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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes – AM edition (8/10/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Champion jockey Mick Kinane flew in to Chicago from Dublin yesterday, accompanied by trainer John Oxx. On Saturday, Oxx will give a leg up to Kinane aboard Danak (IRE) in Saturday’s Arlington Million.

On Friday morning, Kinane took Danak out for a gallop on the Arlington Park turf course. “He seems to have settled in well,” said Kinane of Danak. He’s enjoying the sunshine and being away from the bad summer in Europe.” Europe has experienced a wetter summer than normal this year.

Kinane also piloted his Secretariat Stakes mount, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Admiralofthefleet, through a somewhat more vigorous piece of Friday morning work. The son of Danehill put in a two-minute lick from the half-mile pole of the turf course to the wire, getting his last eighth of a mile in :12 1/5.

“He went well,” said Kinane of Admiralofthefleet, who will be wearing blinkers for the first time in the Secretariat. “I rode him in the Eclipse Stakes last time out, and he seemed to lose concentration. He changed direction during the early part of the straight.”

Amid much public speculation about the condition of the Arlington turf following recent rains, Kinane offered his own assessment on Friday morning. “It’s soft,” he said. “They’ve had a lot of rain here, and it’s loose.”


During ABC’s two-hour “Breeders’ Cup Challenge – Presented by Emirates Airline” telecast on Saturday (3:00-5:00 p.m. local, Central time), analyst Jerry Bailey will be weighing in with the insight of one who has ridden two Arlington Million winners: Beat Hollow in 2002 and Chester House in 2000.

Though now retired, Bailey still thinks like a jockey. “Last year, the riders in the race fell into the same trap I did in doing my pre-race analysis. I didn’t think The Tin Man could carry his speed around this track. The riders this year will have that in mind. They’ll know they can’t let him get away. It will be in Garrett Gomez’s game plan aboard Sunriver to not let The Tin Man get away.”

He is also concerned about the race set-up in the Beverly D. for likely favorite Citronnade. “With the local horse, Jennie R., in there, there will be a very contentious pace,” Bailey said. “Irridescence also likes to run near the front. Citronnade will not have it her own way up front like she has in most of her races this year.”

Bailey is thoroughly enjoying and excelling at his new career as a racing commentator. As a “rookie” last year, he received a prestigious Sports Emmy nomination in the “Best Analyst” category against the likes of Johnny Miller, Darrell Waltrip, Tim McCarver and Cris Collinsworth, who wound up the winner. “I love my new job,” Bailey said. “It comes with lunch. Everyone asked me what I was going to do when I eventually retired, and I told them I was going to go to lunch. Another nice thing is that I don’t have to worry about getting picked up by an ambulance at the end of the show.”

Bailey is pleased that, for the first time in a long time, the Secretariat Stakes will be included in the national telecast originating from Arlington. “It’s important for the public to see the 3-year-old grass horses,” he said. “These are the horses the fans will see next year.”


Newmarket-based trainer Michael Jarvis had hoped to be at Arlington Park to saddle his Million contender Pressing (IRE). Jarvis is battling a nasty case of food poisoning presently, however, and was forced to cancel his trip. As a result, Pressing will now be saddled by Jarvis’s assistant, Paul Rutter.

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