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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/20/08)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

WHITE SOX INSPIRED BY WINNING ‘HIT ‘N RUN’ AT ARLINGTON

Several members of the Chicago White Sox organization had reason to cheer before Friday night’s win on the road in Kansas City. The Pale Hose’ 9-4 win over the Royals reduced the Sox magic number to “7,” but earlier in the day they celebrated a triumph in a different sport.

That’s because a Thoroughbred filly the group owns in a young partnership, formed earlier this year, captured the second half of Friday afternoon’s Daily Double at Arlington Park.

Hit ‘N Run Stable’s Halo and Goodbye split rivals in the late stages of Arlington’s second race to win it by head and return $17.60 for a $2 wager, allowing a pre-game celebration in the visitor’s clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium.

“They were watching the race in Kansas City in the visitor’s clubhouse,” said Equibase chart caller Jim Miller, who co-owns the filly with Hit ‘N Run. “After she found that opening between the leaders and shot through to get up at the wire they were all going crazy.”

In its current format, Hit ‘N Run Stable consists of Miller’s neighbor Brian Ball, an assistant trainer for the White Sox; Kevin Hickey, a former pitcher for both the White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles; Mike Gellinger, the White Sox computer scouting analyst along with his father Terry; and Ed Cassin, manager of White Sox team travel.

Miller, who called the chart of Halo and Goodbye’s race in the press box at Arlington before bounding down to the winner’s circle for post-race ceremonies, is a former pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

“Maybe this filly’s win will encourage the Sox to perform well between now and the end of their season and in the (potential) playoffs beyond that,” Miller said. “Also, maybe this win will encourage other members of the team to want to join together in future partnerships.”

APPRENTICE DUEL A DEAD-HEAT ENTERING SATURDAY’S PROGRAM

Arlington Park’s talented apprentice jockey twosome, Brandon Meier and Inez Karlsson, were tied with 58 wins apiece entering Saturday’s 12-race program on the penultimate day of Arlington’s 2008 season.

Meier, 20, born in nearby Elk Grove Village, and Karlsson, 23, a native of Sweden, also shared the fifth spot in Arlington’s overall jockey standings.

Meier, son of veteran Illinois-based reinsman Randy Meier, has packed his tack and will be riding at Southern California’s Oak Tree meeting which begins Sept. 24.

Karlsson remains at Arlington and is listed astride nine mounts Saturday and seven more on Sunday’s 11-race closing day card.

ARLINGTON CHAMPION JOCKEY RENE DOUGLAS KEENELAND BOUND

Arlington Park champion jockey Rene Douglas will journey to Lexington, Kentucky, for the Keeneland meeting after the Northwest Chicago oval closes the doors on its 2008 racing season Sunday.

As a guest on the “Breakfast at Arlington” program Saturday morning, Douglas disputed unconfirmed earlier reports that he was headed to Southern California, where he has enjoyed some success in recent seasons.

“As far as I know, I’m going to Keeneland and then on to Gulfstream,” said Douglas, accompanied by his wife Natalia after leaving the public interview portion of the program. “We still own our house in Southern California, but it’s rented right now.”

Douglas, 41, is a native of Panama but has ruled the Arlington standings whenever he has ridden an entire Arlington meeting. He is the only jockey in Arlington Park history to have captured four straight local titles and has captured six of the last eight.

LOVE HANDLES’ HANDLERS SEEKING SECOND SQUEEZE

Nancy Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbreds’ Love Handles will be seeking her second straight win in Sunday’s female division of the $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes.

However, the filly & mare turf test is specifically renamed in honor a different female Illinois owner each year. Last year, when Love Handles grabbed the inaugural running, the race was named in honor of the late Ada L. Rice.

Sunday’s renewal honors the very active and very affable Nancy Vanier, wife of Arlington legendary trainer Harvey Vanier. Mrs. Vanier is slated to present the trophy for Sunday’s closing day feature, but since Love Handles is the 3-1 morning line favorite Sunday, she may very well end up presenting the trophy to herself.

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