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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/6/07)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Reliable veteran reinsman Eddie Razo, currently seventh among Arlington Park’s all-time leading jockeys and third in the local standings last season, enjoyed a four-win afternoon Saturday before 21,117 enthusiastic Arlington guests on hand for Chicagoland’s Kentucky Derby Day festivities.
The quartet of Saturday winners left Razo two shy of the 2,500-win milestone in career victories, as well as one win ahead of defending champion Chris Emigh as the current leading rider in Arlington’s 2007 jockey standings.
Fittingly, Razo’s initial Saturday score came in the $100,000 Russell L. Reineman Illinois Owners Stakes when he rode Team Block’s Fort Prado to a half-length tally.
“I had no pace in front of me and he wanted to go a little bit early because he’s the kind of horse that likes to wait on others once he makes the lead,” Razo said, “but once he felt that other horse (Sidney L. Port Trust’s Toasted) on the outside coming, he re-broke.”
Trainer Chris Block was quick to praise Razo’s game plan. “(Fort Prado) likes to be covered up and Eddie did a good job sensing the slow pace and moving him up. Once he (Fort Prado) gets to the front, he won’t let anybody by him.”
Razo also was the winning rider by a nose astride the Rebecca Maker-trained Buddy Got Even, owned by Stan Fulton in Saturday’s supporting stakes – the $47,500 Timeless Native Stakes. His other Saturday tallies came aboard Penny Lauer and Jerry Merritt’s Jermidy and Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s Carl N Frosty.
Jockey Chris Emigh, Arlington Park’s jockey champion last season, scored a riding triple Saturday to fall one win behind current leader Eddie Razo.
Emigh won Saturday’s second race by a nose aboard Nick Canani and Justin Larsen’s Del Mar Storm, came right back in the third by a neck on Leo Gabriel Jr.’s Pimentinha, and took down winning honors in the program finale with a half-length score on Stonerside Stable LLC’s Dixie Quick.
As patriarch of Team Block, an outfit that also includes Ryan and Patricia Block, with Chris Block serving as the stable’s primary trainer, David Block was lavish in his praise of Arlington Park’s $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes.
Introduced last season to honor Avers Wexler in its inaugural edition, Saturday’s second running recognized the late Russell Reineman – both men having been supporters of Illinois racing for more than four decades.
“I think it’s wonderful that Mr. Duchossois, Avers Wexler and others brought such an idea about,” said Block of the six-figure stakes event restricted to owners with an Illinois residence.
Team Block’s Fort Prado, it should be noted, was a worthy winner of Saturday’s Illinois Owners Stakes. As an Illinois-bred, in addition to being Illinois-owned, the 6-year-old gray by Irish sire El Prado has won the last two editions of the Black Tie Affair Handicap on Prairie State Festival Day, and captured the Springfield Stakes during the Prairie State Festival of 2004.
Arlington Park will host this season’s Prairie State Festival on July 7.
Incidentally, Chris Block, with a training double Saturday that also included a score by Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s Carl N Frosty in addition to Fort Prado’s win, is currently Arlington’s 2007 leading trainer after saddling three winners through Saturday’s program.
With Saturday’s renewal of the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs now history, the first step on the North American-based road to the 25th running of the Grade I Arlington Million has been taken.
William Sorokolit Sr.’s Sky Conqueror captured the nine-furlong Woodford Reserve Turf Classic by a nose from Mill House Farm’s Brilliant in the race prior to the Kentucky Derby.
The 2007 Arlington Million will be contested on Aug. 11 as part of Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing. Also part of Chicagoland’s Turf Festival are the 17th renewal of Grade I Beverly D. Stakes and the 31st running of the Grade I Secretariat Stakes.
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