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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/2/06)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Defending champion Fort Prado will attempt to become the first two-time winner of the $150,000 Sea o’ Erin Breeders Cup Mile on Saturday to highlight this weekend’s Thoroughbred racing program at Arlington Park.
Out in the Park area on that same afternoon the Bud Light Summer Bash and BBQ will feature a foot-long Polish sausage as the food special and the ‘70s sounds of the band “7-Deez” as the musical entertainment.
Fort Prado breezed a half-mile over Arlington’s grass course Sunday in :47:40, with Robby Albarado in the irons, in his final preparation for this weekend’s highlight: an event which served as the final local prep for the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2002 when Arlington hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Team Block, owner of Fort Prado, and Chris Block, the 5-year-old gray’s trainer, won the Sea o’ Erin with Mystery Giver in 2002 as the only owner and trainer to win the race twice in its 19 previous renewals.
Fort Prado will also be defending a four-race victory streak on Saturday, with his most recent trip to the winner’s circle coming in the $86,400 Black Tie Affair Handicap on Prairie State Festival Day June 24. The Block colorbearer also won the $86,950 Black Tie Affair Handicap in 2005 on his way to last summer’s Sea o’ Erin score.
Also expected for Saturday’s Sea o’ Erin is James Messineo’s Major Rhythm, who upset Arlington’s Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders’ Cup Turf at a mile and a half on the grass in his last start July 2. Major Rhythm, trained by Ed Beam, paid $73.40 straight that day, despite the presence of Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires – Arlington’s all-time leading rider – in the irons.
Major Rhythm breezed five furlongs over Arlington’s turf course in 1:06.80 Wednesday morning while the “dogs” were up.
Arlington’s coming weekend activities actually begin with Friday’s twilight racing 3 p.m. post, when the Miller Lite Party In The Park will feature the band “Dave Tamkin & Company,” who will be performing acoustic-driven rock.
At the conclusion of Friday’s racing program, the Beatles tribute band “British Export” will play during “Party On The Patio” at Trackside Arlington Park.
On Sunday, Arlington will host a Family Luau Day in the Park Area when Pepsi Family Day is presented by the Daily Herald. The Royal Polynesian Revue will perform dances from the Hawaiian Islands while dressed in authentic traditional costumes. Hula lessons will be given during the program.
Also on Sunday, Junior Jockey Club members get to meet a retired racehorse that has been adopted by CANTER of Northern Illinois.
European jockey Kieren Fallon, who won last summer’s Grade I Arlington Million on Mrs. John Magnier’s Powerscourt as the regular rider for Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, has lost a High Court challenge to a riding ban by Great Britain’s Horseracing Regulatory Authority.
The failure of Fallon’s High Court challenge means that the six-time British riding champion will almost certainly be unavailable for the mount on Mrs. Magnier’s Ace for O’Brien in the upcoming Arlington Million Aug. 12.
O’Brien is also expected to send Mrs. Magnier’s Queen Cleopatra for Arlington’s Grade I Beverly D. and Mrs. Magnier, Michael Tabor and Irving and Marjorie Cowan’s Ivan Denisovich in the Grade I Secretariat during Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing Aug. 12. A decision concerning an alternate rider for all three O’Brien trainees is expected shortly.
Veteran jockey Robby Albarado, Arlington’s jockey champion in 1996, accomplished a riding triple Sunday, winning the opener on Nancy Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbreds II LLC’s Almagnus, the seventh on Robert Neumeyer’s Conner’s Brittany and the eighth on Haras Santa Maria de Aras S. A.’s Pimentinha.
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