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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/21/08)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Tommy Ligon and Pete Nance of Cottonwood Stables were both in high cotton Sunday morning. That’s because their 3-year-old gelding named Stormy Ballad broke his maiden in the inaugural running of Arlington Park’s $100,000 Lake Michigan Stakes Saturday afternoon.
“(Stormy Ballad) was the first horse I ever bought for these owners,” said trainer Tony Granitz Sunday morning, “so I like to say we all broke our maiden together. They have horses with other trainers, like Larry Jones, but this was our first as a group. I’ve always liked Stormy Ballad, even though he hadn’t won for us until yesterday. I always knew he had a lot of talent – enough so that last month I bought his half-sister out of an OBS sale.
“In fact, I was down at Keeneland for their sale the other day when Craig (Arlington stakes coordinator Lytel) called me and asked if we wanted to enter (the Lake Michigan). I asked him how many were in there and when he told me there were only four at that time, I told him to go ahead and put us in. Everything just worked out great for us.”
Stormy Ballad, who lit up the board Saturday with a whopping $42 win mutuel, had made the pace and weakened late in his two previous starts, but responded to a change of tactics under jockey Junior Alvardo by pressing it in Saturday’s featured grass sprint. The sophomore son of Stormy Atlantic then prevailed in the late stages.
“I had originally nominated the horse just to take a look at the race and see who else was in there,” said Granitz. “Then he looked great when I worked him Tuesday (a half-mile in :48.20), so I was thinking about running him anyway.
“Also, I thought Junior (Alvarado) rode him great,” concluded Granitz. “I didn’t even tell his agent I had named him on. I’d never ridden him (Junior) before, but I named him on at entry time because a couple of other jockeys I asked about were already committed. I’ve always liked the way this kid rides since he got here and like I said, now we’ve all broken our maiden together.”
Alvarado completed a riding double by winning aboard Peter Vegso and Seidler Racing Stables’s Creative Design in the ninth race of the afternoon.
Also scoring a riding double Saturday was jockey Paul Nolan, who scored back-to-back victories for trainer Steve Asmussen with Jack Brooks’ Selina Moon in the fifth race and Bob Zollars and Mark Wagner’s Har D Boy in the sixth.
Dynamic Dynaman drove to his fourth straight tally with a length and a quarter win in Saturday’s co-feature – the $53,600 John Henry Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth over Arlington’s world famous turf course.
Owned by Miller Racing Stable and Mike Conway, Dynaman was ridden by veteran Illinois-based reinsman Carlos Silva, who slipped through along the rail in the late stages.
“I wanted to go outside, but I couldn’t get there,” said Silva in post-race winner’s circle ceremonies.
The rail-driven run may have been a blessing in disguise.
“Things worked out real good for us,” said trainer Danny Miller Sunday morning, “and he’s doing real well this morning. He should be – as it turned out, he only really ran the last sixteenth of a mile.
“I’ll see how he is over the next couple of days,” said Miller. “If he seems to be doing well, I may take a look at the Carey (for Dynaman’s next start.)”
The Grade III Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap will be run Sept. 27 at one mile over the Hawthorne grass course on Chicago’s South side.
Jockey Inez Karlsson became Arlington Park’s leading apprentice rider of 2008 with a win aboard Silver Mound Stable’s Queen of Flowers in Saturday’s second race.
Karlsson, 23, a native of Sweden, engaged fellow apprentice Brandon Meier, 20, born in nearby Elk Grove Village, in an exciting duel for leading apprentice honors to highlight the closing weeks of the northwestern Chicago oval’s 96-day meeting, which concludes Sept. 21.
“It’s been so much fun this summer having such a friendly competition between these two youngsters,” said Karlsson’s agent Penny Ffitch-Heyes Sunday morning. “It’s great to be around such nice young people like Brandon and Inez.”
Karlsson ends her Arlington season in fifth place in the overall 2008 jockey standings.
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