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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/3/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


With the arrival of the South African-bred mare Irridesence on Friday, the foreign invasion of Arlington Park’s International Festival of Racing begins.

Irridescense, a 6-year-old globetrotter now owned by Team Valor, is coming to Chicago on an equine KLM charter for an assault on the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes – sister race to the Arlington Million and one of three Grade I races that will make up Arlington’s showcased International Festival of Racing on Aug. 11.

In her last trip to the post on July 11, Irridescence finished second by a length in the Group I United Arab Emirates Hydra Properties Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket following a layoff since a winter campaign in Dubai.

Friday’s flight is the first of five scheduled European charters to the City of Broad Shoulders. On Saturday, an Air France charter is due at O’Hare International Airport, and on that manifest at the present time is the Irish-based Arlington Million candidate Danak, owned by H. H. Aga Khan, who was fourth in his last start in Ireland’s Group I Tattersalls Gold Cup on May 27 behind multiple-Group I winners Notnowcato and Dylan Thomas.

Also on that Saturday flight are to be Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Flaxman Holdings Ltd.’s Admiralofthefleet, and Dr. Ronan Lambe’s Fleeting Shadow – two candidates for the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes, Arlington’s test restricted to 3-year-olds of international caliber.

Admiralofthefleet, trained by Ireland’s ubiquitous Aidan O’Brien, was a contentious fifth in Great Britain’s Group I Coral-Eclipse against older horses in his last start July 7, and Fleeting Shadow, conditioned by Ireland’s all-time leading trainer Dermot Weld, was second by a neck in his last start July 22 over heavy ground at Fairyhouse on the Emerald Isle.

On Sunday, another Air France charter is scheduled to bring in another Million candidate – Javier Martinez Salmean’s Doctor Dino – an impressive third to Japanese superstars Shadow Gate and Cosmo Bulk when last sent to the post in the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup May 20 while on an invasion to the Orient.

Monday is expected to bring another KLM charter carrying one candidate for each of the Festival’s top-tiered troika. Scheduled on board that flight is Million candidate Pressing, owned by Gary Tanaka; Beverly D. candidate Dalvina, owned by St. Albans Bloodstock LLP; and Secretariat candidate Axxos, owned by Gestut Ittingen.

Pressing finished a competitive fifth in Royal Ascot’s Group I Prince of Wales’s Stakes in his last start June 20 behind four multiple Group I winners; Dalvina did not get a good trip when last sent to the post against Europe’s best sophomore fillies the Group I Epsom Oaks; and German-bred Axxos was a good second in France’s Group I Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris on Bastille Day, July 14.

Tuesday’s scheduled Air France equine charter should bring the French-bred Shamdinan, a Secretariat candidate who disappointed when ninth in the Group I Budweiser Irish Derby on July 1 but was a close third, beaten a length and three-quarters for all of it, in the Group I Prix du Jockey Club French Derby before that on June 3.


Ken Meeker and Carson Springs Farm’s Fifteen Rounds, clearly second best behind Arlington’s eventual Grade II Washington Park Handicap hero Lewis Michael when last sent to the post July 15, is the tepid 5-2 morning line choice in Saturday’s featured $48,000 Better Bee Stakes at six furlongs over the Polytrack.

Capable of providing strong competition for Fifteen Rounds is the Hugh Robertson-trained entry of Hugh Robertson and Homewrecker Racing LLC’s Celluloid Hero and Wolfe Racing LLC’s City Number, 3-1 in the morning line and both coming off winning efforts over the local Polytrack.

Completing the field is Ron Armstrong and Jack Wallace’s Humor At Last, Louie Roussel III’s Saint’s Relic, Stonerside Stable LLC’s Lissa’s Star, Asiel Stable’s Star By Design, Shari and Michael Brickman’s Alabama Clay, Renee and Paul Kessel’s Grande Coeur, and S. D. Brilie Ltd. Partnership’s High Expectations.


Veteran Arlington Park conditioner Christine Janks saddled the 1,495th winner of her career when Arbaway Farm’s Three Dollar Max won Thursday’s opener.

Born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, Janks, 57, is currently eighth on Arlington Park’s all-time leading trainer list.

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