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ARLINGTON PARK

Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/7/06)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF RACING UPDATES

Saturday’s Grade I United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park -- a major prep for Arlington’s Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 12 -- will apparently be run as scheduled despite New Jersey budget woes that put the race in jeopardy earlier this week.

Five of the seven top turf stars entered in Saturday’s United Nations are also original nominations to Arlington Million XXIV: centerpiece event of Arlington’s upcoming one-day International Festival of Racing on the second Saturday in August.

Arlington’s Beverly D. Stakes for fillies and mares, and Secretariat Stakes for sophomores, complete the International Festival’s troika of top-tiered events that are the only Grade I races offered in Illinois on an annual basis.

Among the Million nominees slated for Saturday’s United Nations are Bushwood Stables’ Better Talk Now, defending champion in the United Nations, fourth in last summer’s Arlington Million and most recently hero of Pimlico’s Grade II Dixie Stakes on Preakness Day; Juddmonte Farms Inc.’s Cacique, winner of Belmont’s Grade I Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day and winner of Chantilly’s Group III Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord last season; and James Scatuorchio’s English Channel, runner-up in last year’s Secretariat, winner of Churchill’s Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day and most recently fourth in the Manhattan ‘Cap.

Also in the United Nations field are Million nominees Relaxed Gesture, an Irish-bred owned by Moyglare Stud Farm Ltd., who was second by a head in the Manhattan; and Chrysalis Stables LLC’s Silverfoot, a Kentucky-bred who won Churchill’s Grade III Louisville Handicap on Memorial Day weekend.

In a significant Secretariat update, Gary Tanaka’s Proudinsky, second in the Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve July 1, will bypass the upcoming Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s July 22, in favor of the Grade II Virginia Derby next weekend, but could be expected to return for the Secretariat.

According to Christiana Kaiserer, exercise rider for the German-bred son of 2001 Arlington Million champion Silvano, Proudinsky is scheduled to leave Arlington Wednesday for the July 15 race at Colonial Downs.

‘KID’ TRIES SATURDAY’S $42,000 DR. FAGER STAKES

Wexler Racing Stables Inc.’s Kid Grindstone, who captured Oaklawn’s Grade III Fifth Season Stakes in his last start April 12, heads a field of eight named to Saturday’s featured $42,000 Dr. Fager Stakes at a mile and an eighth on the main track.

Kid Grindstone, sidelined by a foot abscess recently, is to be pointed toward Arlington’s Grade III Sea o’ Erin Breeders’ Cup Mile on the turf course Aug. 5 if all goes well Saturday. Jesse Campbell, son of Kid Grindstone’s trainer Mike Campbell, rode Kid Grindstone in Arkansas last time and is to make up most of the 126 pounds assigned Saturday.

Named to oppose Kid Grindstone are Stan Fulton’s It’s No Joke, 121, Francisco Torres up; Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s Iosilver, 120, Eusebio Razo Jr.; Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm and the Estate of William Lydon’s Nkosi Reigns, 118, Chris Emigh; Nancy and Richard Kaster’s American Man, 118, James Graham; Jim Cristel’s Wantedtobeagray, 118, Rafael Mojica Jr.; Nancy Vanier’s Air Academy, 120, Larry Sterling Jr.; and S. D. Brilie Ltd. Partnership’s High Expectations, 118, Carlos Silva.

Capable of providing strong competition for Kid Grindstone Saturday is Iosilver, who could not handle the muddy going in his seasonal bow here May 14 but won Hoosier Park’s $100,000 Schaefer Mile by 16 lengths last November 19.

Not to be discounted in Arlington’s weekend feature is Nkosi Reigns, not competitive in his last on grass in Arlington’s $100,000 Avers Wexler Illinois Owners Stakes May 7, but winner of Arlington’s $47,100 Cigar Stakes on Arlington Million Day last year.

GRAHAM COMPLETES ‘HAT TRICK’ IN BLACKHAWK SILKS

Irish-born Arlington jockey James Graham completed a “hat trick” on Tuesday’s America’s Birthday program, and did it wearing racing silks similar to the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.

Graham’s third winner Tuesday came astride Drivingmaxandmitzi, owned by Blackhawk Hall of Famer Denis Savard, currently an assistant coach at Chicago’s NHL franchise.

Earlier in the afternoon, Graham won Tuesday’s third race aboard Michael and Shari Brickman and Housh Khoshbin’s My Box’n Boy and the fourth on Peter Vegso’s Homewood.

WEEKEND ACTIVITIES ON TAP SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

Saturday’s Bud Light Summer Bash and BBQ features a “Mardi Gras feel” with the New Orleans soul sounds of “Professor John,” while Sunday’s Pepsi Family Day, presented by the Daily Herald, offers master magician Mike Mauthie as a special guest.

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