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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/24/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Arlington Park, recognized throughout the world for the global nature of its Thoroughbred product, will add to its international stature by playing host to a horse bred in India during its upcoming Labor Day program.

Nominated to Arlington’s highlighted $45,000 Rossi Gold Stakes on Labor Day is a horse named Holding Court, owned by Harresh Mehta and foaled in India in 2002 at that nation’s Nanoli Stud and Agricultural Farms.

Holding Court, under consideration for the International Festival of Racing Aug. 11 before being delayed by travel snafus, belatedly arrived in Chicago this week and was given his introductory breeze over the local course with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01 on Tuesday.

The Rossi Gold, for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and three-sixteenths on the turf, serves as Arlington’s featured race on Labor Day – the second of only two Monday racing days scheduled at Arlington Park this summer.

In his last start Holding Court made the pace in India’s Group II Maharajas Cup July 1 but weakened late in that 11-furlong event to finish second by a half-length. Previously the son of Royal Kingdom captured India’s Group III Chief Justices Cup June 16.

Holding Court’s pedigree is to be respected in the Rossi Gold. The 5-year-old boasts both Forli and Ribot in his bloodlines.

Forli sired three-time Horse of the Year Forego, and Ribot sired Tom Rolfe, winner of the 1965 Preakness and one of only three horses to sweep Arlington Park’s Mid-America Triple.

Prior to the new millennium, only two Indian Thoroughbreds were given the opportunity to compete aboard during a 45-year span.

Holding Court’s trainer, Paddy Padmanabhan, arrives at Arlington Saturday.


Leading rider Rene Douglas, on his way to his fifth Arlington Park riding championship, rode the 700th winner of his Arlington Park riding career in Thursday’s fifth race aboard William Ryan’s Editors Ransom for trainer Austin Smith.

The 3-year-old filly is a daughter of Editor’s Note, who won the 1996 Belmont Stakes with Douglas aboard for the Panamanian jockey’s lone Triple Crown tally.


Jockey Eddie Perez, a late rider change aboard Gordon and Sharon Bredeson’s Sharp Surprise in Thursday’s seventh race for trainer Moises Yanez, and Diego Sanchez, a late jockey change aboard Le Battaglia and James DiVito’s Coach Knows Best in Thursday’s eighth for trainer DiVito, both made the most of their opportunities by visiting the winner’s circle.

On Wednesday, three late jockey changes resulted in winning races, making a two-day total of five substitute rider victories from Arlington’s last 16 races.


Actor James McAvoy, who is currently in Chicago filming the movie Wanted, which stars Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman, will make a visit to Arlington Park today.

Wanted, which is scheduled to appear in movie theaters on March 28, tells the story of a “mama’s boy” (McAvoy) who learns that his recently assassinated father was part of an elite group of assassins. Following dad’s death, the boy is recruited by the same organization and trained by Freeman to follow in his father’s footsteps. Jolie plays a jewel thief named “The Fox.”


Former NBC-5 reporter Amy Jacobson will be a guest trophy presenter at Arlington Park on Saturday.

Jacobson, who grew up in Arlington Heights, Ill. and graduated from Hersey High School, will present the trophy for the $150,000 Arlington Sprint to the winning owner, trainer and jockey of the race.

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