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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/13/08)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
First, Stream Cat captured the Grade III Arlington Handicap in a tune-up for the Grade I Arlington Million, and then Communique captured the Grade III Modesty Handicap as the final local prep for Grade I Beverly D. to give conditioner George “Rusty” Arnold a training double during Chicago’s Million Preview Day on Saturday at Arlington Park.
Both Stream Cat, owned by Fab Oak Stable, Bobby Hurley and John Goldthorpe; and Communique, G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s feminine color bearer; came out of their respective races in good order. So what’s next? Is the Arlington Million on the second Saturday in August on the radar for Stream Cat?
“A lot depends on what Mr. Goldthorpe tells me,” said Arnold, speaking over the phone from Lexington Sunday morning. “He’s the managing partner for Stream Cat. I would think either the Arlington Million (Aug. 9) or the (Del Mar’s Grade I) Pacific Classic (Aug. 26) would be on the schedule. The Million is in four weeks, so it would depend on how quickly Stream Cat bounces back from his race yesterday.”
What about Communique for the Beverly D. during Arlington’s one-day International Festival on Aug. 9?
“I’m not so sure about the filly,” said Arnold. “You run into a different group of fillies and mares in the Beverly D. when you have all those good ones coming from Europe. I would think Saratoga’s (Grade III) Glens Falls Handicap (Sept. 1) would be more likely for her, but we’ll have to think about it a little more. The Glens Fall purse is $100,000, and the Beverly D.’s is $750,000, so obviously that’s a big swing in favor of sending her back to Arlington.”
The most recent conditioner to saddle two winners during Million Preview Day’s graded stakes troika was Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who won the Modesty Handicap with Noisette and the Grade II American Derby with Gun Salute in 2005.
“It was a very good day,” Arnold concluded. “I’m very happy that those horses were able to run the way they did for me.”
Michael Cooper and Pamela Ziebarth’s Tizdejavu proved no disappointment to the fans that backed him down to odds-on favoritism for Arlington’s Grade II American Derby Saturday, and the colt remains on track to return for Arlington’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes as the final leg of the Chicago oval’s Mid-America Triple Aug. 9.
“It was a marvelous day yesterday,” said Tizdejavu’s trainer Greg Fox Sunday morning, speaking over the phone from his Lexington base of operations. “Everything went perfect for us. It couldn’t have gone any better. Rene (Tizdejavu’s winning rider Douglas) paced the race perfectly.
“The horse is headed back home right now,” said Fox, “but we’re planning on bringing him back for the Secretariat. The timing of that race (four weeks from now) is perfect for us. However, this next time I think we’ll bring him up to Chicago the week before to give him a little more time to settle in.”
Flying Zee Stable’s Cosmonaut, runner-up in Saturday’s Grade III Arlington Handicap as the race’s defending champion from its two previous renewals, came out of the 10-furlong grass test in good order and remains a candidate for the Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 9.
“I just now got off the plane on my flight back to New York,” said trainer Carlos Martin Sunday morning. “My plan is to talk to Mr. (Flying Zee Stable owner Carl) Lizza a little later today and see what he wants to do, but my vote will be to come back for the Million but fly in a few days earlier.
“I’m not making any excuses for yesterday,” said Martin. “The winner is a very good horse and he ran a great race, but we ended up having to van our horse to Chicago when our scheduled flight fell through. Sixteen hours or so on a van couldn’t have helped our horse, and Rene (jockey Douglas) said he jumped a tire track about a quarter-mile into the race yesterday.
“Rene told me after the race not to be too disappointed,” Martin concluded. “He thinks he would run a lot better over a firm turf course if it comes up that way for the Million.”
Arlington’s 2006 jockey champion Chris Emigh rode three winners Saturday to climb into sole possession of third-place in the local jockey standings.
“Better horses, that’s all,” explained Emigh of his recent surge on Sunday morning as he stepped off a plane in New York. Emigh was enroute to Delaware Park in advance of riding the Ray Sibille-trained Kathleens Reel in Sunday’s Grade II Delaware Handicap.
“I hope this trip goes better than the one last week,” said Emigh. “I flew all the way to New York just to find out my horse had been scratched.”
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