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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/27/07)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

PLETCHER’S PLEASANT STRIKE TO STAY FOR AMERICAN DERBY

Edward Evans’ Pleasant Strike, hero of Saturday’s Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, will be staying at Arlington Park for the next leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple.

“I just got off the phone with the boss (trainer Todd Pletcher),” said Michael Dilger, Pletcher’s Chicago assistant, late Monday afternoon. “He told me he’s keeping (Pleasant Strike) here for the American Derby. He said since Pleasant Strike obviously likes the course here, he’s going to keep him here with me.”

That’s good news for Midwestern racing fans rooting for a turf-favoring 3-year-old to succeed Honor Glide as the first Mid-America Triple winner in 10 years. Pleasant Strike appeared much the best when he drew off in the late stages of the 1 1/16-mile Classic to tally by three and three-quarter lengths. The 1 3/16-mile distance of the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s on July 21, and the Grade I Secretariat Stakes at a mile and a quarter as the final leg of the Mid-America Triple Aug. 11 appear ideally suited for this sophomore son of Smart Strike.

Prior to becoming a turf Triple with Honor Glide as its lone grass champion, only two other horses completed the Mid-America Triple sweep. Powhatan’s Preakness winner Tom Rolfe won Arlington’s series in 1965, and Ogden Phipps’ Travers hero Buckpasser won Arlington’s Mid-America Triple in 1966.

BEVERLY D.-BOUND CITRONNADE RUNNING IN SUNDAY’S BEVERLY HILLS

Stronach Stables’ Citronnade, long-range North American-based favorite for this summer’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes, has been tabbed for a start in Sunday’s Grade II Beverly Hills Handicap by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel.

Citronnade won Hollywood’s Grade I Gamely Handicap at last asking May 28. Her conditioner considered training her up to the Beverly D. off of her Gamely tally, but Frankel called something of an audible this week when electing to run her in Sunday’s Beverly Hills.

The Beverly D., considered the Arlington Million’s sister race, attracts the world’s best grass-favoring fillies and mares, and will be run as part of Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing on Arlington Million Day Aug. 11.

Frankel saddled Blue Vista Inc.’s Possibly Perfect to win the Beverly D. in 1995 and returned to the Beverly D. winner’s circle again eight years later with Juddmonte Farms Inc.’s Heat Haze in 2003.

SNOWBLIND FRIEND ROUNDING TO ROUND TABLE FORM

With his neck tally in Sunday’s $47,300 Native Dancer Stakes, Hugh Robertson and Regatta Stables’ Snowblind Friend stamped himself as a viable candidate for the 44th running of Arlington Park’s $100,000 Round Table Stakes July 14.

Arlington’s upcoming nine-furlong test for 3-year-olds will be run over Polytrack for the first time this season – a surface that has proved beneficial to Snowblind Friend.

In his Polytrack debut here May 20, Snowblind Friend returned $89.80 – the longest price of the season at that time. The chestnut son of the good grass sire Langfuhr then journeyed to Iowa to run sixth in the $50,000 Prairie State Mile, but came right back to the local winner’s circle Sunday and rewarded his backers with a generous $13 straight mutuel.

Sunday’s Native Dancer, at a mile and a sixteenth, was a designed prep for the Round Table, and the added distance of the upcoming stakes should benefit the late-closing Snowblind Friend, trained by Robertson.

UPCOMING MUSICAL EVENTS LATER THIS WEEK AT ARLINGTON PARK

Friday’s “Miller Lite Party in the Park” at Arlington Park features the “Spirit of the USO” rock band, while later in the evening during Trackside Arlington Park’s “Party on the Patio” the reggae band “rhumbuzzz” – featuring Arlington’s bugler Bonny Brown – will entertain.

On Saturday, during Arlington’s “Summer Bash and BBQ” the sounds of the modern rock band “Foster-Walker Complex” will permeate the Park Area and a beer-marinated jumbo bratwurst will serve as the food special.

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