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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park stakes recap (8/12/06)
Contact: David Zenner
GORELLA GIVES SCHWARTZ AND BIANCONE SECOND STRAIGHT BEVERLY D. VICTORY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 12, 2006) – The neon orange silks of Martin S. Schwartz that adorned 2005 Beverly D. Stakes heroine Angara were back in the Arlington Park winner’s circle for the 2006 edition of the Grade I turf race. This time they were worn by Gorella, who launched a furious rally out in the center of the course to sweep past pacesetter Live Life and hold off a late charge from Film Maker to win the mile and three-sixteenths turf test by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:53.71 over a firm course under jockey Julien Leparoux.
The facile score gave French-born trainer Patrick Biancone a second straight score in Arlington’s signature turf race for the distaff set, becoming the first conditioner to take the Beverly D. in back-to-back years.
Under a patient ride by Leparoux, the nation’s leading rider in races won, Gorella had only one horse beaten as the field turned into the stretch. The French-born rider swung his charge six-wide in the stretch, blew past the field and was drawing away at the finish.
“You have to have patience with this filly,” Leparoux said. “It’s the only way to ride her. She’s like a machine. She proved it today.”
The Beverly D. was the first Grade I win for the 4-year-old French-bred daughter of Grape Tree Road who captured the Grade II Just A Game Handicap in her last trip to the post and was a group II winner in her native France as a 3-year-old. She earned $450,000 for the Beverly D. victory to boost her bankroll to $1,208,209 while improving her record to six wins, two seconds and five thirds from 15 trips to the post.
Despite losing a shoe on the first turn, California-based Live Life set a quick pace in the race through fractions of 23.33, 46.82, 1:11.18 and 1:36.19 before being passed in the stretch by the eventual winner as well as Film Maker who rallied late but could not get to the winner.
“My trip was good,” said Film Maker’s rider Ramon Dominguez. “I was in traffic the last part, and at one point I had to check, but I can’t take anything away from the winner.”
“She ran very well,” said jockey Victor Espinoza of Live Life. “She lost her shoe on the first turn. I could feel it after that she had a little trouble handling the track. This filly has a little bit of a temperament, so I just played it by ear to see what happens. It was a good clean break and losing the shoe cost me a little bit on that first turn.”
Honey Ryder, Rich in Spirit, Royal Copenhagen, Sharp Lisa, Wend, Minge Cove and Rising Cross completed the order of finish.
Jockey John Velazquez – who rode Honey Ryder a co-second choice in the wagering at odds of 3-1 – felt the Beverly D. distance may not be her best.
“I just don't think this (distance) is her game,” Velazquez said. “I had her in perfect position I thought. She's going a little shorter (than she's used to), so I wanted to put her in a position where she wouldn't get stopped and get the momentum going before the other ones get to her. It went perfect, but she just couldn't quicken with them. That's why she likes the longer distance, so she can just kind of grind and come back little by little.”
Gorella, the 13-10 post time favorite, paid $4.60, $3 and $2.40. Film Maker returned $3.60 and $3.40. Live Life paid $5.60.
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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