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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/23/07)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER DÉJÀ VU – ‘MY “QUEENDOM” FOR A HORSE’

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was easily the most highly profiled attendee at the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby this spring when the “Run for the Roses” was won by Street Sense, owned by Barrington resident Jim Tafel.

Tafel was on hand at Arlington Park Friday when another of his horses – a filly somewhat ironically named Queendom – raced to victory in the seventh race of the afternoon. However, life imitated art beyond that coincidence.

Also in attendance Friday and presenting the trophy to Tafel in that race was a Queen Elizabeth impersonator – on hand at Arlington in connection with a Senate Republican Campaign Committee gathering being hosted in the Arlington suites.

Although the Tafel-owned Coolwind, trained by Greg Grier, visited the Arlington winner’s circle this season on May 17, Queendom’s victory Friday was Tafel’s first locally with one of his horses trained by Carl Nafzger – also the conditioner of Street Sense.

“It (Queendom’s win) is not as thrilling as winning the Kentucky Derby,” said Tafel in the winner’s circle Friday, “but this win breaks Carl’s maiden at Arlington this summer, and it always means a lot to win a race in Chicago.”

The theme of Friday’s Senate Republican Committee affair was – appropriately enough –“My Fair Lady.” Not so surprisingly, also on hand at that gathering were impersonators of Eliza Doolittle and Professor Higgins.

‘TIME SQUARED’ FIGURES FAVORITE IN SUNDAY’S NATIVE DANCER STAKES

Fab Oak Stable’s Time Squared, beaten three lengths in Keeneland’s Grade I Blue Grass Stakes this spring when hindered by a tardy break, looms a strong choice when he heads a field of seven named to Sunday’s $45,000-added Native Dancer Stakes.

Restricted to 3-year-olds, the mile and a sixteenth race over Arlington’s new Polytrack course will have a gross value of $47,100 if the field remains intact, with a $28,260 share of that sum going to the owners of the winner.

Additionally, Sunday’s race serves as a designated local prep for the 44th running of Arlington Park’s $100,000 Round Stable Stakes, a nine-furlong affair for sophomores to be run July 14.

Time Squared, trained by internationally renowned conditioner Patrick Biancone, is coming off a disappointing effort in his first try on grass when he finished a well-beaten ninth in the Grade III Colonial Turf Cup June 16.

Before that, however, the son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus won with something left in an allowance affair over the local Polytrack May 18. Out of a mare by 1992 Belmont Stakes winner A. P. Indy, Time Squared boasts a pair of recent bullet works over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface and will have the riding services of Arlington’s leading jockey Rene Douglas Sunday.

Strong competition for Time Squared could come from Melnyk Racing Stables Inc.’s Harrow Land, unable to handle the sloppy going in the Grade III Lone Star Derby at last asking May 12 but second by less than a length in Oaklawn’s Northern Spur Breeders’ Cup Stakes four weeks earlier. Eusebio Razo Jr. is named to handle the reins.

Facing the top two in the Native Dancer are Team Epona LLC’s Native Tongue, Jesse Campbell in the irons; Hugh Robertson’s Snowblind Friend, Jesse Lantz aboard; Maggi Moss’s Biglie Smallworld, James Graham slated for the saddle; Oak Knoll Farm LLC’s Galloping Home, Chris Emigh listed in the tack; and Lynette Greenwood and Kenneth Spraggins’ Grecoroman, Uriel Lopez astride.

CHICAGO OVALS HOST JUNE 24 HEADLINE HISTORY

On June 24, 1952, Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Arcaro rode his 3,000th career winner at Arlington Park, becoming the first American-born rider to reach that mark.

Also, on June 24, 1893, the field for the American Derby at Washington Park was held at the post for one hour and 40 minutes, the longest pre-race delay in history. Boundless, with Hall of Fame jockey Edward “Snapper” Garrison aboard, won the $49,500 race, which was witnessed by a crowd of 48,000. Garrison and three other riders were fined $250 each for their “bad conduct” at the start.

The American Derby has now become Arlington’s oldest stakes race, observing its 93rd anniversary this summer as a Grade II event that will be presented by Jack Daniel’s on July 21.

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