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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/22/07)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Following back-to-back training doubles last weekend, conditioner Hugh Robertson moved into fourth in Arlington’s current trainer standings, but it is Robertson’s liberal win prices that demand more attention.
Last Saturday, for instance, Robertson’s two winners paid $25.40 and $46.80 respectively. Last month, a Robertson trainee returned $89.80 straight.
This Saturday, the unassuming Robertson will saddle Barry Butzow’s Lovango in the Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, as the first leg of Arlington’s grassy Mid-America Triple, and this sophomore son of Capote out of a Hansel mare is 12-1 in the Arlington Classic morning line.
That’s understandable. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who has won the Classic three times in the last 11 years, has the British-bred Vaunt, owned by Preferred Pals et al, as the Classic’s morning line favorite. Todd Pletcher, Eclipse Award-winning trainer the last three years, has Edward Evans’ Pleasant Strike entered, to be ridden by the meet’s leading rider Rene Douglas.
Lovango, on the other hand, has made only one start on turf, finishing third behind two horses he must face again in the Classic. Also, Lovango will be ridden by Canterbury-based Seth Martinez, unfamiliar to many of Arlington’s fans.
“He has a chance (in the Classic),” said Robertson of Lovango. “He didn’t get the best of trips last time (when finishing third beaten less than two lengths in Arlington’s $48,450 Awad Stakes at one mile.) The two horses that ran 1-2 in that race got through in a spot that he had vacated moments earlier, but I thought he ran well. He ran like he liked (the grass) okay.”
The Classic is run at 1 1/16 miles, the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s July 21 as the second leg of the Triple, is run at 1 3/16 miles, and the Grade I Secretariat Stakes as the final leg of the Triple, is contested at 10 furlongs.
“I think he’ll run quite a way,” said Robertson, when asked about Lovango’s ability to get a distance, “but he’ll have to step it up a notch against some of these horses Saturday.”
S. D. Brilie Ltd. Partnership’s Chic Dancer and Richard Duchossois’ Round Heels match strides once again when facing each other and nine other fillies and mares in Saturday’s $48,300 Possibly Perfect Stakes at a mile and an eighth over Arlington’s turf course.
The nine-furlong grass test for members of the distaff set serves as a prep for Arlington’s Grade III Modesty Handicap at 1 3/16 miles over the local lawn July 21 on Million Preview Day.
The Modesty is the final major local prep for Arlington’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes, the Arlington Million’s sister race, to be run as part of Arlington’s International Festival of Racing on Arlington Million Day, Aug. 11.
Chic Dancer won last summer’s Modesty ‘Cap, but was scratched the morning of the 2006 Beverly D. after coughing in the barn during the night.
However, Irish-bred Round Heels defeated Chic Dancer by three lengths in Arlington’s $47,400 Reluctant Guest Stakes June 2.
Chic Dancer will be ridden by regular rider Chris Emigh, Arlington’s defending jockey champion Saturday, and Round Heels has Eduardo Perez named to handle the reins.
Facing the top two are Michael and Elaine Bojarski, Sam Belpedio, William Lloyd and Cherrywood Racing II’s Jennie R., E. T. Baird; Watts Humphrey Jr. and St. George Farm Racing LLC’s Indy Trouble, Jesse Campbell; Diamond A Racing Corporation’s Indy Miss, Israel Ocampo; and 100% Racing Stable LLC’s American Diva, Rafael Mojica Jr.
Also, Mrs. David Nagle and Mrs. John Magnier’s Arosa, Julien Leparoux; Carol Ricker and Scott Ricker’s Cheyenne Spirit, Rene Douglas; Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.’s Sobresaliente, Larry Sterling Jr.; Frances Hill Myers’ Ready to Goes, James Graham; and George Pruette’s Black Java, Eusebio Razo Jr.
Arlington Park will introduce a Saturdays-only guaranteed Late Pick 4 Pool of $50,000 – beginning this Saturday.
That guaranteed pool joins a Saturdays-only guaranteed Pick 6 Pool of $50,000 that has been in effect throughout the current session.
Both of those guaranteed pools give Thoroughbred racing fans the chance to win a large amount of money from a very small investment.
The minimum Pick 6 wager is $2, but the minimum Pick 4 wager is only $1.
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