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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/15/07)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

PURIM PLAYS LAST ARLINGTON PARK ACT IN SUNDAY’S SEASON SWAN SONG

Edward Sukley’s Purim won the Grade III Arlington Classic in 2005, and the $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes in 2006, and gets one last chance for a third Arlington Park win Sunday when he heads a field of nine, including a coupling, in the $47,700 John Henry Stakes. The closing day featured event for Arlington Park’s 2007 racing season will be run at a mile and a sixteenth over the local lawn.

Purim, a 5-year-old son of Dynaformer who also finished second by nose in 2005’s Grade II American Derby, is in his final season of racing and will be retired for stud duties in 2008 at Nathan Fox’s Richland Hills near Midway, Ky. He has won or placed in 11 of 19 races and boasts career earnings of $522,473.

In his last trip to the post in Woodbine’s Grade II Play the King Stakes on Aug. 25, Purim finished seventh but was only beaten four lengths despite being bumped at the top of the stretch. Before that he was a well-beaten eighth when making his unsuccessful Polytrack debut in Arlington’s Grade III Hanshin Cup May 26. Jamie Theriot is named to ride the Tom Proctor trainee.

Named to oppose Purim are: the Charles Sigrist and Moises Yanez-owned entry of Rey Del Sol and Majestic Zeal, jockey Eduardo Perez named aboard both; Jer-Mar Stables LLC’s Prospective Kiss, Chris Emigh up; Stonerside Stable LLC’s General Charley, E. T. Baird; Richard Ravin’s Dynareign, Kerwin John; Dolphus Morrison’s Rapid Proof, Randy Meier; Wertheimer and Frère’s Tiganello, Rene Douglas; and Kalarikkai and Vilasini Jayaraman’s Finance Minister, James Graham.

Likely to provide strong competition for Purim in the quest for the $28,200 winner’s share of the John Henry purse is Tiganello, one-length winner of Arlington’s $46,650 Mister Gus Stakes June 3 and most recently fourth in the $150,000 Sea o’ Erin Mile despite being rank in the early going. The German-bred son of Acatenango hails from the barn of defending Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher.

Rapid Proof cannot be discounted here after finishing second to Tiganello in the Mister Gus and second in last season’s John Henry.

MYSTERY VOUCHERS OFFERED AS ARLINGTON APPETIZERS AT 2007 FINALE

Arlington Park closes the doors on its 80th anniversary season this Sunday, but the first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive free mystery vouchers as a token of appreciation from Chicago’s premier Thoroughbred oval.

The mystery vouchers will range in value from that of the minimum $2 wager all the way up to $500 and will be distributed upon arrival at the facility.

LEADING JOCKEY, TRAINER, OWNER TITLES SET; RUNNER-UP SPOTS OPEN

Arlington Park jockey Rene Douglas, who has posted 125 wins during the 2007 season entering Saturday’s penultimate day of racing, is easily assured his fifth Arlington Park jockey championship when the meeting ends Sunday.

Douglas, 40, born in Panama City, Panama, already owns his own notch in Arlington history as the only jockey to win four titles in a row at the Northwest suburban oval – accomplished from 2001-2004.

However, 2006 Arlington jockey champion Chris Emigh and resurgent Chicago-born reinsman E. T. Baird continue their battle for the second spot. Entering Saturday’s races Emigh had ridden 90 winners, while Baird had 87, but both have multiple mounts on the last two days of the local session.

Defending trainer champion Wayne Catalano is already assured his sixth training title, having broken the all-time record for numbers of winners saddled by any trainer at Arlington Park in a single season, but second position in the trainer standings has not been decided, with defending Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher currently the runner-up with 35 winners while Moises Yanez and Chris Block are tied for third with 32.

Pletcher entered four horses during the last two days of the season, while Yanez entered six and Block entered four.

Defending owner champion Frank Calabrese is assured his eight straight Arlington owner championship based on number of winners, having already broken his and Arlington’s all-time high mark, and in the runner-up spot Montesano Racing LLC, the banner of James Montesano, enjoys a six-win lead over the Orion Stable of Mike, James and Melissa McCoy with two days to go in the season.

MEIER MOVING CLOSER TO 4,000-WIN MILESTONE

In Friday’s fourth race, veteran Arlington Park jockey Randy Meier rode the 3,998th win of his career aboard Louis and Carol Hobson’s Road to Kentucky

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