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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/11/06)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Saturday’s Belmont Stakes score by Shadwell Stable’s Jazil may have been the day’s headline event, but Belmont’s Grade I Manhattan Handicap -- almost always a key barometer of the approaching Grade I Arlington Million -- was the best race of the afternoon.
Nominees to this summer’s Arlington Million XXIV, to be run Aug. 12 as the centerpiece event of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season, finished first through fourth -- less than a length apart -- in the Manhattan ‘Cap.
Juddmonte Farms Cacique, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel and ridden by Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Edgar Prado, was the Manhattan winner by a head, and Frankel indicated after the race that the Arlington Million would be the next goal.
Moyglare Stud’s Relaxed Gesture was the Manhattan runner-up, finishing a neck in front of Vega F.Z.E. and Mrs. Marguerite Weld’s Grey Swallow, who was a head to the good of James Scatuorchio’s English Channel.
The Manhattan’s fifth and sixth-place finishers -- respectively Stronach Stable’s Silver Whistle and Darley Stable’s Sabre d’Argent -- are also nominated to the Million.
Conditioner Christine Janks recorded the first training triple of the Arlington Park season Saturday and regained the lead in Arlington’s trainer standings in the process.
However, when congratulated on her accomplishment during training hours Sunday morning, Janks was self-effacing.
“Some of these things you have to attribute to luck,” Janks said of Saturday’s three-win afternoon. “Let’s face it. There were only three horses in that last race (carded as a grass event but taken off the turf), and With Approvals love the mud.”
Janks was speaking of Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm and the Estate of William Lydon’s Shingwedzi’s win in Saturday’s program finale. Earlier in the afternoon, Janks had saddled the winners of the second and third races of the day, but was equally modest about that.
“Something has finally started to click inside of Alby’s head,” Janks said, speaking of the 3-year-old gelding also owned by Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm and the Estate of William Lydon, who broke his maiden Saturday. “He’s run two good races in a row now. He’s finally started to figure out that he’s supposed to beat the other horses, not just watch them go along beside him.
“The other horse (Carson Springs Farm’s Joust) is just a stable pet I claimed back,” Janks said. “He’s the only horse who I own a hundred percent of, and I’ll probably send him to a friend to be become a show horse at the end of the season. But in the meantime, by winning yesterday, he justified my claiming him back.
“Shingwedzi means ‘iron rock’ in the African language of Venda,” said Janks when asked. “She’s the only horse I own who was bred in Kentucky. That happened when her dam was pronounced ‘not in foal’ by three different vets in Florida and was shipped to Kentucky to be bred, although when she stepped on the van in Florida I said, ‘If I didn’t know better, I’d say this mare was in foal.’
“Then, in Kentucky, she was placed in a paddock with the barren mares to bred again, until they finally realized she was in foal,” Janks said. “By that time, there was nothing to be done but leave her there until she foaled.
“Sometimes these things run together,” said Janks of her latest hot streak. “Other times they happen the other way. I really appreciate how things are going right now, because I know that the faucet can turn off at anytime.”
Leading jockey Chris Emigh rode four winners Saturday, maintaining a four-win day average for the third straight racing day.
“I’ve just been very fortunate by getting the best horses,” said Emigh Sunday morning. “I had no idea I’d be doing this well this season. I’m amazed myself that so many of my horses have been winning. I know I can’t keep up this pace, but I’ll keep trying my best.”
Emigh’s Saturday quartet began with three straight wins in the first three races: respectively aboard Frank Calabrese’s Stefie’s Brite, Carson Springs Farm’s Joust, and Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm and the Estate of William Lydon’s Alby. The fourth winner came astride Hondo Ranch Inc.’s Summer Range in the seventh.
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