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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/22/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Jockey Rene Douglas, far in front while on his way to a fifth Arlington Park riding title, went over the 100-wins-at-the-meeting mark Sunday during the course of a four-win afternoon.

The Panamanian native, 40, already holds a unique position in Arlington Park history as the only jockey to win four consecutive riding titles at the Northwest Chicago oval, accomplished from 2001-2004.

The first of Douglas’s win quartet came in the fifth race of the afternoon when he rode Hugh Robertson and Ron Bandy’s Smack Daddy to a track-record performance of :56.51 for the five-furlong distance. That record was set over Arlington’s new Polytrack surface during a race that was originally scheduled for the grass but taken off due to turf conditions. However, the time also eclipsed Arlington’s old main track mark partially held by Shecky Greene – a nationally-known sprinter of another era.

Douglas came right back to the winner’s circle in Sunday’s sixth race on Peter Abruzzo, John Carver and Tom Swearingen Racing Stable’s Barely a Memory, took the eighth aboard Dell Ridge Farm’s Saint Pegasus, and then captured Sunday’s featured $47,900 Hatoof Stakes astride Dinwiddie Farm’s Pitamakan.

The Hatoof, designed as the local grass prep for Arlington’s upcoming Grade III Pucker Up Stakes Sept. 8, was taken off the turf and run on at a mile and a sixteenth over the Polytrack. Pitamakan established an Arlington Polytrack record of 1:41.49 for the distance.

Including Sunday’s four-bagger, Douglas improved to 101 wins at the current session.


The last full weekend of August at Arlington Park’s 2007 meeting will begin Friday when the Miller Lite Party In The Park at Arlington Park will feature the acoustic-driven rock of “The Doormen” in the Park Area, with first race and first song at 3 p.m.

This Saturday, the Miller Lite Summer Bash & BBQ will feature great rock hits performed by “The Pleegs.” The special from the grill in the Park Area Saturday will be a beer-marinated jumbo bratwurst. First race and first song Saturday will be at 1 p.m.

On Sunday this weekend, Arlington will celebrate Pepsi Family Day, presented by the Daily Herald, and the ArtWorks Children’s Museum will present an interactive show called “Horse Drawing & Creations.”

Show times will be at 1, 2 and 3 p.m., and between shows, the kids will be able to create a sculpture of a horse using recyclable goods.


Veteran Arlington Park jockey Shane Laviolette has transferred his tack to his native Louisiana for the rest of the season.

The 33-year-old New Orleans-born jockey, a nephew of retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, left earlier in the month for Evangeline Downs, but flew back to Chicago and Arlington to accept one mount on Sunday’s program astride Skipper Cheesman and Norman Forguites’ Somethingdangerous in the second race of the day.

“’Skip’ Cheesman has been very loyal to me over the years,” said Laviolette of his brief Chicago reappearance. “Unfortunately, the horse (who finished sixth after prompting the pace briefly) didn’t care for the track Sunday.

“My plans are to stay in Louisiana for the rest of the season now,” said Laviolette. “My Dad (former jockey Harold Laviolette) lives around Lafayette, so I get to visit with him for awhile. When (Evangeline) closes in a couple of weeks, I’ll ride at Louisiana Downs until Fair Grounds opens (Thanksgiving Day). I’m trying to set myself up with some Louisiana-based trainers to get ready for New Orleans this winter.”


An Arlington Park Recap Show will now be available on HRTV at 11 a.m. Thursday through Monday, the Northwest Chicago oval has announced.

Arlington is now doing the recap show to include the previous day’s races, meaning HRTV subscribers can view the previous day’s races from home.

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