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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/13/08)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Following an Arlington Park riding triple Friday, apprentice jockey Inez Karlsson moved to within three victories of leading local apprentice Brandon Meier, who also made one visit to the winner’s circle during the Chicago oval’s twilight racing program.

The three-win spread between the two talented youngsters is the narrowest margin to date in their duel for leading apprentice jockey honors for Arlington’s 2008 season.

Meier, 20, born in nearby Elk Grove Village, made his professional debut successful with a win in the first race of his career last May 11 aboard Frank Calabrese’s Houseboat. While riding primarily for Arlington’s perennial leading owner, the son of veteran Chicago jockey Randy Meier quickly established himself as Arlington’s top “bug” rider early in the session.

Karlsson, 23, a native of Sweden and without those strong local connections, began Arlington’s season riding mostly longshots, but her wins started coming in bunches when she started riding for Frank Kirby, twice Arlington’s leading trainer. The Meier-Karlsson duel has become increasingly close late in the season that has six racing days remaining.

Following early scratches for Saturday’s program, Karlsson was still listed to ride eight mounts while Meier was slated for seven.

Karlsson’s Friday triple began in the opener aboard Eagle Valley Farm’s Logan’sshorebreeze for trainer Kirby, continued in the sixth astride Larry Byer’s Tates Queen for conditioner Steve Hobby, and concluded in the ninth on John Carman’s Lissa’s Star for trainer Roger Brueggemann.

Meier’s lone Friday tally came in the fourth race aboard Ted, Jean, Chris and Connie Barlas and Diana Jacobs’ Lighthouseville for trainer Andy Hansen.


Peter Bradley III’s Dhanyata, a 4-year-old filly who finished third in Arlington’s Grade III Chicago Handicap over Polytrack on June 28, returns to that surface and has been installed as the 2-1 morning line choice for Sunday’s $50,000 Safely Kept Stakes.

Sunday’s six-furlong sprint restricted to fillies and mares honors the 1990 Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion owned by Jayeff B Stable who came to Arlington to win the 1991 Chicago Handicap. Safely Kept also finished second in the 1989 Breeders’ Cup Sprint as a sophomore filly racing against older males.

In her most recent trip to the post Aug. 29, Dhanyata finished seventh in the $200,000 Arlington Sprint, but that race was contested over the local lawn. Irish-born jockey James Graham will handle the reins on the Irish-bred Dhanyata.

Slated as the 9-2 second choice in the Safely Kept is Gerald Frankel and Robert and Coit Strauss’s Spring Awakening, a California invader who won Hollywood’s $100,000 Moccasin Stakes last November and came right back to take Santa Anita’s $125,000 California Breeders’ Championship in December. Arlington’s champion jockey Rene Douglas is listed in the irons.

Completing the Safely Kept field is Scarlet Stable’s Sole of the City (10-1), Inez Karlsson; Team Block’s Secret Kin (10-1), Eddie Perez; Ronald Armstrong’s Funny Girl Rachel (20-1), Eddie Razo; Terry Bruner’s Ally’s Little Sis (20-1), Trey Agilar; Michael Dini, William Strauman and Don Bara’s Taylor Madison (10-1), E. T. Baird; Arbaway Farm and Carson Springs Farm’s Pretty Jenny (6-1), Perry Compton; Dell Ridge Farm’s Saint Pegasus (30-1), Chris Emigh; Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s Quota (10-1), Junior Alvarado; Bob and Nancy Bartels’ Bluesbdancing (20-1), Randy Meier; and Richard Rudolph and Michael Vranich’s Magnetic Miss (10-1), Earlie Fires.


Junior Jockey Club members get to make a trip out to the Starting Gate Sunday to see Thoroughbreds in action as a race begins. The members will meet Arlington starter “Blue” Knott and his assistants and find out how they help everything go smoothly.


Frank Calabrese’s Lewis Michael, who journeyed to California last month to capture Del Mar’s Grade II Pat O’Brien Handicap Aug. 24, breezed five furlongs Saturday morning over Arlington’s Polytrack in 1:02.20.

The 5-year-old Wayne Catalano trainee accomplished the move with early splits of :13, :25, :37.60 and :49.60 before galloping out three-quarters in 1:18.

Last summer, Lewis Michael captured Arlington’s Grade II Washington Park Handicap.

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