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Contact: David Zenner
LEWIS MICHAEL WINS GRADE II WASHINGTON PARK ‘CAP
Home Town Hero Earns Impressive Score
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 28, 2007) – Sent off at odds of 4-5 by the home town crowd of 9,046, Frank Calabrese’s Lewis Michael did not disappoint his many backers by drawing off to a 4 ¾ length victory after battling pacesetter Throng for nearly a mile in the Grade II $300,000 Washington Park Handicap Saturday at Arlington Park.
E. T. Baird was aboard the son of Rahy for the first time in the Washington Park. The Wayne Catalano-trained 4-year-old colt – a full brother to 2006 Eclipse Award winning 2-year-old filly Dreaming of Anna – covered the mile and three-sixteenths over Polytrack in 1:55.17 and paid $3.80, $3 and $2.10.
“We broke out of the gate really well with the other speed horse (Throng),” Baird said. “We went around the first turn pretty comfortably. I figured it was better if I held my ground and stayed in there instead of getting into a jam. Turning for home, I asked him and he accelerated. I knew he was a nice horse, but I didn’t know he was that nice.”
Throng set the pace from just outside Lewis Michael and posted fractions of :24.74, :48.60 and 1:12.60 before giving way to that rival, whose mile split was 1:37.04.
Mustanfar sat just off the embattled pair while racing three wide, took over second in the stretch but was no match for the winner and paid $5.20 and $3.20.
“I had the winner right where I wanted him down on the inside but when he got going my horse couldn’t stay with him,” said Mustanfar’s jockey, Jesse Campbell.
A. P. Arrow was third in the seven-horse field and paid $2.40. Throng, High Blues, Save Big Money and Minister’s Joy completed the order of finish.
“I knew going in that this was a horse that takes a lot of riding,” said Mark Guidry, who rode second choice A. P. Arrow. “He doesn’t handle (Polytrack) really well but I’m not going to make an excuse. I rode hard and kept him going but he was just third best today.”
The Washington Park Handicap was the first graded stakes victory for Lewis Michael, who had placed in the Grade II Commonwealth Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland and the Grade III Hanshin Cup here. He banked $176,400 to move past the half-million dollar mark in career earnings which now stand at $568,214.
Earlier in the day, Edward Evans’ Mini Sermon won the $47,450 Sweetest Chant Stakes by a length over Marquee Delivery. The Todd Pletcher-trained daughter of Pulpit was ridden by Rene Douglas and paid $3.60, $2.40 and $2.10.
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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