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ARLINGTON PARK

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/2/06)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

ORIGINAL SPIN GETS FRIDAY BREEZE; PRAIRIE STATE FESTIVAL ‘POSSIBLE’

Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.’s Original Spin, Illinois Horse of the Year in 2005, is still a “possibility” for Arlington Park’s upcoming Prairie State Festival June 24 following her three-eighths breeze in :37 Friday, but will not be rushed to make that deadline.

“I was very happy with the work,” said trainer Tony Mitchell shortly after Friday’s move. “She galloped out the half in :49 with Jesse Campbell up and he was very happy with her. She looked good and she came back good. We just wanted to see where we were at with her.

“I’d like to go on (Prairie State Festival Day) with her,” said Mitchell, “but I’m not going to rush her to get her there. I’m going to let her tell me when she’s ready to go again. Right now, she’s ready to go a half, but we’ll see how she comes back after this morning. I’m just looking for an easy spot for her next start.”

Original Spin, a daughter of Distorted Humor, sire of 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide, broke her maiden at Arlington last summer on Aug. 13, and came back to capture the Grade III Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Lassie Stakes by four and a quarter lengths Sept. 18. The bay filly then finished third behind eventual 2-year-old filly Eclipse Award champion Folklore in last fall’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Oct. 29 at Belmont Park.

In her only start as a sophomore, Original Spin was unplaced in Gulfstream’s Grade II Forward Gal Stakes at seven-eighths March 5. Should she be ready for it, Arlington’s $75,000 Isaac Murphy Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs and one of six races restricted to Illinois-breds June 24, would appear an ideal spot for her return.

SATURDAY’S $42,000 AWAD STAKES ADVANCES ARLINGTON CLASSIC

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who has saddled three Arlington Classic winners in the last decade, has entered Pin Oak Stable LLC’s Equal Opportunity for Saturday’s $42,000 Awad Stakes at one mile on the grass, and a good performance by the Rahy colt might serve as an excellent prep for this year’s Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve on July 1 at a mile and a sixteenth over the local lawn.

Equal Opportunity, a homebred sophomore out of a Gone West mare, broke his maiden over the Gulfstream Park grass March 6 and has remained on that surface in two starts since. The chestnut made the pace before weakening late to finish fifth when asked to go a mile and an eighth at Keeneland April 8, and was an even third with no apparent excuse on April 29 at Churchill Downs.

Eddie Martin Jr., who rode two winners on Thursday’s Arlington program, has been named to handle the reins on Equal Opportunity.

Wexler Racing Stables Inc.’s Four Boy Sham, an altered son of the turf sire With Approval, could be expected to provide stiff competition for Mott’s trainee. The Avers Wexler color bearer made his turf debut and Arlington bow over yielding ground May 6, came from far back while racing wide and was still a length and a quarter the best when going nine furlongs. It was the third win in a row for Four Boy Sham, who was claimed for $50,000 on behalf of Wexler by trainer Mike Campbell March 15. Arlington’s leading rider Chris Emigh, aboard for that local turf tally, is slated for the tack once again in the Awad.

Named to oppose those two Saturday are Don and Pam Mattox’ High Adventure, Francisco Torres named; Overbrook Farm’s El Nino, Rafael Mojica Jr.; Marcos Medrano’s Three Cities, Jesse Campbell; Al and Saundra Kirkwood’s Icy Ridge, Larry Sterling Jr.; Montesano Racing Stable’s Devilofarush, Miguel Mena; and Dorean Tabor’s In A Flash, James Graham up.

Three Cities could be dangerous in the Awad after posting a series of bullet works at Kentucky’s The Thoroughbred Center last winter and finishing third, two and three-quarter lengths behind the good grass horse Yate’s Black Cat in his last start May 14 at Churchill Downs.

LORD OF THE GAME HEADING TO PENNSYLVANIA’S NEW BOLTON CENTER

The University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center has been in the news lately as the hospital home of this year’s Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who continues to make positive progress from career-ending injuries suffered in the Preakness May 20.

Now, arrangements are being finalized to send 2 Blondes Inc.’s Lord of the Game, hero of Arlington’s Grade III Hanshin Cup a year ago and Prairie Meadows’ Grade II Cornhusker Breeders’ Cup Handicap last July, to that same facility.

Surgery similar to that performed on Prestonwood Farm and Wall Street Stable’s Da Hoss between his two Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile victories in 1996 and 1998 is being considered for Lord of the Game, conditioned by Tommy Tomillo, currently Arlington’s leading trainer through Thursday’s program.

One win behind Tomillo going into Friday’s twilight racing program was Wayne Catalano, Arlington’s defending trainer champion who saddled two winners Thursday.

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