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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/4/08)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Globetrotting Archipenko, the European-based favorite for Saturday’s Grade I Arlington Million, will get his introduction to Arlington’s world famous turf course Tuesday morning in a dress rehearsal on the latest stage of his 2008 world tour.
After capturing the Grade II Al Fahidi Fort Stakes in Dubai last February, the Group I Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong last April and the Group II Summer Mile Stakes in Great Britain last month, Archipenko is now attempting to add a victory in the showcase race of Chicago’s racing season to that impressive résumé.
Archipenko, a Kentucky-bred son of Kingmambo owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum and Dr. A. H. Parker, arrived at Arlington late Friday night following a flight from Paris, stretched his legs on the local training track Sunday, and cantered over Arlington’s Polytrack course Monday.
Former jockey Trevor Brown, South African trainer Michael de Kock’s head traveling lad, was aboard for both of the first two local moves, but regular rider Kevin Shea will arrive in Chicago in time for the Tuesday turf work scheduled for 8:30 am.
“I’ve just been jogging him these last two mornings,” said Brown during training hours Monday, “but tomorrow, after Kevin gets here, we’re going to give him a good piece of work on the turf course. The boss (de Kock) gets in tomorrow as well.
“(Archipenko) really enjoys traveling,” said Brown. “He’s a very inquisitive guy and he enjoys looking around and taking in new things. He’s a tiny little thing – he might be under 15 hands – but he sure loves to run.”
Kamel Chehboub’s Spirit One, France’s hope in Saturday’s Grade I Arlington Million, cleared quarantine Monday morning in time for an easy canter around Arlington’s Polytrack course with French exercise rider Emmanuel Diard in the irons.
“This is (Spirit One’s) first day outside,” said assistant trainer Rouisse Ludovic on the Arlington apron as he watched Spirit One’s exercise. “He needs a little gymnastics. He was a little feisty walking over here to the track.
“Spirit One (who arrived in Chicago Saturday on an Air France equine charter out of Paris) traveled very well,” Ludovic said. “It was a very easy trip for us. The trainer (Philippe Demercastel) will get to Chicago Wednesday night along with the owner.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will send him back to the track and send him around twice,” said Ludovic. “The first time will be easy, but the second time we’ll ask for a little bit more.”
Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein, South American-bred but North American-campaigned as the Grade I Arlington Million choice based on this side of the Atlantic, breezed a half-mile in :49.80 Sunday morning at Churchill Downs and was due in at Arlington Park Monday afternoon.
Runnymede Farm’s Meribel, slated for Saturday’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes as the sister race to the Arlington Million, breezed a half in :48.80 at the Twin Spires oval and is also due in Chicago Monday afternoon.
Einstein, winner of the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day May 3, and Meribel, beaten less than a length by Chicago-based Beverly D. contestant Dreaming of Anna in Tampa’s Grade III Endeavor Stakes last winter, are both trained by Helen Pitts.
S J Stables’ Cloudy’s Knight, winner of Canada’s Grade I Canadian International at Woodbine last October, completed what trainer Frank Kirby called a “long gallop” Monday morning at Arlington in preparation for Saturday’s Grade I Arlington Million.
“He doesn’t need to do much,” said Kirby as he watched the move from the apron. “He’s training good and he’s feeling good.”
Cloudy’s Knight, who won Woodbine’s Grade II Sky Classic last September and was beaten a nose in the 2007 Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap at Arlington, also was a close second – beaten a half-length by Saturday’s Brazilian-bred Arlington Million runner Einstein – in 2007’s Grade II Mervin Muniz Memorial in New Orleans after winning the Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap a month earlier.
Shortly after Cloudy’s Knight’s Monday move, the Kirby-conditioned Ciao, owned by Iron County Farms, got a similar long gallop in preparation for Saturday’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes for grass-favoring fillies and mares of quality.
“She’s doing good, too,” said Kirby, “and now we’ve got Johnny Velazquez to ride her.”
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