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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/19/06)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Late updates to Arlington Park’s International Festival of Racing Aug. 12 indicate that the Grade I Secretariat Stakes, final leg of Chicago’s Mid-America Triple for sophomores of international caliber, may pick up an additional European representative from the same German farm that garnered the Grade I Arlington Million in 2001 with Silvano.

German trainer Peter Schiergen, conditioner of Stiftung Gestut Fahrhoff’s Lateral, four-length hero of the Group III JAXX-Pokal (Hamburger Meile) at Hamburg July 15, would like to bring that British-bred son of Singspiel to Arlington Park for the Secretariat: Arlington’s mile and a quarter turf test that often has often served as a precursor for Million runners of future seasons.

Lateral, who won the Group I Gran Criterium at San Siro in Milan as a 2-year-old last year, has won four of six starts and has never finished out of the money in his career.

Schiergen, German’s champion jockey for five successive seasons from 1992-1996, has already indicated that he is likely to bring Gestut Park Wiedingen’s Soldier Hollow to the upcoming Arlington Million, centerpiece event of Chicago’s Thoroughbred racing season.

Soldier Hollow concluded his 2005 campaign with a two and a half-length tally in Italy’s Group I Premio Roma last Nov. 6, and was second by a length in the Group I Presidente della Republica over that same Capannelle course May 14 this year. Most recently, the 6-year-old son of In the Wings was second in Germany’s Group II Pferdewetten.De-Trophy at Kohn June 18. Last summer, Soldier Hollow captured the Group I Grosser Dallmayr-Preis at Munich.

However, Mountrange Stud’s Blue Monday, third in the Group I Coral-Eclipse at Sandown July 8, has now been withdrawn from consideration for the 2006 Arlington Million.

Also, Eva Stockwell’s Luas Line, who shipped from Europe to finish third in Hollywood’s Grade III CashCall Mile Invitational Stakes July 1, has been injured and is no longer a candidate for the Grade I Beverly D., the Arlington Million’s sister race contested on that same afternoon.


Saturday’s Million Preview Day – with its troika of graded stakes – offers the final major local preps for all three of the Grade I events that make up Arlington Park’s International Festival of Racing three weeks later on Aug. 12, but as an added bonus to this weekend’s stakes, local author John McEvoy will sign copies of his new novel “Riders Down” from noon-1 p.m. at Arlington’s Gift Shop, located immediately adjacent to Cobey’s Food Court.

McEvoy was editor and columnist of the Midwest edition of Daily Racing Form for many years and has authored numerous books on Thoroughbred racing during his multifaceted career.

Saturday’s Grade III Arlington Handicap is scheduled as a precursor to the Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 12, while Saturday’s Grade III Modesty Handicap is in advance of the Grade I Beverly D., and this weekend’s Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s, precedes the Grade I Secretariat, also on that second Saturday in August.

Also scheduled this Saturday during the Bud Light Summer Bash & BBQ is the rock band “Mr. Brown” in the Park Area, where the food special will be a slow-smoked pulled BBQ pork sandwich. First race and first song will be at 1 p.m.

On Friday, during Arlington’s Miller Lite Party In The Park, the diverse sounds of “Hatbacks” will provide the musical entertainment, with first race and first song at 3 p.m.

Right after Friday’s live racing program, “The Pack” will perform rock hits from the ‘60s through the ‘80s at the “Party On The Patio” at Trackside Arlington Park.

On Sunday, during Pepsi Family Day, presented by the Daily Herald, the afternoon will have a Mardi Gras theme, including a special Mardi Gras Parade at 3:30 p.m., while the Junior Jockey Club will get to meet an Arlington Park jockey as well as a valet and learn about jockeys’ equipment.


Veteran reinsman E. T. Baird, regular jockey of Dare To Dream Stable LLC’s Nicole’s Dream, heroine of last Sunday’s $47,550 J J’sdream Stakes, wears pants with his name embroidered in a Chinese dialect when he rides that multi-stakes winning sprinter.

“They gave me those pants in Hong Kong when I rode her there,” Baird said when asked about the personalized jockey pants he only wears when he rides Nicole’s Dream. “I consider these pants to be hers. She bought ‘em for me when she took me all the way to Hong Kong.”

Nicole’s Dream traveled to Hong Kong last December to run in the Group I Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint, but was unplaced.

However, the 6-year-old mare has now won the J J’sdream Stakes in three out of the last four times and finished second in the other renewal.

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