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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/20/06)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Elisabeth Alexander’s Cryptoquip proved best by a half-length in Saturday’s Grade III Arlington Breeders’ Cup Oaks and got an informal further stamp of approval Sunday morning from her trainer Tom Proctor.
“She’s doing good this morning,” Proctor said Sunday morning during training hours, “especially now that she’s got ‘Grade III Winner’ stamped all over her (butt).”
The Arlington Oaks, of course, is annually Chicago’s premier event for 3-year-old fillies on the main track, and the lightly-raced Cryptoquip proved best in what was only her fourth official career start. (Her last trip to the post didn’t count, even though she had won a $100,000 race at River Downs by more than 11 lengths only to have the race declared ‘no contest’ for reasons beyond her control.)
However, it appears, according to her trainer, that Cryptoquip’s next appearance will take place in early October.
“Indiana (Grade III $400,000 Indiana Breeders’ Cup Oaks) is our number one choice,” said Proctor, “or we could run against older Ohio-breds at Thistledown the same weekend (the $100,000 Best of Ohio Distaff) or in the (Grade II $500,000) Cotillion at Philly Park.”
Jim Tafel LLC’s Coolwind, runner-up in the Arlington Oaks after proving her ability at two turns, also came out of Saturday’s nine-furlong affair in good order, according to her trainer Greg Geier on Sunday morning.
The homebred daughter of Forest Wildcat had won two straight one-turn races going into the Oaks, but her route form was suspect – although never in the thoughts of her conditioner.
“I knew she could get the two turns,” said Geier once again Sunday. “That was never a doubt in my mind. She showed me that at Keeneland last fall in the (Grade II) Alcibiades.
“I thought she ran a heckuva race yesterday,” Geier concluded. “She gave everything she had. That other horse (winner Cryptoquip, owned by Elisabeth Alexander) just had a little bit more than she did.”
Saturday’s secondary feature – the $42,250 Hatoof Stakes – was designed as the final major Chicago prep for Arlington’s upcoming Grade III Pucker Up Stakes, to be run at a mile and an eighth over the local lawn Sept. 9.
Hatoof winner Chetten County, owned by Peter Amadio, Andy Spitainy and Carliwood Farms, proved worthy of that next assignment with her three-quarter length tally Saturday.
“She’s a really nice filly on the turf,” said winning trainer Michael Biehler in post-race comments. “She’s done nothing wrong up at Canterbury (Park). She’s really made it look easy. We were trying to get a gauge on what we had, and she showed us today.”
Ralls and Foster LLC’s Ladyburn, who trailed the field in the early part of Saturday’s $42,250 Hatoof Stakes, closed with a bold late rush in that mile and a sixteenth turf test to be clearly second best, and proved herself ready for her next step.
That will come in the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes Sept. 9 at a mile and an eighth – Chicago’s premier event for grass-running sophomore members of the distaff set.
“She gave it a good effort,” said assistant trainer Randy Martin Sunday morning of Ladyburn’s runner-up finish. Martin is in charge of the Chicago-based division of trainer Paul McGee’s stable during the summer, and Ladyburn is based at Arlington.
“Obviously, we’re looking at the Pucker Up next,” said Martin. “She’ll be even better when they go a little bit further, and she would also benefit from a little faster pace. She came back fine yesterday and is doing well this morning.”
Jockey Robby Albarado, who won Arlington’s riding championship in 1996, had winning rides Saturday in the Grade III Arlington Breeders’ Cup Oaks astride Elisabeth Alexander’s Cryptoquip, and also aboard Peter Amadio, Andy Spitainy and Carliwood Farms’ Chetten County in the $42,250 Hatoof Stakes.
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