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Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/25/06)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Saturday’s $150,000 Arlington Breeders’ Cup Sprint might be won by Ken Meeker and Carson Springs Farm’s Fifteen Rounds as defending champion, or it might be won by Keith McKinney’s Gold Storm, who won that same race two years ago, but neither of those sprinters would challenge the record of David P. Holloway Racing Inc.’s Bet On Sunshine.

“We won the race three years in a row over a five-year period,” quipped trainer Paul McGee Friday morning, speaking over the phone from his Kentucky base of operations. “He was a good old horse and that was really a remarkable achievement.”

For the record, while a 5-year-old, Bet On Sunshine dead-heated for the 1997 Arlington Sprint win with Ken Spraggins and Joe Lombardo’s Hunk of Class, and the next two years Arlington did not run a meeting.

After re-opening in 2000, Bet On Sunshine won that summer’s running as an 8-year-old, and returned in 2001 to win it again as a 9-year-old. That equaled Dotsam Stable’s John Henry’s record as Arlington’s oldest stakes winner when he won the Grade I Arlington Million in 1984.

What has become of Bet On Sunshine during the summer of 2006?

“He’s fat and happy, enjoying life at Hermitage Farm,” McGee said.

The Louisville born-and-based trainer, who saddled Jay Em Ess Stables’ Suave to win the Grade II Washington Park Handicap four weeks ago, has at least one more round to fire locally before the 2006 Arlington session closes its doors Sept. 12.

Ralls and Foster LLC’s Ladyburn, who finished second by three-quarters of a length in the $42,250 Hatoof Stakes Aug. 19, is currently scheduled to return in the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes on Sept. 9 at nine furlongs over the local lawn.

The Pucker Up Stakes, Arlington’s premier event for sophomore fillies on the grass course, will be run for the 43rd time on that last Saturday of the current meeting.


Frank Calabrese’s Dreaming of Anna breezed seven furlongs Friday morning in 1:24.40 in preparation for the Grade III Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Lassie Stakes Sept. 10 – two days before Arlington closes the doors on its 2006 season Tuesday, Sept. 12.

The $150,000 Lassie, Chicago’s main event for 2-year-old fillies, will share top billing with the $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Futurity – a Grade III event open to all juveniles – on that same final Sunday racing day at Arlington in 2006.

Dreaming of Anna accomplished her Friday move with splits of :24 1/5, :35 3/5, 1:00 2/5, and 1:11 4/5 over a “muddy” surface, and galloped out the mile while pulling up in 1:39 3/5.

“She did it effortlessly,” said Illinois State clocker Bobby Belpedio of Dreaming of Anna’s Friday breeze. “She has such a big, long stride on her it’s hard to believe she’s a 2-year-old. It’s a joy to watch her train.”

The chestnut filly broke her maiden at Arlington at first asking by four lengths on May 19 over the main track, and then journeyed to Colonial Downs July 20 to win the $60,000 Tippett Stakes over the lawn at that Virginia oval.

Dreaming of Anna, named in memory of Calabrese’s late sister, is a full sister to Calabrese’s Lewis Michael, a 3-year-old colt who arrived in Southern Illinois Friday morning to run Saturday evening in the $250,000 St. Louis Derby at Fairmount Park. Earlier this summer, Lewis Michael, named for Calabrese’s son, finished second by a neck in the Grade II Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park.

The Kentucky-bred siblings by Rahy out of Calabrese’s good race mare Justenuffheart, were both bred by the man who has been Arlington’s leading owner in number of races won for the last six years and will win that title for a seventh time at the conclusion of the current session.


Three veteran Arlington jockeys – E. T. Baird, Francisco Torres and James Graham – all celebrated two wins on Thursday’s program.

Baird won the opener astride Miss Clara Tess, owned by Joseph Paglini, Lonny Ogus, Bryan Sord and Vincent Swartz Jr., as well as the finale aboard George Ditola’s Albata to “bookend” his afternoon in the winner’s circle.

Torres had back-to-back wins in the third on Rigo and Israel Flores’ Big Red Monster, and the fourth on Scott Ricker and Richard Kaster’s Rich N Clever.

Graham took the fifth with Joel Politi’s Sterling Gold and the seventh on Cash Asmussen’s Dyna Slam.

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