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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Stakes Advance: American Derby
Contact: David Zenner
PLEASANT STRIKE HEADS FIELD FOR GRADE II AMERICAN DERBY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 19, 2007) – Edward P. Evans’ Pleasant Strike, impressive winner of the Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, returns to head a field of nine sophomores including European invader Moyglare Stud Farm’s Perfect Casting in Saturday’s $250,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s.
The Grade II race, at a mile and three-sixteenths on the turf, is the second leg of the Mid-America Triple that began with the Classic at a mile and a sixteenth on June 23 and concludes with the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 11. The American Derby is also one of three graded stakes races on turf that comprise Arlington's Million Preview Day that also includes the Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap for older runners and the Grade III $150,000 Modesty Handicap for fillies and mares.
A son of Smart Strike, Pleasant Strike earned black type for the first time when capturing the Arlington Classic last month. In the Classic, the Todd Pletcher charge sat close to the pace, angled out in the stretch and drew off to a 3 ¾-length win under Rene Douglas, who rides again Saturday.
Perfect Casting, never worse than second in three career starts, arrived late Tuesday evening from Ireland where he most recently was victorious in a race at Navan. The son of Diesis is trained by Ireland’s all-time leading conditioner Dermot Weld who has won two of the last four renewals of the American Derby with Moyglare runners, taking the 2003 edition with Evolving Tactics and the 2004 running with Simple Exchange. Ireland-based jockey Patrick Smullen rides.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott – who has sent out the last two winners of the American Derby, Gun Salute in 2005 and Union Avenue in 2006 – has Adele Dilschneider & Claiborne Farm’s Lattice primed for this year’s renewal. The son of Arch was fourth in the Grade II Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs in his last start June 16 after having won an allowance race over the Louisville turf the previous month. Robby Albarado has the call.
The rest of the lineup for the American Derby (with jockeys listed) are: Barry & Joni Butzow’s Lovango (Chris Emigh), runner-up to Pleasant Strike in the Arlington Classic; Kindred Thoroughbred LLC’s Going Ballistic (Cliff Berry), who captured the $100,000 USA Stakes at Lone Star Park; Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey’s Self Made Man (Eusebio Razo Jr.), recent victor in a Churchill Downs allowance race last month; Richard Giacopelli & Fab Oak Stable’s Quasicobra (Julien Leparoux), third in the Arlington Classic last time out; Whippoorwill Farm Inc.’s Sumac (Larry Sterling Jr.), fourth in Canterbury Park’s Come Summer Stakes in his most recent start; and Donie Burke’s Eighteenthofmarch (James Graham), an allowance winner over the Arlington Park lawn in May.
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 www.arlingtonpark.com.
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