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Contact: David Zenner
Lord Carmen Rallies for Upset Win in James Tafel Illinois Owners Stakes
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 3, 2008) – J David Banks & Hondo Ranch Inc.'s Lord Carmen circled the field entering the stretch, took the lead inside the furlong grounds and drew clear to win the $100,000 James B. Tafel Illinois Owners Stakes by two lengths over favored Fort Prado on Saturday at Arlington Park. Ramsey Zimmerman was astride the Frank Kirby-trained son of Ordway who covered the mile and a sixteenth over soft turf in 1:50.76.
The Tafel is restricted to horses where at least 51% of the ownership is registered to an owner whose Illinois Racing Board license registration reflects an Illinois address.
"The track played into this result quite a lot," said Kirby. "(Lord Carmen) really likes soft turf and he's always really liked the Arlington course. And I'm grateful that (jockey) Ramsey Zimmerman decided to come back to Arlington this summer. He's rode a lot of really nice winners for me."
Kirby and Zimmerman teamed up to take the Grade I Canadian International at Woodbine last October, giving both trainer and jockey their biggest win.
Lord Carmen earned $60,000 for the victory to boost his bankroll to $331,868 while bettering his record to seven wins from 37 starts overall and five for 10 over the Arlington turf.
Fort Prado, two-time Illinois Horse of the Year, had all sorts of trouble in the stretch before finally getting clear to take home second money of $20,000 to pass the million-dollar mark at $1,008,051.
"It's a tough way to become a millionaire, but this is a tough business," acknowledged Fort Prado's trainer Chris Block. "We'll just try 'em again next time. (He had a) horrible trip. This was a case of bad racing luck - plain and simple."
Rey Del Sol was third in the nine-horse field, followed by Chief Thief, Major Rhythm, Wildrally, Brothers Nicholas, Rector and Ravensworth.
Lord Carmen returned $19, $5.80 and $4.60. Fort Prado returned $2.80 and $2.60. Rey Del Sol paid $4.
Earlier in the day, a Tafel-owned horse posted a big upset in the $53,000 Timeless Native Stakes, scoring in Polytrack-record time of 1:33.55 under jockey Diego Sanchez. Trained by Greg Geier, Coragil Cat, a son of Forest Wildcat paid $24.60, $7.40 and $3 as the longest price on the board.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 96-day meet in 2008 from Friday, May 2 through Sunday, Sept. 21. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 11 off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry, The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit, Rookies featuring Trackside OTB in Homewood and Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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