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ARLINGTON PARK

Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/4/06)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

AMERICAN DERBY FIELD EXPANDING FOR MILLION PREVIEW DAY JULY 22

With a rematch of the Arlington Classic’s one-two finishers already on tap in the upcoming American Derby, it now appears increasingly likely that all of the top five Classic finishers -- less than two lengths apart at the wire -- will try the second leg of Arlington Park’s Mid-America Triple on July 22.

The Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve last week as the first leg of the Triple, is run at a mile and a sixteenth over Arlington’s internationally renowned grass course. The Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s, is contested at a mile and three-sixteenths over that same turf as the middle leg, and the Grade I Secretariat Stakes, as part of the International Festival of Racing on Arlington Million Day Aug. 12, is run at a mile and a quarter to complete the Triple, last swept by Robert Schaedle’s Honor Glide nine years ago.

Oxbow Racing LLC’s Kingship and Gary Tanaka’s German-bred Proudinsky, first and second respectively a nose apart in the Classic and set for an American Derby rematch, could be joined by Golden Racing Stables’ Arbuckle Bandit, Team Block’s Creative Force and G Five Stable LLC’s Icy Ridge, third through fifth respectively in the Classic.

“Considering that it was his first time on grass, I thought he (Arbuckle Bandit) ran very well,” said trainer Mike Stidham of the Classic’s third-place finisher, who finished a half-length behind Proudinsky at the wire. “Hilary (Stidham assistant Pridham) had worked him on the grass a couple of days earlier and she said he was game, so we thought he might run well. We’re definitely looking to run him in the American Derby, and we’re looking at that same race with (Stonerside Stable’s) Charley Tango, who won a grass stakes at Canterbury ($50,000 Come Summer Stakes June 18) in his last start.”

Creative Force, fourth in the Arlington Classic, three-quarters of a length behind Arbuckle Bandit, is also an American Derby possibility.

“We’ll see how he’s doing over the next few days,” said trainer Chris Block Tuesday during training hours. “I thought he ran a creditable race in the Classic. The race didn’t really set up for him. He needs a little help up front (speedy fractions) and they didn’t go that fast.

“Creative Force is also nominated to the Round Table (for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on the dirt July 15),” noted Block, “but if you were to pin me down, I’d say we’re more likely to keep him on the grass.”

Irish-bred Icy Ridge, who invaded from California to finish fifth in the Classic, a neck behind Creative Force, is also being pointed to the American Derby, and the Secretariat as well.

“We’re going to stay right here for the next two races,” said trainer Mike Puhich of Icy Ridge. “I’m headed back to California, but there’s no sense in taking the horse with me. I’ll be back after I look at my (his split stable) California horses for a few days. Judging by what he (Icy Ridge) showed me the other day, he should relish more ground, so I’m really looking forward to the next two races. I feel very confident in this horse.”

STRETCHING WORKING WEDNESDAY; MODESTY ‘CAP START POSSIBLE

Werthheimer and Frere’s Stretching, third in Lone Star’s Grade III WinStar Distaff Handicap May 29, is scheduled to work Wednesday in possible preparation for the Grade III Modesty Handicap July 22 as part of Arlington’s Million Preview Day program, according to her trainer Mike Stidham.

“We’re looking at the Modesty and also the Lady Canterbury Breeders’ Cup a week earlier,” said Stidham on Tuesday of Stretching, a 4-year-old Red Ransom filly who won Sam Houston’s Jersey Lily Stakes April 8.

The Modesty is the final local prep for the Grade I Beverly D. Stakes on Aug. 12 as the sister race to the Grade I Arlington Million during Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing.

FERRER COMPLETES ‘HAT TRICK,’ MISSES 4TH WIN BY A HEAD

Veteran reinsman Jose Ferrer, riding at Arlington Park on a regular basis for the first time this summer, rode three winners on Monday’s pre-fireworks program, and missed garnering a fourth tally by a head.

Ferrer won both halves of the Daily Double -- the first on John Orecchio’s Lady Pioneer, and the second astride 2 Blondes Inc.’s Silver Castle -- and came back to take the fifth aboard Larry Biefeldt and Ned Muller’s Chosen Run.

In Monday’s eighth race, Orecchio’s La Joyerie, with Ferrer up, finished second by a head to Arbaway Farm, Letto Thoroughbreds Inc. and Carson Springs Farm’s Stop a Train in a hard fought stretch duel.

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