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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/5/07)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


On Friday this week and again next week – the last two Friday racing programs of Arlington Park’s 2007 racing season – an earlier post time of 2:30 p.m. will be in effect.

The post time shift is being made so that Arlington can continue to offer 10-race programs Sept. 7 and 14 in spite of the waning daylight hours. The 2007 racing season at Chicago’s northwest Thoroughbred oval concludes Sunday, Sept. 16.

This Friday, the Miller Lite Party in the Park at Arlington Park will feature classic rock hits by the band “Luna Blu.”

On Saturday, members of the equine distaff set are featured in a threesome of Grade III stakes races worth a total of a half-million in purse money.

The premier main course event for older fillies and mares – the 71st running of the $150,000 Arlington Matron – will be contested at a mile and an eighth over Arlington’s Polytrack; the 43rd renewal of the $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes, restricted to 3-year-old fillies, will be run at nine furlongs over Arlington’s world famous turf course; and the 72nd renewal of the prestigious Arlington-Washington Lassie, restricted to 2-year-old fillies, will be contested at the one-turn one-mile distance of the Polytrack course.

On Sunday in the Park Area, Pepsi Family Day, presented by the Daily Herald, will feature “The Circus Boy Show” – a visually stimulating show featuring a blend of audience participation and circus skills including trick bicycling, stilt walking and juggling. Show times will be at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.


Apprentice jockey Sally Mitchelhill, a native of Scotland born and raised in Edinburgh, arrived in Chicago from Miami earlier this week and is listed to ride Papa’s Choice Stable’s First Command for trainer Paul Lewellyn in Thursday’s sixth race.

The 24-year-old lass began her equine career working with horses in her native land, graduated from Great Britain’s Jockey School at Newmarket at 16 following a three-year program, and came to the United States six years ago to work at Santa Anita.

After moving to South Florida last year, she continued her education working for defending Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher at the Palm Meadows Training Center and won her first race last December aboard a horse named Bitofanattitude at Calder Race Course. She was named Jockey of the Month in her first month at the North Miami oval and was the leading apprentice there before journeying across the state to Tampa to ride an additional 20 winners in western Florida earlier this year.

Mitchelhill arrived in Chicago Sunday night and began making her rounds on the Arlington Park backstretch on Labor Day Monday morning.

Another newcomer to the Arlington jockey colony is apprentice Jordano Tunon, 17, a native of Panama City, Panama, who won his first race locally aboard Montesano Racing LLC’s Tak Man last Friday for trainer Dale Bennett.

Tunon is a recent graduate of the famous Panama Jockey School that boasts Hall of Fame jockeys Laffit Pincay and Jorge Velasquez among its alumni.


After a one-year hiatus, “Riding For A Cure” – a third-party fundraiser for the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation - will be held this Monday at the Barrington Hills Riding Center.

The ride begins at noon and costs $50 for those who bring their own horse and $125 for those wishing to rent a horse. Each rider is requested to raise a minimum of $150 in donations.

Those not wishing to ride may attend the post-ride dinner for a $50 donation which includes dinner drinks and entertainment – featuring Arlington bugler Bonny Brown’s Carribbean band “rhumbuzzz.”

Former Arlington Park television personality Christine Gabriel, a three-time breast cancer survivor who founded “Riding For A Cure” in 2002, has returned to Chicago from her new home in the United Arab Emirates to promote and ride in Monday’s fundraiser.

“Since its inception, ‘Riding For A Cure’ has raised nearly $300,000 for cancer research,” Gabriel said earlier this week while visiting at Arlington.

“This year, we are extremely fortunate to have kick-started Monday’s fundraiser with a $25,000 donation from TAK – architect of the new multi-billion dollar Meydan Racecourse now being built in Dubai to host the 2010 Dubai World Cup,” Gabriel said. “Also, we have an additional $1,000 donation from the Godolphin Racing Stable in Dubai.”

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