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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/14/07)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

SCOTTISH APPRENTICE JOCKEY WINS THURSDAY AT ARLINGTON PARK

Arlington Park underlined its unprecedented international status for the second straight racing day Thursday when Scottish apprentice Sally Mitchelhill scored her first Chicago victory at the home of the International Festival of Racing.

One day earlier at Arlington, Swedish apprentice jockey Inez Karlsson scored the first victory of her career at Chicago’s premier Thoroughbred oval.

Mitchelhill, 24, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, has ridden more than 60 winners in her brief career but they were all recorded in Florida within the past year. Her trip to the Arlington winner’s circle came in Thursday’s fourth race astride Susan and Walter Kotzmann’s Cold Truth for trainer Jan Ely.

“When Sally first got to Chicago, I had called a friend of mine in Florida to ask what kind of a rider she was,” said Ely on Friday morning. “He told me that she was the real deal – and she sure enough is all that and more. I gave Sally her second mount after she arrived up here, and she gave that horse a real good ride and finished third for me.”

Not too surprisingly, the Scottish lass captured Thursday’s race in somewhat penurious fashion, getting up in the last strides to win by a head in a photo finish. Mitchelhill is scheduled to ride three horses Friday at Arlington and four more on Saturday on the penultimate race day of Arlington’s 2007 season.

“It was great winning that race yesterday,” said Mitchelhill Friday. “I always call all my friends when I win a race, so I called my family back home in Scotland and then I called my best American friend Rosemary Homeister (Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey in 1992) down in Miami to tell her the news. She was my roommate when I rode in Miami and I learned a great deal from her when I was starting out.”

FAVORED FULL-SISTER FILLIES FACE OFF SATURDAY AT ARLINGTON

Venus and Serena Williams – take note of this!

A racing rarity is scheduled for Saturday at Arlington Park when full-sister fillies could face each other for the first time in their careers during the third race of the day – while coupled as a single betting interest.

Gordon and Sharon Bredeson’s 4-year-old filly and aptly-named Beware Baby, and her 3-year-old full sister – with the equally ominous-sounding moniker of Sharp Surprise – are both coming off winning efforts by large margins when last sent to the post in mid-August, setting the stage for an interesting Saturday duel of siblings.

Tennis fans would remember that Venus Williams defeated younger sister Serena in the finals of 2001 U. S. Women’s National Singles Championship, but Serena Williams turned the tables on sister Venus in the 2002 finals at Forest Hills’ West Side Tennis Club.

BEVERLY D. RUNNER DRESSES UP ADA L. RICE STAKES DEBUT

The inaugural running of the $100,000 Ada L. Rice Stakes on Saturday, a race restricted to fillies and mares with Illinois-owned connections, gets a star attraction with the participation of the Michele Boyce-trained Jennie R. – fifth in this summer’s Grade I Beverly D. at Arlington.

“She’s doing real well lately,” said Boyce, who trains the 6-year-old mare for native Chicagoans Michael and Elaine Bojarski, Sam Belpedio, William Lloyd, and Cherrywood Racing II (Boyce and partner Nate Ruffolo). “She’s maybe a little better than she’s ever been right now.

“I wish that there wasn’t that other speed in the race (Arbaway Farm’s front-running Honour Colony),” said Boyce, “but our mare doesn’t like to be rated. I learned a long time ago to say – ‘Girl, do it your way.’ We’ll just let her run her way and see what happens.”

LEADING RIDER RENE DOUGLAS RIDES THURSDAY THREESOME

Four-time Arlington Park jockey champion Rene Douglas, already assured of his fifth local title this season, visited the winner’s circle three times Thursday – taking both halves of the Daily Double with Henry Rokicki’s Highest Grade and then Jer-Mar Stables LLC’s Aloha Richter – and then coming back to take the fifth with Bellamy Stable LLC’s Gone Campin.

JANKS HONORS SET FOR SATURDAY AT ARLINGTON PARK

Veteran Arlington Park trainer Christine Janks will be honored between Saturday’s 10th and 11th races for her achievement of reaching the 1,500-career win milestone earlier this month.

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