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Contact: David Zenner
‘GOLD’ STORMS TO STAKES RECORD IN ARLINGTON BC SPRINT
2004 Hero Wins Race for Second Time
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Aug. 26, 2006) – Keith McKinney’s Gold Storm, hero of the 2004 Arlington Breeders’ Cup Sprint, took home the trophy a second time after a two-year absence when he won the 2006 renewal of the $150,000 race by a length and a half in stakes record time of 1:08.39 for the six-furlong dash.
Gold Storm, who was ridden by Tracy Hebert, was part of a three-horse battle for the lead through early fractions of 22.23 and 44.43 before taking the lead three wide coming off the turn for home. Trainer C. W. Bubba Cascio put the blinkers back on the son of Seeking the Gold for the race after the horse had run without them in his previous two starts.
“I rode him with the blinkers off and he ran a really big race but then he came back and threw a clunker,” said Hebert, who has partnered with the horse in both his 2006 runs. “Bubba felt we needed to put the blinkers back on because he wasn’t really aggressive without them. We worked him a couple of times with the blinkers and Bubba decided to keep them on and run him in this race. When we turned for home and I called on him, he was really aggressive.”
The victory was the 11th in 19 starts for Gold Storm, who missed most of last year after pulling a suspensory when finishing 10th in the Grade II Churchill Downs Handicap in May 2005. He earned $90,000 to push his bankroll past the half-million dollar mark to $507,000.
Coach Jimi Lee, who was part of the early speed battle, was a clear second, finishing three lengths ahead of Level Playingfield, who ran third in the seven-horse field. Alabama Clay, 2-1 favorite Elusive Jazz, Kelly’s Landing and Rogue Scholar completed the order of finish.
“Having the inside I had to use him a little early but he doesn’t really mind that,” said Coach Jimi Lee’s rider, Eduardo Perez. “He ran a hard race. He ran with the other horse till the sixteenth pole and got a little tired. He always runs his heart out. The other horse was just a little better than us today.”
Sent off at odds of 7-1, Gold Storm paid $16, $7 and $5.40. Coach Jimi Lee returned $4.40 and $3.20. Level Playingfield paid $4.20.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 95-day meet in 2006 from Friday, May 5 through Tuesday, Sept. 12. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Lucky's featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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