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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Prairie State Festival

Contact: David Zenner


Five 2006 Divisional Champions among 2007 Nominees

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 29, 2007) – Ninety-two different horses – including Team Block’s Fort Prado, reigning Illinois Horse of the Year – have been nominated to the six stakes races that comprise the July 7 Prairie State Festival. There are six horses that have been cross-nominated to multiple stakes races.

The six $75,000 races that make up the Prairie State Festival are:

  • The Purple Violet Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on Polytrack
  • The Springfield Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile on Polytrack
  • The Isaac Murphy Handicap for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs on Polytrack
  • The White Oak Handicap for 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs on Polytrack
  • The Lincoln Heritage Handicap for fillies & mares 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf
  • The Black Tie Affair Handicap for 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf

Five of last year’s divisional champions in year-end balloting have been nominated to the 2007 Prairie State Festival. In addition to Fort Prado, champion older male and champion turf male as well as Horse of the Year, they include: Asiel Stable LLC’s Caruso, champion 2-year-old male in 2006; Asiel Stable’s Copper State, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly; Oxbow Racing LLC’s Rich Fantasy, the 2006 champion 3-year-old male; Arbaway Farm & Carson Spring Farms’ Pretty Jenny, voted Illinois’ top older distaffer last year; and Arbaway Farm & Carson Spring Farms’ Ms. Lydonia, champion turf female in 2006.

Fort Prado was named Illinois Horse of the Year last year off a four-win campaign that included victories in the Grade III Fair Grounds Breeders’ Cup when that race was held at Louisiana Downs in Jan. 2006, the $125,000 Tampa Bay Breeders’ Cup in Western Florida, the Grade III John C. Connally Breeders’ Cup at Sam Houston Race Park and the $86,400 Black Tie Affair Handicap over the local lawn. The 6-year-old son of El Prado tops a list of 13 Illinois-breds nominated for this year’s renewal after winning the $100,000 Russell L. Reineman Illinois Owners Stakes on May 5.

Others nominated to the Black Tie Affair include: Team Block’s Creative Force, Illinois champion 2-year-old in 2005; Richard C. Colton Jr.’s Jazz Quest, winner of the $100,000 Grindstone Stakes at the Fair Grounds in March; Team Block’s Mystery Giver, Illinois Horse of the Year in 2002 and 2004; and Gregory J. Fraterrigo’s Tenpointfive, winner of the $100,000 High Alexander Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course last fall.

Ms. Lydonia, defending champion in the Lincoln Heritage, is one of 19 fillies and mares nominated to this year’s running.

Rich Fantasy, third in open company stakes in her last two outings, ran third in the $87,700 Purple Violet Stakes as a 3-year-old during last year’s Prairie State Festival en route to her championship honors.

While not an Illinois champion last year, the most prominent name on this year’s list of nominees for the Lincoln Heritage belongs to Millennium Farms’ Rolling Sea, winner of the Grade II Allaire DuPont Breeders’ Cup Distaff Handicap at Pimlico in May.

Copper State, nominated to the Purple Violet Stakes, has yet to return to the form she displayed as a 2-year-old when she won two races and was six-for-six in the money while being named Illinois champion 2-year-old filly.

Among those who could face Copper State in the Purple Violet are stakes winners Richard Rudolph & Michael Vranich’s Magnetic Miss and Team Block’s Secret Kin.

Copper State’s stablemate Caruso, a 3-year-old, is nominated to face his elders in the White Oak Handicap. The Cape Canaveral gelding was named Illinois 2-year-old champion off a near perfect juvenile campaign that included tallies in the $40,000 Troy Our Boy Stakes at Fairmount Park and the $100,000 Sun Power Stakes at Hawthorne. The only blemish on his freshman season came when he dropped a one-length decision to I Got a Dream in the $100,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity at Hawthorne in December.

Among those he could face in the White Oak are defending champion S. D. Brilie Ltd. Partnership’s High Expectations and J S Cubed Stables’ Out for a Spin, winner of the $100,000 Lightning Jet Handicap at Hawthorne last fall.

Bob & Nancy Bartels’ Bluesbdancing and Arbaway Farm & Carson Spring Farms’ Pretty Jenny, the 1-2 finishers in last year’s $82,050 Isaac Murphy Handicap, are among 15 nominated to this year’s edition after again finishing in that order in the $47,750 Fit for a Queen Stakes in May.

Others nominated to the Isaac Murphy include: Kenneth L. & Sarah K. Ramsey’s Storm Rolling In; Markpoint Stable’s Dyna Slam; and Richard Rudolph & Michael Vranich’s Magnetic Miss, the 1-2-3 finishers in the $46,650 Your Ladyship Stakes on June 17.

The Springfield Stakes attracted 16 sophomores including Richard Rudolph & Michael Vranich’s Stonehouse, the runner-up in the $100,000 Land of Lincoln Stakes at Hawthorne in April.

Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 94-day meet in 2007 from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, Sept. 16. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates nine off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry and The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at

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