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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/8/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


A guaranteed $50,000 Pick 6 pool will be available Saturday at Arlington Park in addition to a “live” simulcast of the Belmont Stakes from New York.

Arlington Park guests, as well those in attendance at all Illinois Trackside OTB locations, will be able to watch and wager on the third and final leg of Thoroughbred racing’s 2007 Triple Crown in New York on the same day they have the opportunity to cash a very large payoff from a very small investment here in Chicagoland.

The Pick 6 is a wager in which fans are asked to correctly pick the winners of six straight races on the same ticket and requires a minimal investment of $2.

Also on Saturday, Chicago racing fans looking forward to the silver anniversary edition of the Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 11 can watch and wager on a significant Arlington Million preview when the Grade I Manhattan Handicap goes to the post in New York as the race prior to the 139th running of the Belmont Stakes.

James Scatuorchio’s English Channel, fourth in last summer’s Arlington Million as the choice of the fans, William Sorokolit’s Sky Conqueror, hero of Churchill’s Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day, and Flying Zee Stable’s Cosmonaut, winner of last summer’s Grade III Arlington Handicap on Million Preview Day, are all Arlington Million nominees this summer that are entered in Saturday’s Manhattan Handicap.


This Sunday’s Pepsi Family Day, presented by the Daily Herald at Arlington Park, gets an added bonus when three special performances by Medieval Times will take place in the Park Area at 1, 2, and 3 p.m.


Conditioner Chris Block moved into the runner-up spot in the trainer standings Thursday by saddling two sophomores to break their maidens at first asking over Arlington’s turf course.

Richard Duchossois’ Must Trust, a Langfuhr gelding out of the Smart Strike mare Good Humor, was void of early foot but closed with a bold late rush to take the sixth race of the afternoon by three and a half lengths. Team Block’s Unpaid Crusade, an altered son of 1998 Travers winner Coronado’s Quest, used similar tactics to tally in Thursday’s finale by five and three quarters.

Both 3-year-olds were bred by their owners in Illinois, and both won at the “about” a mile and a sixteenth distance, but Unpaid Crusade is out of Team Block’s mare Ioya Two, familiar to Illinois Thoroughbred fans for winning back-to-back renewals of the Lincoln Heritage Stakes in 2000 and 2001.

“You never know,” said Block when asked specifically about Prairie State Festival champion Ioya Two’s first foal. “You start with them as babies, bring them along and hope that sooner or later the breeding comes forward. But (Unpaid Crusade) is a work in progress. You take it one step at a time.

“Both those horses certainly have showed some talent,” Block said, “but now we have to see how they run against other winners. That’s a bigger test to see where we’re really at with them.”

This summer’s Lincoln Heritage Stakes, incidentally, and all six Prairie State Festival Day stakes restricted to Illinois-breds, will be run July 7. Block is the Prairie State Festival’s all-time leading trainer with 10 wins recorded during the Festival’s seven-year history.


Jim Tafel LLC’s Coolwind breezed five-eighths in 1:01 Wednesday in likely preparation for the Grade III Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park June 16, but his Barrington-based owner, a sudden celebrity this spring after winning the 2007 Kentucky Derby five weeks ago with Street Sense, will not be in Chicago that day.

“I know for a fact Mr. Tafel won’t be here at Arlington that day,” said Coolwind’s trainer Greg Geier, “because he’s going to Louisville to get his Kentucky Derby trophy and also present the trophy for Churchill’s Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap that afternoon.

“Nevertheless, we’re looking at the Chicago Handicap for Coolwind,” said Geier. “That was a good work for her the other day, and she seems to like it here at Arlington.”

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