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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/15/06)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Native Chicagoan Sidney Port’s dream of owning an Arlington Million winner may be kept alive if his Irish-bred Artiste Royal performs well here July 22.

That’s when his West Coast-based son of Danehill returns to Chicago for his second attempt at the Grade III Arlington Handicap as the final major local prep for this summer’s Grade I Arlington Million three weeks later on Aug. 12.

Last summer, Artiste Royal, trained by Laura de Seroux and co-owned by Port and San Gabriel Investments, came to the Midwest for the Arlington Handicap and finished sixth in his first start in the United States after winning France’s Group III La Coupe Stakes at Longchamp three weeks earlier.

This year, after a year of acclimatization to North America, Artiste Royal will run in the 71st Arlington Handicap after finishing fifth in Hollywood’s Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap June 10, ironically named in honor of de Seroux’s late Hall of Fame mentor.

Prior to the Whittingham, where Artiste Royal was beaten four lengths for all of it while kept between rivals, the 5-year-old was a game runner-up in Hollywood’s Grade III Inglewood Handicap in his first start of the year April 29.

Others considered probable for the Arlington Handicap at this time include Flying Zee Stable’s Cosmonaut, winner of the Grade III Golden Gate Fields Handicap March 26; Gary Tanaka’s Embossed, fifth in Arlington’s Grade I Secretariat last summer; Shannon Ritter and Michael Rogers et al.’s Load a Chronic, winner of Canterbury’s $50,000 Brooks Fields Stakes June 10; Easy Money 2006 LLC’s No Tolerance, winner of Arlington’s $42,500 Mister Gus Stakes May 29; and Mueller Thoroughbred Stable Ltd. and Phoebe Mueller’s Rush Bay, hero of Churchill’s $100,000 Opening Verse Handicap June 3.


Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who has saddled two winners of Arlington’s Grade I Beverly D. in past seasons, is considered “75 percent” likely to bring Wildenstein Stable’s Argentina to Chicago to run in Arlington’s Grade III Modesty Handicap July 22.

The Modesty, at the Beverly D. distance of a mile and three-sixteenths on the turf and also restricted to fillies and mares, is designed as the final local prep for the Arlington Million’s sister race as part of Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing Aug. 12.

The Irish-bred Argentina began her career in France, where she won two of her six starts there while second in three others, including the Group I French Oaks at Chantilly at the Group I Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp. Most recently, the daughter of Sadler’s Wells finished a length and a quarter behind last year’s Beverly D. heroine Angara, owned by Martin Schwartz, in Belmont’s Grade II New York Breeders’ Cup Handicap June 24.

Fillies and mares considered probable for the Modesty include Arthur Appleton’s Atlantic Frost, length and a half-winner of Arlington’s $42,250 Possibly Perfect Stakes June 25; S. D. Brilie Ltd. Partnership’s Chic Dancer, half-length heroine of Arlington’s $42,375 Reluctant Guest Stakes May 28; Katsumi Yoshida’s Cursora, the highly regarded Argentina-bred filly who was fifth in the Possibly Perfect in her first North American start following a six-month layoff; and Joseph Allen’s Louve Royale, third in Churchill’s Grade III Mint Julep Handicap in her last start June 17.

Others likely for the Modesty include the Richard Duchossois-owned coupling of the Irish-bred Round Heels and the French-bred Royal Copenhagen, both trained by Laura de Seroux; Charles Miller’s Potra Clasica, clear victress in Calder’s $150,000 Hollywood Wildcat Breeders’ Cup Handicap April 29; Vinery Stable LLC’s Minge Cove, a winner of her last in allowance company at Churchill June 18; Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm and the Estate of William Lydon’s Modjadji, third beaten less than a length by the winner in Arlington’s $87,900 Lincoln Heritage Handicap June 24; and No. 1 Stable’s Pleasant Quality, who broke her maiden by three lengths in her last out here June 30.


An overflow field of grass-favoring sophomores -- many of whom will not make the final cut -- is hopeful of unseating Oxbow Racing LLC’s Kingship in his bid to become the first horse in nine years to sweep all three legs of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple.

Kingship, winner of the Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve July 1, attempts the Triple’s middle leg -- the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s July 22 -- but will face a full field of challengers including Dr. Ronan Lambe’s Golden Arrow, who will arrive from Ireland Sunday and is trained by Irish legend Dermot Weld.

One European-based rival who Kingship will not have to face again is Gary Tanaka’s German-bred Proudinsky, who is slated for Colonial Downs’ Grade II Virginia Derby July 15 after finishing a nose behind Kingship in the Classic.

“Yeah, he (Proudinsky) was making a big move, wasn’t he?” said Ronny Werner, trainer of Kingship of his Classic competitor. “It didn’t hurt my feelings too bad that he didn’t come back for this next race here.”

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