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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/3/08)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Chicago’s traditional Fourth of July racing highlight – the spirited 76th renewal of the Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap at Arlington Park – is morphing into gathering of geriatric generations.

The elder statesman of the group is James Messineo’s Major Rhythm, a 9-year-old who won this race two years ago as a spry 7-year-old. However, also included in Friday’s Firecracker Day feature is a pair of 8-year-olds – S. J. Stables’ Cloudy’s Knight, who missed by a nose in this test last summer, and Chrysalis Stables’s Silverfoot, was closing in the final strides of Arlington’s $54,200 Rossi Gold Stakes June 7 in his a warm-up for the Stars and Stripes.

Silverfoot, who sports an almost white coat befitting his age, gets his legs stretched daily as part of his morning regimen.

“He’s a really neat old horse who comes out ‘cinchy’ each morning,” said trainer Leigh Bentley, who will saddle Silverfoot once again Friday for trainer Dallas Stewart. “We always stretch his legs first thing, and he really loves that.”

Following the Rossi Gold, where Silverfoot finished fourth beaten less than two while gaining at the end, the son of With Approval returned to his Churchill Downs home base, but arrived back at Arlington last Saturday.


Arlington Park’s patriotic all-American theme will continue July 12 when it hosts the Grade II American Derby – Chicago’s oldest stakes race – which observes its 94th running as one of three stakes races slated for that afternoon’s Million Preview Day program.

The American Derby is also the middle leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple, which concludes with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes as part of Arlington’s International Festival of Racing Aug. 9.

Fittingly, one of the horses nominated to the American Derby is named Golden Yank, a sophomore son of Yankee Gentleman owned by Millard R. Seldin Revocable Trust, and patriotism also permeates the stakes names of his last two starts.

At last asking, Golden Yank finished second in Churchill’s Grade II Jefferson Cup, and before that the homebred was runner-up in Lone Star Park’s $100,000 USA Stakes.

Also on Arlington’s Million Preview Day program is the Grade III Arlington Handicap, final local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million, which could include Horse of the Year Curlin.

Curlin, winner of last fall’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic, this winter’s Grade I Dubai World Cup and this spring’s Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap, worked very well on turf Tuesday at the Twin Spires oval and remains a viable headline attraction for next week’s Arlington Handicap.

The third banner event on Million Preview Day is the Grade III Modesty Handicap, the last scheduled Arlington prep for the Grade I Beverly D., sister race to the Arlington Million. A late addition to the nominations list for the Modesty is Frank Calabrese’s Dreaming of Anna, Eclipse Award-winning Juvenile Filly two years ago, who would also receive star billing on the second Saturday in July.


Two racing days after Arlington’s season-high straight price of $110.80 based on a $2 wager was recorded – in Wednesday’s final race of the afternoon – a season-high $2 exacta price of $1,768 and a season-high $2 trifecta price of $22,238.80 lit up the Arlington Park tote board.

Also, a season high $.10 Superfecta of $21,735.28 was registered for the first four finishers in that race.

Wednesday’s long shot sequence was triggered by Lawrence Gaudreau and Jeremy Yassen’s Holly At Law, trained by Joel Berndt and ridden by Tanner Riggs, who tallied by two and a quarter-lengths for a $60.20 straight price. Finishing second was the 40-1 Satin Sweep, owned by Lamont Nienast, trained by Percy Scherbenske, and ridden by Junior Alvarado.

A length and a half farther back was Michael Meehan, Shannon Meehan and Sheila Meehan’s Archipelago at 11-1, trained by Mickey Goldfine and ridden by Diego Sanchez, while rounding out the top four was Robert Sedlacek and Rita Pucci’s Pretty Slic Chick at 22-1, trained by Frank Kirby and ridden by Ramsey Zimmerman.

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