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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/16/06)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Saturday’s 92nd running of the American Derby is not only Arlington’s oldest stakes race -- it also serves as the middle leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple -- and affords Oxbow Racing LLC’s Kingship the opportunity to become the fourth horse in history to sweep that Chicago troika.
Kingship, winner by a nose in the Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve July 1 as the Triple’s first leg, breezed five furlongs in 1:05 over the local lawn Friday with the “dogs” well out from the rail and galloped out three-quarters in 1:14 1/5 to prepare for Saturday’s Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s.
However, the Ronny Werner trainee will face a host of challengers, including the Irish invader Golden Arrow, owned by Dr. Ronan Lambe and trained by Dermot Weld. That conditioner is not only Ireland’s all-time leading trainer, he has also won the American Derby three times and finished a close second in another renewal. After finishing fourth in Ireland’s listed NetJets Celebration Stakes July 2, Golden Arrow is scheduled to arrive at Arlington’s International Barn Sunday following his transatlantic flight to Chicago.
Also aiming at the American Derby and guaranteed a spot in the body of the overflow field is Fab Oak Stable, Robert Hurley and Team Derby Dream Stable’s Stream Cat, sixth in Virginia’s $1,000,000 Colonial Cup June 24 but winner of Churchill’s Grade III Crown Royal American Turf Stakes on Kentucky Derby Day.
Klaravich Stables Inc.’s Outperformance, fifth in the Colonial Cup but the length and a half winner of Belmont Park’s Grade III Hill Prince June 9, is also assured a spot in Saturday’s mile and three-sixteenths turf test for 3-year-olds.
Veteran jockey Mark Guidry, Arlington’s riding champion in 1992 and again in 2000, will return to Chicago’s summer circuit Wednesday with an additional honor garnered since he last rode at Arlington in the second half of last season. The 46-year-old Louisiana native was named as the 2006 winner of the prestigious George Woolf Award in February.
The one-time only award is presented annually to a jockey in North America who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct on and off the racetrack, but it is the members of the Jockey’s Guild who choose each year’s winner from among their peers.
Guidry’s impassioned plea to Arlington fans as a private citizen following Hurricane Katrina last fall -- and his organization of a relief effort on behalf of citizens of the Gulf Coast -- exemplified the spirit of the Woolf Award.
His personal contributions, in addition to a significant cash donation, included driving an 18-wheeler loaded with canned goods and clothing from Chicago to Lafayette, Louisiana, shortly after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.
Guidry, who is currently Arlington’s fourth leading all-time reinsman with 1,005 winners locally, finished fourth in the 2005 standings here despite arriving during the second half of the season following the end of Churchill’s spring meeting.
Popular Panamanian-born rider Rene Douglas, the only jockey in history to capture four straight Arlington riding championships, made his first day back locally this summer a winning one by capturing Friday’s ninth race aboard Frank Calabrese’s Otis Ridge for trainer Wayne Catalano: Arlington’s defending owner champion and trainer champion respectively.
Douglas, who was Arlington’s leading rider from 2001-2004, traveled to Cleveland Saturday and won Thistledown’s Grade II Ohio Derby on Joseph Lacombe Stable Inc.’s Deputy Glitters, hero of the Grade III Tampa Bay Derby last winter.
Chicago resident Dyedra Kademoglou, whose Thoroughbred ownership began inauspiciously a little more than two years ago, has seen her fortunes improve rapidly since joining forces with trainer Dale Bennett last year.
The owner-trainer duo enjoyed back-to-back winners on Friday’s program, capturing the seventh with Rubialedo and the eighth with All the Facts.
“The Kademoglous deserve their success,” said Bennett. “It’s a credit to their fortitude. A lot of owners would have become discouraged when they didn’t have immediate success, but they stuck with the game until their fortunes turned for the better.”
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