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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/21/08)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Talk about the luck of the Irish. In Friday’s eighth race at Arlington Park, a foal born on St. Patrick’s Day of 2005 lit up the tote board with a $110.80 win price – highest of the current meeting – but the boxcar payoffs didn’t end there.

John and Lois Auer’s Jade’s Quest, the 3-year-old filly trained by John Wainwright and ridden by Jerry La Sala, who recorded that mutuel, was also completing the second half of a season-high daily double begun with William Ryan’s Kid Soup ($15.40 to win) in the seventh race. That two-race winning combo was worth $1,228.20 based on a $2 wager.

But that’s not all, folks. The daily double on the seventh and eighth races proved to be a short-lived season-high mark, because when Jade’s Quest was combined with Eight Balls of Racing’s Mongoose Gold, winner of Friday’s ninth race for a $27.80 straight price, the daily double payoff on that eighth and ninth race combination was worth $2,295.

Jade’s Quest had made only one start prior to Friday’s upset, finishing 12th beaten more than 30 lengths in a maiden race last August at Ellis Park when she was trained by Eddie Essenpreis.

“When I got her from Eddie, he told me he liked her a lot,” said Wainwright Saturday morning, speaking over the phone from his Southern Illinois base of operations, “and that he didn’t really know why she didn’t show a lot that day.

“After I got her, I had her pretty close to running,” Wainwright said, “and then she had another little setback so I decided to give her some time off and let her regroup a little bit.

“Jerry (winning jockey La Sala) has been getting on her in the mornings since she got to Arlington this summer,” said Wainwright. “He told me that she was really beginning to come around and he expected she’d run well. But the owner should get some credit, too. He’s the man who picked her out and bought her when she was a yearling in a September sale at Keeneland.

“Jack and Lois are from St. Louis,” Wainwright said. “They are a couple who always enjoyed racing and wanted to get into the business eight or nine years ago after he retired. I have about 18 or 20 head for them now. They’re great people – lot of fun to be around – and they find themselves really enjoying this game.”


James Messineo’s Major Rhythm, hero of the Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap two years ago and winner of the prep for this year’s running in the $54,200 Rossi Gold Stakes three weeks ago, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 Saturday morning at Arlington Park.

The 76th renewal of Arlington’s traditional Fourth of July feature will be contested at the marathon distance of a mile and a half next Friday.

“We got just what we wanted this morning,” said Major Rhythm’s trainer Doug Matthews a few hours after Saturday’s morning move. “He started slow and then picked it up and finished very well.

“Trey Agilar (aboard for the Rossi Gold win June 7) will ride him again Friday,” Matthews said. “We don’t want to change a winning team.”


Brayden Cecchi, a 3-year-old who suffers from leukemia but loves horses, horse racing and jockeys, will present the trophy following Sunday’s second race at Arlington Park.

The youngster, who wants to be a jockey when he grows up, will get to meet and talk with some of the Arlington jockeys during his time at Arlington Sunday. In past visits, Brayden has enjoyed being by the rail in the paddock where he has been able to wave and say “hi” to the horses and their jockeys.


Highlighting Sunday’s Pepsi Family Day, presented by the Daily Herald at Arlington Park, will be performances by Hanlon-Lees Action Theater.

A time long remembered comes to life when swords clash, axes ring and splendor and pageantry are displayed by the Knights of Hanlon-Lees as they compete in thrilling contests of skill and daring.

- END -



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