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Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/10/06)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Team Block’s Creative Force, who loomed as a Mid-America Triple prospect this spring before minor setbacks compromised his summer campaign, may be a tepid choice in the wagering when he faces nine other sophomores in Monday’s featured $42,500 Paradise Creek Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth over the Arlington lawn.

Monday’s special racing program will be the fourth scheduled Monday racing day during Arlington Park’s 2006 meeting, and there will also be racing at Arlington this Tuesday – closing day of this summer’s session at the Northwest Chicago oval.

Creative Force, an entire son of Red Ransom, was clearly best when he broke out of “non-winners of two other than” over Arlington’s grass May 20, returned to finish fourth in the Grade III Arlington Classic as the Mid-America Triple’s first leg July 1, but was switched to the main track two weeks later in Arlington’s $150,000 Round Table Breeders’ Cup Stakes, where he finished a non-threatening sixth. The Illinois homebred has not run since that July 15 outing.

“He’s a little bit better horse on grass than he is on dirt,” said Block Sunday morning during training hours, “but we’re a little bit behind with him right now. He’s not quite where I need him to be yet, but we’re hoping for a big effort from him.”

Block is also the trainer of a 3-year-old Holy Bull colt named Reverential, owned by Kenneth Maier and another named to the Paradise Creek. Like Creative Force, that Kentucky-bred comes off a disappointing effort on the main track – this one on Aug. 16 – but had broken out of “non-winners of one other than” over the turf course July 21.

“He’s a talented youngster,” said Block, “and he’s made some strides lately, but he’s been a little slow to come around mentally. Against these horses Monday he needs to advance a little, but we think he can do it.”

Creative Force will be ridden by Eddie Perez in the Paradise Creek, and Reverential has Eusebio Razo Jr. named to handle the reins.

Completing Monday’s featured field is: Crazy Four Stable and Stable H. M. A.’s Mr Playwright, Jesse Campbell; Nancy Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbreds IV’s Tally Up, Chris Emigh; Ike Thrash’s Chin High, Eddie Martin Jr.; 100 % Racing Stable LLC’s American Diva, Francisco Torres; Joseph Sullivan’s The Word Is Out, Earlie Fires; Springwood Racing 04 LLC’s Bahri and Grill, Jesus Castanon; Barry Golden’s Charley Tango, Mark Guidry; and CresRan LLC’s Like an Eagle, Carlos H. Marquez Jr.


Lothenbach Stables Inc.’s Vacare, still perfect after Saturday’s Grade III Pucker Up tally at Arlington Park, returned in good order and was doing well Sunday morning at trainer Chris Block’s barn.

“She’s doing great today,” said Block Sunday morning during training hours following the undefeated filly’s four-length win. “We’ll wait and see how she’s doing over the next few days and then make a decision about where she might run next.

“I’d love to consider running in the Queen Elizabeth, assuming we get an invitation,” said Block of Keeneland’s Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes. “I would think we would be invited after yesterday.”

The Queen Elizabeth – like the Pucker Up - is at nine furlongs and will be run over the Lexington lawn Oct. 14.


Chicago-raised reinsman Francisco Torres, enjoying his best meeting ever in his local environs as the firmly entrenched runner-up in Arlington standings, moved within nine wins of leading rider Chris Emigh with a four-win afternoon Saturday.

The Sunday, Monday and Tuesday racing days at Arlington make up the last three day of the 2006 season at Chicago’s Northwest oval.

On Saturday, Torres took down winning honors astride I. M. Isabelle, owned by Rich Papiese and trained by Hector Magana, and then came back to the winner’s circle in the third aboard Pat Greco’s Aj Heals, conditioned by Tom Swearingen.

Torres made it two in a row and his third of the day in the fourth race on Bewitching Miss, owned by Tim Lilly, Kathleen Brown, Anne Marcie and Gail Bigelow, and trained by Carl Bigelow. The 37-year-old rider then took the final race of the day on Kenneth Hoffman’s Host as he “book-ended” the program with a three-quarter length win in the $42,375 John Henry Stakes.

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