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Contact: David Zenner
‘PLEASANT’ STRIKES AGAIN IN ARLINGTON CLASSIC
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 23, 2007) – Edward Evans’ Pleasant Strike rallied from off the pace to win Saturday’s Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, by three and three-quarter lengths in the grass test that serves as the first leg of Arlington Park’s Mid-America Triple.
Drawing off impressively in the late stages, the Todd Pletcher-trained son of Smart Strike was ridden by leading rider Rene Douglas and covered the mile and a sixteenth distance in 1:42.05 over a turf course rated firm.
“In the stretch this horse really took off,” said Douglas, who won four straight riding titles at Arlington from 2001-2004. “Todd (trainer Pletcher) did a good job with this horse. I was just the pilot.”
Would Pleasant Strike be likely to return for the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel’s July 21, and the Grade I Secretariat Stakes Aug. 11 to complete a sweep of the 2007 Mid-America Triple?
“That depends on how he comes off (this race),” said Mike Dilger, Pletcher’s assistant trainer who saddled Pleasant Strike at Arlington Saturday. “That depends on what the boss wants to do.”
Saturday’s victory was the second straight for the 3-year-old Kentucky homebred at Arlington. The colt won his previous test May 26 over Arlington’s Polytrack course. Pleasant Strike earned $86,400 for Saturday’s Classic tally, his third in eight starts overall, to boost his bankroll to $150,970.
Barry Butzow’s Lovango closed willingly to finish second, a half-length clear of Fab Oak Stable’s Quasicobra. Starbase, Vaunt, Pirate Saint, Beta Capo, Tom Archdeacon and Riverside Rascal completed the order of finish.
Pleasant Strike paid $12, $6 and $4.60. Lovango returned $8.80 and $6.20, while Quasicobra paid $4.80.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 94-day meet in 2007 from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, Sept. 16. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates nine off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities – Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry and The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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