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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/9/08)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
As part of a star-spangled afternoon that appropriately includes Arlington’s historic American Derby, more than 30 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor will be saluted between Saturday’s races at Chicago’s premier oval.
The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest military award for uncommon valor in combat, and the United States Military Corps Color Guard will individually recognize each of those Medal of Honor recipients in winner’s circle ceremonies.
In American history, fewer than 3,500 individuals have been deemed to have served with such extraordinary courage that they were presented with the only military award both approved and presented by the President of the United States.
Other highlights of Medal of Honor weekend July 11-13 will include a display of military vehicles, and on Saturday evening Arlington Park will host “In the Company of Heroes 2008” – a fundraising dinner honoring the recipients.
NBC-5 anchorman Bob Sirott will serve as the master of ceremonies at Saturday’s dinner. Tickets are available at $1,000 per seat and $10,000 per table with all proceeds going to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.
Racing fans are reminded that post time for the first race this Saturday during Arlington Park’s Million Preview Day will be 12:30 pm.
The 12-race card will feature three graded stakes races – the Grade II American Derby for 3-year-olds, the Grade III Arlington Handicap for older horses, and the Grade III Modesty Handicap for fillies and mares.
All three of those races serve as final local previews for the upcoming International Festival of Racing on Arlington Million Day Aug. 9.
The $250,000 American Derby, observing its 93rd renewal as Chicago’s oldest stakes race, is the middle leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple and final tune-up for Arlington’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes. The $200,000 Arlington Handicap is the Chicago oval’s preview of the Grade I Arlington Million four weeks later, and the $150,000 Modesty Handicap for fillies and mares serves as a gauge for the Grade I Beverly D. – the Arlington Million’s sister race.
Also on Saturday, Arlington will offer a $100,000-guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool covering the final four races of the day, and the first 10,000 admissions on Million Preview Day will get a free Arlington Million baseball cap.
Europeans considering an assault on Arlington’s International Festival of Racing Aug. 9 have sent a pre-invasion advance scout in the form of Joseph Allen et al’s Blue Exit, who arrived at Arlington in the wee hours of Wednesday morning following a flight from Europe to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
Although a Kentucky homebred, Blue Exit’s six career starts have all come in France for internationally prominent French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget.
In his most recent trip to the post, the son of Pulpit out of an Arch mare won the $86,000 Matchem Stakes at Maisons-Lafitte on June 6. Before that, Blue Exit was second by three-quarters April 25 over yielding ground in the $86,000 Prix FBA Aymeri de Mauleon at Toulouse.
Blue Exit is expected to clear quarantine late Thursday morning.
Whetting Thoroughbred racing fans’ appetites Saturday morning in advance of Million Preview Day will be a “Breakfast At Arlington” program from 7:30 am-9:30 am.
Guests at the morning show on the Arlington apron get to enjoy a breakfast buffet while they watch horses go through their morning training regimen.
Track announcer John G. Dooley, trainer Liane Davis and television entertainment reporter Lauren Massarella once again serves as hosts for the “Breakfast At Arlington” program.
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