gretchen Jackson, the owners of Thoroughbred racing’s latest legend.
A competitive field of 11 grass-favoring older horses has been named to contest Monday’s $40,000 Mister Gus Stakes at one mile over Arlington’s turf course as the featured event of Arlington Park’s special Memorial Day racing program.
Charles Patton’s Therecomesatiger, winner of Churchill’s $150,000 Commonwealth Turf last Nov. 13 and third in Calder’s $100,000 Pete Axthelm on New Year’s Eve, makes his first start of 2006 but may be a tepid choice in the wagering Monday.
The Florida homebred 4-year-old gelding is trained by Tom Proctor and will be ridden by jockey Eddie Martin Jr.
Easy Money 2006 LLC’s No Tolerance, who made the pace in Arlington’s $100,000 Avers Wexler Illinois Owners Stakes May 7 before weakening in the late stages of that mile-and a-sixteenth grass test to finish second, is capable of providing strong competition for Therecomesatiger at Monday’s shorter distance. Previously, No Tolerance was caught in the final strides to finish second by a neck in an allowance race at Hawthorne, but that main track outing was also at the eight-and-a-half-furlong distance.
Mike Campbell trains No Tolerance, and has named his son Jesse Campbell to handle the reins in the Mister Gus.
Also worthy of consideration in Arlington’s Memorial Day showcase event is John Messineo’s Major Rhythm, third in the Avers Wexler but beaten only a head by No Tolerance despite being forced to alter course. The 7-year-old, trained by Ed Beam, was second beaten a head in the Laurel Turf Cup last Nov. 19 and third by six in the Grade III Arlington Handicap last July 23 on Million Preview Day. Before that he was third in the Dallas Turf Cup June 18 and second in last year’s Mister Gus May 30. Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires, Arlington’s all-time winning rider, is listed for the tack.
Not to be discounted Monday is Nancy Vanier and Charles Nuckols Jr.’s Come On Jazz, coming off a winning effort going one mile over the Hawthorne turf in his last start Oct. 8 and second by three-quarters in Arlington’s $40,000 Rossi Gold Stakes at 12 furlongs Sept. 3. Brian Williamson is the conditioner, and Arlington’s current leading jockey Chris Emigh is slated for the saddle.Completing the Mister Gus field is Louie Roussel III’s Gold Hornet, Randy Meier up; Norman Gordon’s Cat On a Wire, Duane Salvino; Butterfly Stable’s Scooter Roach, Francisco Torres; Charles Sigrist and Moises Yanez’ Majestic Zeal, Eduardo Perez; Dark Star Thoroughbreds’ Cosmic Kris, Carlos H. Marquez Jr.; Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.’s Home of Stars, James Graham; and Dyedra Kademoglou’s Rubialedo, Jose Ferrer.
Team Block’s Fort Prado, Illinois Older Handicap Male Champion and Male Turf Champion last year, breezed four furlongs in :49.80 Saturday morning at Arlington Park, exactly four weeks prior to this year’s Prairie State Festival June 24.
Fort Prado was scratched off the program in this year’s Grade I Woodford Reserve Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day May 6 due to an abcess in his left front.
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