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Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/7/06)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Ten sophomore members of the distaff set seek the grassy Grade III Pucker Up Stakes as the primary prize on Arlington’s last Saturday of racing this season, but seven graded stakes veterans are included among 11 older males entered for the co-featured $42,750 John Henry Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth over the local lawn.

Honor in War, owned by 3rd Turn Stables LLC, won Churchill’s Grade I Woodford Reserve on Kentucky Derby Day in 2003 and should rule the choice to take down the winner’s share of $25,650 in the John Henry, assuming the field remains intact. Later during that same summer three years ago, the entire son of Lord At War competed in the Grade I Arlington Million but was the victim of a wide trip throughout.

As a 7-year-old, Honor in War may not be the same horse he was in 2003, but he was good enough to win Gulfstream’s $75,000 Fort Lauderdale Handicap Jan. 8 and was only beaten a length and a half when third in Gulfstream’s Grade III Mac Diarmida Handicap Jan. 29.

Honor in War has not run since finishing eighth in this spring’s Turf Classic May 6 but was bumped at the start. Previously he was fourth in Keeneland’s Grade II Maker’s Mark Mile April 14. Francisco Torres will make up most of the 124 pounds assigned.

Surprisingly, Easy Money 2006 LLC’s No Tolerance, who has not run in graded-stakes competition during his career thus far, may be the one to beat in the John Henry. The 5-year-old gelding was most recently third, beaten three-quarters of a length for all of it in the $80,000 Prairie Meadows Handicap at nine furlongs over the Iowa course July 29, but before that had captured Arlington’s $42,500 Mister Gus Stakes May 29 over a mile on the turf.

Previously, he was runner-up to 2005 Grade III Arlington Classic hero Purim, owned by E. J. Sukley, in this spring’s inaugural running of the $100,000 Avers Wexler Illinois Owners Stakes May 7 over Arlington’s grass course. Joel Campbell returns in the irons with 120 pounds.

Completing the John Henry field is Peter Vegso’s Brickell, 118, Mike Smith; Dolphus Morrison’s Rapid Proof, 118, Larry Sterling Jr.; Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.’s Home of Stars, 118, James Graham; Kenneth Hoffman’s Host, 118, Jesse Campbell; Martin Grotheer’s Alpha Tejano, 118, Randy Meier; Team Block’s Mystery Giver, 118, Carlos H. Marquez Jr.; Carl Moore Management LLC’s Scooter Roach, 118, Rene Douglas; Charles Sigrist and Moises Yanez’s Majestic Zeal, 122, Eddie Perez; and S. D. Brilie Ltd. Partnership’s High Expectations, 118, Chris Emigh.


Arlington Park’s current leading rider Chris Emigh had a riding double Wednesday to increase his lead to 10 wins over Francisco Torres in their battle for this year’s jockey championship, with six racing days left in the season.

What may have been the last straw in Torres’ valiant late season challenge to Emigh came in Wednesday’s featured eighth race, when Emigh nursed Nancy Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbreds LLC’s front-running Straight Line home to a head tally over Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm and the Estate of William Lydon’s Nkosi Reigns, who closed late under Torres. The head margin of victory by Straight Line resulted in a two-win swing in Emigh’s favor, who earlier in the afternoon took down winning honors in the third astride Cheyenne Queen, owned by Vinery Stable.


Former two-time Arlington jockey champion Mark Guidry, who spaced his local titles eight years apart in 1992 and 2000, scored a “hat trick” Wednesday.

Guidry took the opener on Millennium Farms’ On Silver Wings, the fourth on Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Storm Rolling In, and the sixth astride Doc Kate, owned by Ken Sentel and Tom Dorris.

Richard Duchossois and Chris Block combined for an owner-trainer double Wednesday, taking the fifth with Fongtastic and the finale with National Anthem – both British-breds.

Also saddling two winners Wednesday was trainer Scott Blasi, who took the first with On Silver Wings and the third with Cheyenne Queen, while also riding two winners was Rene Douglas, who won the seventh with Frank Calabrese’s Sku and the ninth with National Anthem.


The rock music of “Team Rockit” heads 2006’s final Miller Lite Party In The Park Friday, while the rhythm and blues of “The Amoreys” will be featured during Arlington’s final Party On The Patio at Trackside Arlington Park immediately following Friday’s races.

On Sunday, Arlington’s last 2006 Pepsi Family Day, presented by the Daily Herald, will feature an “Hooray for Hollywood” celebration with a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like and shows at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Kids will be able to play games and win prizes.

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