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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/7/07)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

RENOWNED BLACKSMITHS OFFER DEMONSTRATIONS SATURDAY

Special demonstrations by renowned blacksmiths Mark and Mindy Gardner will be offered at Arlington Park’s Park Area throughout the afternoon during Prairie State Festival Day this Saturday.

The Prairie State Festival, inaugurated at Arlington Park during the 2000 season, features six $75,000-added stakes restricted to Illinois registered, conceived/and or foaled Thoroughbreds and is traditionally accompanied by some entertainment theme that supports Illinois’ heritage.

The Gardners own and operate Flood Plain Forge, an historical blacksmith shop located in Farmer City, Illinois. The shop serves as a studio for the artisan blacksmiths who specialize in one-of-a-kind metal work in steel, wrought iron and copper. All pieces are individually hand-crafted using many tools that are made at Flood Plain Forge.

The two farriers use traditional methods to create works of contemporary art, which are mostly hand-made pieces made of mild steel. Among Flood Plain Forge creations are chased and repoussed wall hangings, switch plates, door plates, hand-wrought chandeliers, gates, fireplace sets and tables.

Making up Saturday’s sextet of Prairie State Festival stakes for those properly enrolled in the Illinois program are the Springfield Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile; the Purple Violet Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile; the White Oak Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs; the Isaac Murphy Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs; the Lincoln Heritage Handicap for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass; and the Black Tie Affair Handicap for 3-year-olds and up, also over the local lawn.

PRAIRIE STATE FESTIVAL FACTS AND FIGURES

Trainer Chris Block is the first and only conditioner to break into the double digit win column so far in Prairie State Festival history after saddling 10 winners over the last seven years.

The late Gene Cilio still holds down second position in the Festival trainer standings with a total of five winners, while Christine Janks is in third position at the present time with four trips to the winner’s circle.

“You have to keep in mind, this is a five-year process,” said Janks of the Festival program, “starting with breeding plans, stud fees and the actual breeding to the mare. People don’t realize what goes into this.

“It may look like just six stakes races on a Saturday to the public,” said Janks, “but there is a lot of time, training and preparation that goes into it.

“This is like our Olympics,” concluded Janks of Prairie State Festival Day.

Leading jockey so far in the seven years of the Festival is Eusebio Razo Jr. with six trips to the winners circle. Larry Sterling Jr. holds down the second spot with four winners, while Jesse Campbell, Chris Emigh, Rene Douglas and Mark Guidry are all tied for third position with three winners apiece.

PRAIRIE STATE FESTIVAL WEEKEND STARTS FRIDAY AT ARLINGTON PARK

During Friday’s twilight racing program on the eve of the Prairie State Festival, the Miller Lite Party in the Park will feature the acoustic-driven rock of Dave Tamkin & Company with first race and first song at 3 p.m.

A guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool of $25,000 will also be offered Friday.

On Saturday, Professor John will play New Orleans style soul at the Summer Bash and BBQ, and the special from the grill will be applewood smoked beef brisket with first race and first song at 1 p.m.

A guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool of $50,000 will be offered Saturday.

Also on Saturday, a day-long real-time handicapping seminar with Daily Herald handicapper Joe Kristufex and Daily Racing Form handicapper Marcus Hersh will be offered near the Park Area from noon until 4 p.m.

Sunday, Pepsi Family Day presented by the Daily Herald, features a genuine Treasure Quest that will take parents and children on a search of the Arlington Park grounds for clues and a chance to win prizes.

Also on Sunday, Junior Jockey Club members are treated to their annual trip to the starting gate to see the Thoroughbreds in action as a race begins. Members get to meet Arlington Park starter “Blue” Knott and his assistants and find out how they help keep the races running smoothly.

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