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Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/3/06)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Wexler Racing Stables Inc.’s Kid Grindstone has won three times in eight grass starts from 16 lifetime trips to the post, and is three for eight on the main track as well.

On Saturday, the gray gelding returns to turf for the 20th anniversary edition of Arlington’s $150,000 Sea o’ Erin Breeders’ Cup Mile, but the 4-year-old’s last two starts – both victories – have come on the main track in Arlington’s $41,625 Dr. Fager Stakes July 8 and Oaklawn’s Grade III Fifth Season Stakes April 12.

Kid Grindstone won over Arlington’s grass course in May of 2005, and was entered in Arlington’s inaugural $100,000 Avers Wexler Illinois Owners Stakes on opening weekend this May, but was scratched off the program due to a bruised foot.

“Of all the horses I’ve trained in my career, all of them have expressed an interest in one surface or another,” said Kid Grindstone’s trainer Mike Campbell Thursday morning during training hours, “but this one may run over anything. I’m still taking a little bit of a ‘wait and see’ attitude on what surface he prefers because he’s still a young horse.

“But I can tell you I worked him on the grass the other day,” Campbell said, “and the rider came back nodding his head and whispering: ‘Unbelieveable!’ So I really think that he’s ‘dead right’ going into this race.

“At the beginning of his career I said he was a grass horse, largely because he’s out of a Woodman mare, which is all about grass,” Campbell said, “and he’s had some trouble in a lot of his grass races. It was also when he was running on the grass that we learned he liked to come from off the pace.

“On the dirt, I’m not afraid if he gets back 12 lengths early,” concluded Campbell, “but on the grass I would think he’ll be a little bit closer to the pace. That said, I can tell you that all systems are go for Saturday.”


Canadian invader Le Cinquième Essai’s lifetime racing record has been a big success. The 7-year-old gelding boasts a 40 percent win ratio from 25 career starts for his owner William Scott, including stakes tallies at Woodbine in last year’s Grade III Connaught Cup and the $97,000 Labeeb Stakes the year before.

The son of Fastness also won Fort Erie’s $100,000 Daryl Wells Sr. Memorial last July and the $60,000 Puss N Boots at that friendly border oval in 2003 during his all-Canadian career. However, his last four starts – all at Woodbine – have been in-the-money finishes without the benefit the winner’s circle.

On Saturday, Le Cinquième comes to Arlington in an attempt for his first win from his five most recent starts, and hunch players might want to give some consideration to the Ontario-bred chestnut.

Loosely translated from the French, “le cinquième essai” means “the fifth try” or “the fifth attempt.”

“Bon chance” to the French hunch! It is not without concrete statistical backing. The Paul Nielsen trainee, who will be ridden by regular Canadian rider Steven Ronald Behen Saturday, finished a close second in three of those last four starts.


Arlington Park’s annually anticipated “International Breakfast at Arlington” program on Friday, August 11 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. will feature Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, in his first public Chicago appearance since his riding retirement last January.

Bailey will sign copies of his recently published book “Against the Odds: Riding for My Life” at the special “Breakfast at Arlington” program on the day before Arlington Million XXIV.


Veteran Illinois trainer Hugh Robertson saddled the winners of both halves of Wednesday’s late daily double at Arlington, scoring with Homewrecker Racing Stable’s Sub Futz Jr. in the eighth and his own If Nine Was Six in the finale.

The all-Robertson late double paid $33.80.

Also scoring two victories apiece on Wednesday’s program were jockeys Francisco Torres and Jose Ferrer. Coincidentally, both those riders celebrated riding doubles on Arlington’s opening day program this season.

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