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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/18/08)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

‘STRIKE’ THE CHOICE TO NAIL DOWN JOHN HENRY STAKES SATURDAY

Edward Evans’ Pleasant Strike, hero of last summer’s Grade III Arlington Classic over Chicago’s world-famous grass course but absent from the Midwest this season, returns to the Northwest suburban oval for Saturday’s $50,000 John Henry Stakes and has been named the 5-2 morning line favorite in the 1 1/16-mile turf test.

Trained by defending Eclipse Award-winning conditioner Todd Pletcher, Pleasant Strike continued on the 2007 Mid-America Triple trail with a creditable fourth-place run in last year’s Grade II American Derby, but disappointed in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes during the International Festival of Racing one year ago.

While campaigning primarily on the East Coast this season, the son of Smart Strike most recently disappointed in the Grade I Philip Iselin Stakes Aug. 16 over Monmouth Park’s main track, but won his previous effort July 27 at Colonial Downs over a muddy surface.

Arlington’s defending jockey champion Rene Douglas has been named to handle the reins aboard Pleasant Strike.

Red Rabbit Stable’s General Charley, with a length and a half win at last asking in Arlington’s $53,400 The Tin Man Stakes Aug. 16 over the local lawn, may be the one to beat. Eddie Perez will return in the irons aboard the Chris Block trainee. The 6-year-old gelding will be shooting for his third straight victory and is the 4-1 second choice in the morning line.

Miller Racing Stable and Mike Conway’s Dynaman cannot be discounted in the John Henry, named in honor of the only-two time winner of the Arlington Million. Dynaman, a son of the good grass sire Dynaformer, is trained by Danny Miller and has already won three straight with regular rider Carlos Silva aboard.

Completing the field is Bonnie Heath Farm’s Cape San Blas, James Graham; Charles Sigrist’s Rey Del Sol, Junior Alvarado; Encore Racing Stable and James McMullen’s Yankee Injunuity, Jose Ferrer; Jer-Mar Stable’s Prospective Kiss, Chris Emigh; George Smith and John Royer’s Tom Archdeacon, Jesse Campbell; and Charles Patton’s Therecomesatiger, Inez Karlsson in the saddle.

‘BREAKFAST AT ARLINGTON’ IN 2008 CLOSES KITCHEN THIS SATURDAY

Visitors to Chicago and Arlington Park have the opportunity to enjoy one last “Breakfast at Arlington” program this Saturday on the morning preceding Arlington’s penultimate racing day of 2008.

The showcase Chicago oval brings down the curtain on its 96-day meeting Sunday with a post-time of 1 p.m.

Those attending Saturday’s “Breakfast at Arlington” get to enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet from 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. as they watch the horses go through their morning training regimen against a backdrop of early morning sunlight.

Also, track announcer John G. Dooley, trainer Liane Davis and Arlington’s entertainment reporter Lauren Massarella host an entertaining, informative program covering everything from training horses to track maintenance.

Plans are being formalized to have Arlington’s perennial leading owner Frank Calabrese and defending trainer champion Wayne Catalano as guests during the entertainment portion of the program. Both will retain their respective crowns in 2008.

Calabrese has been Arlington’s winningest owner during every racing season of the new millennium, and Catalano, currently fourth on the all-time list of Arlington’s winning trainers, will also be Arlington’s leading conditioner for the fourth straight year.

SPECIAL 2 PM FIRST POST AT ARLINGTON THIS FRIDAY

Arlington Park guests as well as its simulcast racing fans are reminded that a special post time of 2 pm will be in effect for the final twilight racing program of the season this Friday.

FAVORED AMAZING RESULTS WON GOING LONG, SHORT AT FAIR GROUNDS

Team Block’s Amazing Results, the 7-5 morning line favorite for Saturday’s $100,000 Lake Michigan Stakes going five and a half furlongs over Arlington’s grass course, captured the $58,000 Black Gold Stakes at that same turf distance in New Orleans last winter, and then returned to take Fair Grounds’ $58,000 Grindstone Stakes when going a mile and a sixteenth over the Crescent City turf course at the end of that Louisiana oval’s 2008 season.

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