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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/6/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


There’s Humor At Last in time for Saturday’s eighth running of the Prairie State Festival at Arlington Park.

The one-day program of six stakes races restricted to foals properly registered with Illinois’ program has attracted Ron Armstrong’s Humor At Last – for several reasons an interesting competitor in Saturday’s White Oak Handicap at six furlongs.

First reason: Humor At Last is a full brother to Original Spin, the Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.-owned filly that won the Grade III Arlington Lassie here two years ago and then ran third in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies five weeks later.

Second reason: Humor At Last is Original Spin’s older brother, has been away from competition for more than a year and a half, and has not won a race since capturing Fairmount’s $40,000 Tex’s Zing Stakes almost two years ago.

Third reason: Humor At Last is a son of Distorted Humor, America’s leading sire of stakes winners this year. That stud provided his own Fourth of July fireworks when WinStar Farm LLC and Padua Stables’ Any Given Saturday won Belmont’s Grade II Dwyer Stakes and 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide won Finger Lakes’ $100,000 Wadsworth Memorial Handicap on America’s Birthday – giving Distorted Humor’s progeny 15 stakes wins in 2007.

Fourth reason: Humor At Last has a personality to match his name. Known as “Homey” around the barn, according to his trainer Tony Mitchell, the 5-year-old gray gelding starts whinnying at you when you call him by his nickname.

Fifth and final reason: Three of Humor At Last’s last four works have been “bullets” – in which he registered the fastest time of the day at that distance on the work tab. That would indicate the injury to his right front that originally sidelined him has healed, and he is ready for this long-awaited return to competition.


Wesley Ward, a member of Arlington Park’s marketing department since early last year, has been named as Arlington’s marketing and advertising manager.

In his new position Ward will oversee the operations of the marketing department, as well as coordinate marketing activities for Arlington Park, Trackside OTB locations, Arlington’s sponsorship program, and the Twin Spires Club.

Ward, 26, received his Masters of Business and Sports Administration in 2004 from Ohio University and joined Arlington as OTB marketing manager in March of 2006.

Born in Chelmsford, England, Ward came to the United States in 1996 with his family. His mother is a native of the Chicago area.


Daily Herald handicapper and Arlington Park oddsmaker Joe Kristufek and Daily Racing Form handicapper and turf writer Marcus Hersh will conduct a day-long real-time handicapping seminar Saturday in conjunction with the Prairie State Festival.

The two local experts will hold court in Arlington Park’s Starting Gate Theatre from noon to 4 p.m., taking an in-depth look at the card on a race-by-race basis – including the six stakes that comprise the Prairie State Festival.

Additionally, Kristufek and Hersh will help guests learn how to construct tickets and also offer handicapping tips.

The proceedings will be broadcast in-house on Channel 4 – the Arlington Park handicapping channel.


Once again this weekend, Arlington Park is offering a $50,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool on the seventh through the 10th races of Saturday’s program.

Included in this week’s Late Pick 4 are two of Saturday’s six Prairie State Festival races – the 31st running of the Purple Violet Stakes and the 19th running of the Springfield Stakes.

The Pick 4 wager requires fans to pick the winners of four straight races on the same ticket, but also allows them to win a large amount of money for a very small investment.

The minimum Pick 4 wager is $1.

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