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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/21/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


What do Native Dancer, Tom Rolfe, Buckpasser, Dr. Fager, Alydar and Honor Glide have in common?

All are previous winners of Saturday’s Arlington Classic, but three of those went on to sweep Arlington’s Mid-America Triple. Which three?

Tom Archdeacon would be among those that know the answer. As a sportswriter for the Dayton Daily News, Archdeacon’s personal passion is Thoroughbred horseracing and its history, and during his own career, the Cox Newspapers scribe has ascended to prominence as one of the nation’s leading turf writers.

Fittingly, among the starters in Saturday’s Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, is Tom Archdeacon, a 3-year-old Ohio-bred colt who won Arlington’s $48,450 Awad Stakes May 28 in the designated local prep for Saturday’s 73rd running of the Classic. This Tom Archdeacon, owned by George Smith and John Royer and trained by Austin Smith, is a gray/roan son of the good grass sire Aljabr who got up to be best by three-quarters of a length in the Awad at one mile over yielding ground.

“I think this (Arlington Classic) is a good spot to test how good he is,” said the trainer, son of one of the owners. “I hope he comes through for us. He’s a ‘dead quiet’ type of horse. You wouldn’t even know he’s around the barn. So we figured, why ship (to one of numerous other turf races for 3-year-olds) when we have this race right here where all we have to do is lead him over.

“I think he’ll like the added distance (mile and a sixteenth Saturday),” said Smith. “He’ll stay all day, and although he won the Awad over yielding ground, I really think he likes the course near the top, with just a little bit of cut to it.”

Will Tom Archdeacon, the writer, be here to see his namesake run in the Classic?

“I don’t know yet,” said Smith. “I’ve sent him a couple of e-mails to let him know he’s running. I hope he can come – he’s a real good guy – but he has to go where his bosses send him, and he hasn’t told me yet that he can be here Saturday.”

If not, maybe the turf writer can make it to the next leg of the Mid-America Triple – the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s July 21, or if not then, maybe in time for the third leg – the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day Aug. 11.

Obviously, it would be good publicity for Thoroughbred racing and the Mid-America Triple if the fourth horse to join 1965 Preakness champion Tom Rolfe, 1966 Travers hero Buckpasser and 1999 Sword Dancer Invitational winner Honor Glide in sweeping Arlington’s series were named for a turf writer.


Jockey Rene Douglas, the only rider in Arlington Park history to win four straight riding titles, accomplished from 2001-2004, may be on his way to his fifth championship following a two-year hiatus.

Douglas scored a riding triple Wednesday, his fifth straight multiple-win day at Arlington this month, giving him 14 wins in the last five racing days and a 15-win lead in the jockey standings through Wednesday’s races.

Wednesday’s triple began in the third race with Ronald Shenofsky’s Worththebother, and was completed when Douglas swept the late daily double aboard David Maracich’s Stormin Eddie in the eighth and Belvedere Racing LLC’s Justasprinkle in the finale.

In another win streak worthy of note, trainer Ronny Werner saddled Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds’ Sampras to win Wednesday’s fifth race, giving Werner his fifth training victory in the last five racing days.

Sampras was ridden by Jesse Campbell, giving Campbell his second win of the day after guiding Wexler Racing Stable’s Kid Grindstone to victory in the opener. Kid Grindstone captured Fair Grounds’ $75,000 Tenacious Handicap last winter, and is trained by Mike Campbell, the jockey’s father.


A weekly guaranteed Late Pick 4 Pool of $25,000 is being introduced Friday for each Friday racing program at Arlington Park.


The late Allen Paulson’s Astra, a four-time Grade I winner who was second to the Irish-bred Golden Apples in the 2002 Beverly D. at Arlington Park, was euthanized in Kentucky earlier this month following a bout with colic.

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