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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/5/08)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Canadian-based filly Much Obliged crossed the world’s friendliest border early this Arlington season to win Arlington’s inaugural running of the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas for Josephine Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stable.

Now, the girl is back in town. Early Friday morning, the daughter of Danka took up temporary residence in Chicago once again to participate in the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes as part of Arlington’s Ladies Day program Saturday.

Since winning the 1000 Guineas May 24, Much Obliged journeyed to the Jersey Shore to miss by a neck when runner-up in Monmouth’s Grade III Boiling Springs June 28, but then ran an uncharacteristically dull race when eighth in Saratoga’s Grade II Lake Placid Aug. 15.

“I thought she ran a huge race at Monmouth,” said trainer Malcolm Pierce, speaking over the phone from Woodbine Friday morning during training hours. “That filly that beat her that day (Lael Stables’ My Princess Jess, who has since won Saratoga’s Grade II Lake George) is a pretty decent filly and I thought we ran very well against her.

“But in that Saratoga race (run over a yielding course) I’m not sure what happened,” Pierce said. “She had kind of an odd trip. She might have been a little too sharp, because she ran too close to the pace and she usually likes to come from well off of it. So I’m not sure if it was the turf or the trip that got to her. But timing wise, the (Pucker Up Saturday) fits very well for her, so we’ll hope for another good run.”


Arlington Park jockey E. T. Baird celebrated Labor Day Monday at Arlington by riding three winners, and when live racing returned to Arlington Thursday, the veteran Illinois-based reinsman added two more.

On Labor Day, the Chicago-born Baird swept the Daily Double, winning the opener aboard Montesano Racing’s My Best Pal Red for trainer Dale Bennett and came back to take the second astride to Frank Calabrese’s Gnightsweetdarlin for conditioner Wayne Catalano.

Baird book-ended Monday’s holiday program with a third win on Dixiana Stables’ Mr. Goodkat for trainer Ronny Werner, and kept that streak going with another win in Thursday’s first race on Montesano Racing’s In a Tiz for trainer Bennett. The 41-year-old Baird rode his second Thursday winner on Dare to Dream Stable’s Cayenne Red for trainer Larry Rivelli.

Conditioner Tom Dorris, Arlington’s affable gentle giant, scored a training double Thursday and accomplished an owner double in the process when Ken Sentel and Dorris’s Inbetween Rainbows won the third under jockey Eddie Perez. Sentel and Dorris silks posed again in the winner’s circle following Thursday’s finale aboard Stage Glitter with Jose Ferrer up.

Dorris also saddled two book-end winners the previous Thursday for owner Gary Tussey, winning the first that day with Buddha’s Bride with Tim Thornton aboard and then that Thursday’s finale with Toast in the Park with Randy Meier in the irons.


Backed by a barn jumping with juveniles, trainer Larry Rivelli could find himself in elite company should Ravin Maniac win Saturday’s Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie. The trainer could follow that up by saddling My Dominick James to win the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity one week later.

Ravin Maniac, owned Richard Ravin and Rivelli, comes into Saturday’s Lassie off a clear victory in her last start here Aug. 7, while that same partnership’s undefeated My Dominick James is being pointed toward next weekend’s local Futurity.

Both the Lassie and the Futurity will be run for the 74th time this month, but only four trainers in Chicago racing history have saddled winners in both of those races in the same year. Two of those – Harry Trotsek and LeRoy Jolley – are in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at Saratoga Springs.

Trotsek won the 1953 Lassie with Hasty House Farm’s Queen Hopeful, and that season’s Futurity with that same farm’s Hasty Road.

Jolley saddled his mother’s (Mrs. Moody Jolley) Rudoma to win the 1961 Lassie, and came right back to win the 1961 Futurity for his mother with Ridan.

Twenty-nine years ago, Bert Sonnier became the most recent horseman to accomplish the rare training double by winning the Lassie with Selz and Smeker’s Sissy’s Time and the Futurity with H. B. Noonan’s Execution’s Reason.

The first to accomplish the Lassie-Futurity double, however, was Clyde Van Dusen (the trainer, not the horse), who saddled Dixiana’s Mata Hari to win the Lassie and Dixiana’s Far Star to win the Futurity in 1933. (The horse had won the Kentucky Derby four years earlier.)

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