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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/12/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Patricia Blass’s Prom Shoes is 7-2 in the morning line for Saturday’s $100,000 Round Table Stakes and could easily be the one to beat in the 44th running of Arlington Park’s suddenly resurgent nine-furlong event for 3-year-olds.

“He had some trouble early in that last race,” said trainer “Jinks” Fires, speaking of Prom Shoes’ disappointing outing in Churchill’s Grade III Northern Dancer Stakes June 16. “He’s kind of a stalker and he got (shuffled) too far back in that race. But the most important thing is that he came back good.”

Two starts back, Prom Shoes was second by a nose in Belmont’s prestigious Grade II Peter Pan Stakes, and Fires explained he didn’t get the ideal trip in that May 20 run for a different reason.

“He made the lead a little earlier than we wanted him to do in the Peter Pan,” said Fires. “That wasn’t the plan, but after (jockey John Velazquez) found himself in front there was nothing he could do but go on with him. This horse prefers to have something to run at.

“Prom Shoes comes from a good family,” Fires noted of the homebred colt who finished fourth in Churchill’s $100,000 Derby Trial April 28 after racing five wide. “His dam has dropped a bunch of runners. His half-brother Wildcat Shoes holds the track record going five-eighths (:56.49) at Churchill.”


South African-bred Irridescence, owned by Barry Irwin of Team Valor International, finished second in Newmarket’s Group I Falmouth Stakes July 11 in her final start prior to Arlington Park’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes Aug. 11.

The filly and mare fixture, known as the Arlington Million’s sister race, is run on Arlington Million Day as one of three Grade I events that make up the Chicago oval’s International Festival of Racing on the second Saturday in August.

“We’re using (the Falmouth) as a prep for the Beverly D.,” said Irwin earlier this week. “After that, she will go back to England and probably run once more in England or France – then she will be offered for sale at Tattersalls in December.”

Included among Irridescence’ eight wins from 18 starts are victories in the Group I Audemars Piquet Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong and the Group I South African Classic while still on her native soil.


The 50th renewal of the Grade III Modesty Handicap will be run July 21 as Arlington Park’s final major local prep for the Grade I Beverly D., the Northwest Chicago oval’s premier grass test for fillies and mares of international caliber that will be run Aug. 11.

Prominent among the local possibilities for the Modesty, run at the Beverly D. distance of a mile and three-sixteenths on the local lawn, is Jennie R., owned by Michael and Elaine Bojarski, Sam Belpedio, William Lloyd and Cherrywood Racing II.

The 6-year-old mare trained by Michele Boyce won Arlington’s $48,000 Possibly Perfect Stakes at last asking June 23, but tied up following a half-mile breeze in :47.40 July 10.

“We’re still on the fence,” said Boyce Thursday morning during training hours when asked about Jennie R.’s chances of running in the Modesty. “We’re still looking at it, but we’ve lost a little training now, and I’m not sure we can go into a race like the Modesty off of a half-mile work. Right now, we’re taking it day-by-day.”

The Modesty is one of three stakes that will be run July 21 as part of Arlington’s Million Preview Day. Also scheduled that day is the Grade III Arlington Handicap at a mile and a quarter as the final major local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million, and the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s, as the final major local prep for the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 11.


Arlington Park bugler Bonny Brown performed an added community service this week when featured on the website for the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

After clicking on Ms. Brown’s picture on the website’s homepage, the popular public face of Arlington promoted the upcoming week’s local library events and then trumpeted the traditional “Boots and Saddles” melody.

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