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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/21/08)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Martin Racing Stable and Carl Moore Management’s Mr. Nightlinger, undefeated since finding a home sprinting on grass in April, shoots for his fifth straight win when he looms as the 8-5 morning line choice in Saturday’s $200,000 Arlington Sprint at five and a half furlongs over Arlington’s world famous turf course.

Although Saturday’s dash will be the 12th running of the Sprint, the race will be on turf for the first time, a fact that should prove to the advantage of Mr. Nightlinger.

The 4-year-old son of Indian Charlie began his current victory skein when he upset Keeneland’s Grade III Shakertown Stakes by a length and three-quarters April 13 to return a $45.80 win mutuel over five furlongs on the grass. Off the strength of that tally, he assumed the favorite’s mantle in Churchill’s Grade III Aegon Turf Sprint May 2 – another five-eighths grass dash – and proved no disappointment to the Kentucky Oaks Day crowd with a one-length score.

The Bret Calhoun trainee, bred by former Kentucky governor Brereton Jones, then won an allowance sprint at that same distance on the Louisville lawn June 18 before shipping to Chicago to capture the $54,800 Taylor’s Special Stakes July 26 by three and a quarter lengths. That sprint served as a prep for this Saturday’s main event.

Capable of providing strong competition for Mr. Nightlinger is the Canadian invader Starticus, owned by Danny Lococo, trained by Ralph Biamonte and 9-2 on the morning line. The Atticus gelding finished third, beaten a length for all of it, in an allowance race on the Woodbine turf in his most recent start Aug. 1, but that race was at six and a half-furlongs and Starticus led most of the way before weakening late. Previously, he had won three straight – the last two of those on Canadian grass.

Earle Macke’s Prince Woodman, trained by Richard Violette, missed by a nose in Belmont’s $75,000 Inside The Beltway Stakes in his last start July 9 and merits some consideration here as the 6-1 third choice in the morning line.

Mr. Nightlinger will be ridden by Jamie Theriot, Fair Grounds’ leading rider last winter; Starticus will be handled by Robby Albarado, Churchill’s champion jockey last spring; and Prince Woodman has Richard Migliore flying in to Chicago for the mount.

Completing the Sprint field is Team Block’s Fort Prado, Rene Douglas; Maggi Moss’s Native Ruler, Eddie Razo; Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm and David Campbell’s Mighty Rule, Chris Emigh; Barry Butzow’s Lovango, Dean Butler; Peter Bradley III’s Dhanyata, Jose Ferrer; Green Hills Farm’s Base Commander, Jesse Campbell; and Harris Thoroughbreds John’s Road, James Graham up.

Saturday’s Sprint has also been selected as one of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Races. The winner of the Arlington Sprint will be entitled to automatic entry in the 2008 running of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint subject to the payment of all pre-entry and entry and supplementary (if applicable) fees.


Daily Herald handicapper Joe Kristufek will take his show “on the road” this Saturday to kiosks on both the Clubhouse (1:30 pm-2:30 pm) and the Grandstand (3 pm-5 pm and to include Daily Racing Form handicapper Marcus Hersh from 3 pm until 4 pm) side of the apron to interact with guests and answer questions.

The earlier portion of the seminar in the Starting Gate Theatre has been cancelled.


Last summer’s renewal of the Arlington Sprint finished with a dead-heat for the win between B Jock Racing’s Piratesonthelake and Waterford Stable’s In Summation.

Ten years before that, the Arlington Sprint finished in a dead-heat for the win between Ken Spraggins and Joseph Lombardo’s Hunk of Class and David Holloway’s Bet On Sunshine. One day before that – on Aug. 23, 1997 – Nancy Vanier’s Barn Swallow and Irish Acres Farm’s My Own Lovely Lee finished on even terms in the Anita Peabody Handicap – since renamed the Lincoln Heritage Handicap.


Frank Calabrese’s Dreaming of Liz, heroine of last year’s Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes and runner-up in this summer’s Arlington Oaks, breezed seven furlongs in 1:25.40 Thursday morning over Arlington’s Polytrack in preparation for the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the grass at Arlington Sept. 6.


Jockeys Jesse Campbell and Chris Emigh – second and fourth in Arlington’s current standings – both registered riding doubles Wednesday at Arlington Park.

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