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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/3/06)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Only one horse this year is in a position to be crowned the fourth sophomore in history to sweep Arlington Park’s Mid-America Triple, and Oxbow Racing LLC’s Kingship is being readied for the next rung on that ladder.

After winning last Saturday’s Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, trainer Ronny Werner indicated Monday morning that the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s on July 22, is on tap as Kingship’s next start.

“It looks like we’ll stay around for the next one,” said Werner speaking of the upcoming American Derby, middle leg of the turf Triple at a mile and three-sixteenths. “I thought he ran well Saturday and he came out of the (Classic) in good shape, so that looks like the next spot.

“I plan to be there for the next race,” said Werner, whose son Rowdy deputized for him saddling Kingship in the Classic. “I would have been there last weekend, but I also had a horse running in that CashCall Invitational out in California, so I had to go out there.”

Also apparently slated for an American Derby return, after finishing a nose behind Kingship in the Classic, is the German-bred Proudinsky, owned by Gary Tanaka. The son of 2001 Arlington Million winner Silvano was off slowly in the Classic but rallied gamely in the late stages to miss victory by the bob of a head.

“(Proudinsky) ran a good race,” said trainer Mario Hofer in the paddock tunnel immediately following the Classic. “It was only his third start and he had to overcome a long trip (from Germany to Chicago). I think the plan will probably be to run in your next race here.”

Robert Schaedle’s Honor Glide swept the Classic, the American Derby and the Secretariat Stakes during the summer of 1997 as the most recent Mid-America Triple winner.


Trainer Ed Beam, 63, has never been afraid to try something new and different; such as in the 1990s when he stopped training Thoroughbreds for seven years and became an outrider at Arlington Park before returning to training. Once again, he tried the unorthodox two years ago when he bought the 2003 Hungarian Derby winner and brought him to Arlington Park for an American campaign, albeit unsuccessfully.

However, on Sunday, Beam saddled James Messineo’s Major Rhythm to upset the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders’ Cup Turf at the mile and a half-distance, although that 7-year-old gelding was coming out of a seven and a half-furlong test in his previous start and had not won a race at any distance since September of 2004.

“We got lucky,” said Beam modestly, “but I can’t say I was really surprised. I’d always wanted to try him at a mile and a half because he’s a decent horse and he always tries hard.

“He ate up last night and cleaned up his breakfast this morning,” Beam said, when asked how Major Rhythm had come out of Sunday’s stakes win. “In fact, he’s having lunch now.”

Major Rhythm is also nominated to the Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 12, and Beam was asked if he might try his altered son of Rhythm in the centerpiece event of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season.

“Well now, that’s a different deal,” said Beam. “Usually, we try to stay away from those kinds of horses. Let’s just say the chances are awfully slim.”


Due to the weather forecast for this evening, the final decision on the fireworks celebration -- based on the safety of our customers -- will be made at 5 p.m. central time, or just prior to today’s sixth race.

Following the 5 p.m. decision, our website and the Fireworks hotline -- (847) 385-7551 -- will be updated to advise of the decision. In the unlikely event that Arlington Park chooses to cancel the Fireworks celebration, the rain date will be Tuesday, July 4.


Weather permitting, starting Wednesday, July 5, Arlington Park will begin adding pine bark shavings to the dirt on the main track.

“This is something that we’ve planned since our first track safety committee meeting six weeks ago,” said Arlington Park vice president of racing and racing secretary Kevin Greely. “The pine bark will help the track retain moisture as the weather heats up this summer and will also add a little extra bounce to the racing surface. Other tracks such as Louisiana Downs and the King Abdul Aziz racetrack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, have had success with this.”

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