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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/5/08)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Stephanie Clark’s Silverfoot, coming off a pair of respectable outings in graded stakes company, finds an easier spot and has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s $50,000 Rossi Gold Stakes at Arlington Park.

The Rossi Gold, at 1 3/16-miles over the local lawn, is the Chicago oval’s traditional prep for the Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap, to be run at 1 1/2-miles over Arlington’s world-famous turf course on the Fourth of July.

Trained by Dallas Stewart, Silverfoot was beaten only three lengths despite a wide trip in Churchill’s Grade III Louisville Handicap at 12 furlongs on turf in his last start May 24. The gray gelding was also fifth in Keeneland’s Grade II Elkhorn April 25 at that same distance over the Lexington lawn. Chris Emigh, Arlington’s leading rider in 2006, is named aboard.

Alex and Joanne Lieblong’s Telling, a fashionably grass-bred son of A. P. Indy out of a Deputy Minister mare, is the 3-1 second choice in the Rossi Gold morning-line. Trained by Steve Hobby, who has gotten off to a very good start at Arlington this season. Telling won his career turf debut in his most recent start over soft ground here May 16, drawing off in the late stages of a 1 1/16-mile turf run. Now a winner of four straight, Telling will be ridden by regular rider Eddie Razo, leading rider at Oaklawn this winter.

Completing the Rossi Gold field is Frank and Kim Jelicki’s Watchingirlsgoby, Earlie Fires up; James Glenn and William Patterson’s Rumor Has It, Eddie Perez; Starlight Stable and Donald Lucarelli’s Throng, Chris DeCarlo; Normandy Farm’s Promisei’llbehome, Ramsey Zimmerman; Devil Eleven Stable and John Goldthorpe’s Tiger Woodman, Jesse Campbell; Stronach Stables’ Silver Whistle, James Graham; Maximum Six LLC’s Greycliff Exchange, Rafael Medina Jr.; and James Messineo’s Major Rhythm, Trey Agilar aboard.

Major Rhythm, 6-1 in the morning-line, cannot be discounted. The 9-year-old gelding won the Stars and Stripes two years ago and finished second behind French Beret in Fair Grounds’ Col. E. R. Bradley last January. That rival went on to be a close runner-up in the Grade II Mervin Muniz Memorial, the showcase turf race of the New Orleans season.


Because of Saturday’s special Noon first post time at Arlington Park, those in attendance at this season’s second “Breakfast At Arlington” program from 7:30-9:30 am will be welcome to remain and enjoy the atmosphere of the local facility before the gates have a special early opening at 10:15 am.

Those in attendance at Chicago’s northwest suburban oval will also get to watch and wager on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes from New York, where Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown will attempt to become the first horse to sweep Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown since the Florida-bred Affirmed accomplished the feat in 1978.

Arlington’s Belmont Day program has been expanded to 12 live races in addition to the simulcast of the Belmont Stakes.


Following a brilliant racing career as a multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire, 1999 Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly Chilukki and her final foal both died tragically last year following complications during the birthing process.

That left the 2-year-old filly named Chilukki’s Song as the champion’s youngest legacy, and that daughter of Elusive Quality recently arrived at the barn of trainer Mike Stidham and posted a three furlong-breeze of :36 on May 28 in her initial public performance.

“We haven’t had her here with us very long,” said Stidham when asked about the Stonerside homebred, “so we don’t know very much about her yet, but if she can run like her mother we’ll be in great shape. In fact, if she can run half as good as her mother, we’ll be in great shape.”

A few barns away on the Arlington backstretch, a large well-balanced 2-year-old colt named Brazilian Bay has been in residence since shortly after the barn area opened. That youngster, by the Irish-bred stud Sligo Bay, is out of Brazilian Mama, a daughter the Brazilian-bred turf star Siphon.

“I told everyone I’d be back as soon as I had another good prospect,” said trainer Kenny Spraggins, absent from Arlington last year after training Hunk of Class to win the 1997 Arlington Sprint and also initially developing 2003 Round Table Stakes hero Wiggins some years later. “This horse caught my eye at the Keeneland September sale. I had my partner check his X-rays and they came back clean so we kept on looking at him.

“Because he went through the ring early in the sale before the momentum got going we were able to get him cheap,” Spraggins said. “I’ve worked him four times here (including a bullet three furlongs in :34.80 handily) earlier in the month, but I’m not going to rush him. I’m going to give him all the time he needs to develop. He’s a Sligo Bay, and they usually don’t start to really come into their own until they’re 3-year-olds.”

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