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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/8/08)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Sassafras Racing and Gulf Coast Farms’ Meal Penalty has been slated as the 8-5 morning-line choice in Saturday’s Arlington feature: the $50,000-added Shecky Greene Stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs over the Polytrack course.
Trained by defending Eclipse Award-winning conditioner Todd Pletcher, Meal Penalty is coming off a front-running four-length victory over Keeneland’s Polytrack course on April 12 and will be ridden by Arlington’s defending jockey champion Rene Douglas in Saturday’s sprint.
After breaking his maiden in the first start of his career last September at the Meadowlands over sloppy going, Meal Penalty was sent to Keeneland where he won by a nose at second asking when going seven furlongs.
The gray Tale of a Cat colt was then shipped to the West Coast for the Grade III Hollywood Prevue over Cushion track in November and finished third, but then disappointed one month later when eighth in Hollywood’s Grade I CashCall Futurity.
In his first start as a sophomore Jan. 20 at Santa Anita, Meal Penalty was fifth to eventual Arkansas Derby winner Gayego, and then came back with another fifth-place effort in Santa Anita’s Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes Feb. 2.
Capable of providing strong competition for Meal Penalty in the Shecky Greene is Earl Trostrud Jr., Mark Hoffman and Michael Reavis’s Young Joe. That bred-for-speed son of Roar out of a Boston Harbor mare won his Arlington debut May 3 by five and a quarter lengths in the eye-catching hand time of 1:08.40. Timmy Thorton returns in the irons aboard the Reavis trainee.
Also coming off a win at last asking is Overbrook Farm’s Georgetown, a homebred son of Storm Cat out of a Deputy Minister mare who won by a length in non-winners-of-one-other than company over Keeneland’s Polytrack April 17. Veteran Arlington jockey Chris Emigh, 2006 jockey champion at the local oval, is named aboard the Dallas Stewart trainee.
Completing the Shecky Greene field are Edward Gann’s Processor’s Turf, eighth in Churchill’s Grade III Crown Royal American Turf on Kentucky Oaks Day May 2 (another Pletcher-conditioned colt who has Jesse Campbell slated for the saddle), supplementary nominee Denos Keys, owned by James Cristel and trained by Mark Cristel with Eddie Razo in the irons, and Dyedra Kademoglou’s Golden Citizen E K, conditioned by Dale Bennent with Eddie Perez named to ride.
Two teenage jockeys – both highly regarded by local horsemen for their unlimited potential – took turns posing in the winner’s circle at Arlington last Sunday during the third racing day of the 2008 season. Both appear poised to establish themselves as the “young guns” of this year’s Arlington jockey colony.
Tanner Riggs, 19, a native of Mitchell, South Dakota, captured the eighth race of the afternoon with a front-running tally aboard Patti and Danny Miller and Mike Conway’s San Saba for trainer Danny Miller.
Two races later, Lyndie Wade, 17, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, came from off the pace to win Sunday’s 10th race astride the Christine Janks-trained Blue Knight for owner Kenneth Larson.
S J Stables LLC’s Cloudy’s Knight, hero of Woodbine’s Grade I Canadian International in his last start Oct. 21 at Woodbine Race Course, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60 at Arlington Monday in his third work of the year, with veteran exercise rider Bonfilio Velazquez in the irons.
“We were happy with the work,” said trainer Frank Kirby. “He’s doing well.”
As for what might be in the 8-year-old gelding’s future, Kirby remained uncommitted.
“I hear they might put up a prep for the ($50,000) Rossi Gold (run June 7), but I haven’t seen it in the book yet,” said Kirby. “However, I’ll also take a look at the ($100,000) Opening Verse at Churchill (May 31), and of course I’m also keeping my eye on Arlington’s Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap (July 4).”
Cloudy’s Knight finished second by a nose in last summer’s Stars and Stripes.
Arlington Thoroughbred racing fans are reminded that post time on Fridays for the 2008 season is a little earlier than in recent summers.
The rock band 215 West will entertain during the Miller Lite Party in the Park this Friday with first race and first song both beginning at 2:30 pm.
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