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Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/3/06)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


“Love, sister, it’s just a kiss away, it’s just a kiss away” – and Saturday’s 70th running of the Grade III Arlington Matron may have become the mother lover of all Matrons by giving the shelter of black type to two-half sisters.

In her capacity as a breeder and an owner, trainer Christine Janks, described the feat as “huge” in post race comments following the Matron, and for her broodmare A Kiss Away, it was an enviable accomplishment.

Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs and the Estate of William Lydon’s Stop a Train, a 4-year-old filly by Devil His Due out of A Kiss Away, finished second in Saturday’s $150,000 Arlington Matron, while finishing in the third spot, three-quarters of a length further back, was Letto Thoroughbreds Inc.’s Sunset Kisses, a 6-year-old mare by Sky Classic out of A Kiss Away.

However, this particular family history gained momentum when Janks bought A Kiss Away’s dam as a yearling and then got a bargain stud fee to 1985 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Cozzene, with A Kiss Away as the resulting foal.

Interestingly, when A Kiss Away – named from a line in The Rolling Stones song Gimme Shelter – was foaled, she became the subject of one of those Daily Racing Form articles by John McEvoy that followed her career from birth. Although as a race mare the best she did was a couple of fourth-place efforts in stakes competition before cracking her knee, she now has newfound value as a broodmare.

“Not that we’d ever consider selling her,” said Janks Sunday morning, when reporting that both her horses came out of the Matron in good order.

“Sunset Kisses was actually nickering this morning,” said Janks. “Most of the horses in this family have a really sweet nature, but Stop a Train can be a little bit cantankerous. She’s not mean, but she does like to play the role of the tough guy sometimes.”

How did Stop a Train get her name?

“You know the phrase – she’s so ugly she could stop a train?” Janks asked. “Well, I always wanted to name a horse after that phrase, and when this one came along, she wasn’t ugly, but she was a little ‘plain-headed’. She did have a little bit of a hammerhead look about her, so I finally got a chance to use that name.”

However, with Saturday’s Matron second-place finish, the ugly duckling (Plain Jane) becomes something of a swan, and in her capacity as suddenly beautiful, she no longer has to have a great personality.


Trainer Frank Kirby, twice Arlington’s leading trainer with a 30-year gap between titles, moved into a tie for the second spot in the current standings Saturday, although with 29 winners, he poses no threat to defending trainer champion Wayne Catalano, who has saddled 44 winners at the meeting.

However, Kirby was awarded “Trainer of the Month” honors for August on Saturday for saddling eight winners from 55 starters during the month.

“Owner of the Month” honors went to the 2 Blondes Inc. nom-de-course of William Slevin, whose colors visited the winner’s circle three times from 23 starters. Coincidentally, Slevin’s trainer Tom Tomillo is currently tied for the second spot with Kirby, but will break his own record for number of winners during an Arlington meeting with his next trip to the winner’s circle.

August’s Arlington “Jockey of the Month” award went to Robby Albarado, who rode 16 winners during the month from 83 mounts. Albarado was Arlington’s leading rider in 1996.

Also in the news Saturday was jockey Mark Guidry, who won both stakes on the program, taking the Grade III Arlington Matron with Strode Stables LLC’s Sea Siren for trainer Ralph Nicks after capturing the $41,750 Rossi Gold Stakes aboard David Banks and Hondo Ranch Inc.’s Lord Carmen for conditioner Kirby.


Current leading rider Chris Emigh rode his 96th win of the meeting Saturday aboard Cathy and Bob Zollars’ Beta Capo in the sixth race, but challenger Francisco Torres came right back to tally in the seventh astride Stone Hinge Stables LLC’s De Oro to remain in striking distance with 90 wins at the session, which ends Sept. 12.

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