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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/14/09)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

AMERICAN TURF HERO ORTHODOX NOW LIKELY FOR ARLINGTON CLASSIC

John and Kim Glenney’s Orthodox, hero of Churchill’s Grade III American Turf Stakes on Kentucky Oaks Day May 1, breezed a half-mile in :48 over Keeneland’s Polytrack course Monday and is now likely for the 75th running of the Arlington Classic May 23 as the first leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple.

Orthodox joins Virginia Tarra Trust’s Giant Oak – second by a neck in last fall’s Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes – and Kalarikkal and Vilasini’s Summer Bird – sixth in the Grade I Kentucky Derby earlier this month – as a third headline attraction slated for the Classic, restricted to grass-favoring sophomores with international potential.

With its strongest renewal in recent memory enhanced by the new $500,000 bonus for any 3-year-old who sweeps the series, the Classic will be followed by the Grade II American Derby July 11 and the Grade I Secretariat Stakes Aug. 8 on Arlington Million Day.

“As of now, we’re seriously considering coming to Arlington for the Classic,” said owner-trainer-breeder John Glenney, speaking over the phone from his Lexington, Kentucky, homebase on Thursday morning. “We’ve got (jockey) Jon Court coming in to work him again on Sunday, and assuming that goes well, we’re looking forward to coming to Chicago.”

STONEHOUSE FIRES BULLET PRIOR TO GRADE III HANSHIN MAY 23

Richard Rudolph and Michael Vranich’s Stonehouse, a winner of his last three in a row at three different racetracks, worked a handy five-eighths in a bullet :59 Thursday morning at Arlington in preparation for the 57th running of the Grade III Hanshin Cup May 23.

To be run at one mile over Arlington’s Polytrack, the Hanshin Cup will also be observing its 15th anniversary edition as an exchange race with the Japan Racing Association.

“Stonehouse worked good,” said trainer “Spanky” Broussard shortly after Thursday’s impressive move. “He’s coming up to the race real good. Horses by that sire (Chester House) develop a little later in their careers. His daddy won the Arlington Million as a 5-year-old, and my horse is a 5-year-old now. Also, my horse runs well over every kind of surface.”

In his most recent trip to the post, Stonehouse won Hawthorne’s $100,000 Milwaukee Avenue Handicap by 5 1/2-lengths April 25. Before that he captured Oaklawn’s $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes by a neck April 9 and previously took down winning honors by four lengths in the $75,000 Gulf Coast Classic at Delta Downs Feb. 28.

CIAO CHOICE IN SATURDAY’S RELUCTANT GUEST STAKES

Iron County Farms’ Ciao, beaten less than four lengths in last year’s Grade I Beverly D. after finishing third in last summer’s Grade III Modesty Handicap, has been installed as the tepid 7-2 morning line choice in Saturday’s $50,000 Reluctant Guest Stakes, slated for one mile over the Arlington Park turf course.

The 5-year-old mare will be making her first start of the year after finishing eighth in Churchill’s Grade III Cardinal Handicap last Nov. 15. Trained by Frank Kirby, Ciao also made her 2008 bow in the Reluctant Guest, finishing fifth over the “yielding” ground that day.

The daughter of Lear Fan breezed seven furlongs in 1:30 over Arlington’s Polytrack Monday, but worked a “bullet” three-quarters in 1:10.60 handily May 4 over that same surface. Ciao will be ridden by Inez Karlsson in Saturday’s local feature at Chicago’s Northwest suburban oval, but a full-card simulcast of Pimlico’s Preakness Day is also offered.

Mack Robinson’s Drop a Line, beaten 1 1/4-lengths in Gulfstream’s grassy Grade III Suwannee River Stakes last February and 1 1/2-lengths over Tampa’s turf in the Grade III Hillsborough Stakes last March, is the second choice in the morning line for Saturday’s Reluctant Guest while pegged at 9-2. Conditioned by Graham Motion, Drop a Line will have Jesse Campbell handling the reins.

Irish-bred Nans Joy, owned by Swettenham Stud and conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, is listed at 5-1 in the Reluctant Guest morning line and merits strong consideration. The daughter of 1990 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner In the Wings was beaten three-quarters of a length in her last start at Keeneland April 17 over Polytrack, but was three times a competitive third over Fair Grounds’ Stall-Wilson turf course last winter in the Furl Sail, Bayou and Fortin handicaps at the New Orleans oval.

John Chandler’s Sharbat, who bested Nans Joy when runner-up in the Fortin behind eventual Grade II Churchill Distaff Mile winner Tizaqueena, also dead-heated for third with Nans Joy in the Bayou and cannot be discounted with defending jockey champion Rene Douglas in the irons.

Completing the Reluctant Guest field is Sam and Joan Pieper’s Quiet Queen, Diego Sanchez up; Carolyn Friedberg and Majestic Farms’ Three Graces, Tim Thornton; Glen Hill Farm’s Sly Storm, Junior Alvarado; Nancy Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbreds’ Love Handles, Lyndie Wade; Steve Holland and Crowns Way Farm’s You Dancing Devil, James Graham; Clyde Peterson’s Mizzcan’tbewrong, Eddie Razo; Pin Oak Stable’s Winsome Ways, Quincy Hamilton; and George Bates’ Labar, Eddie Perez.

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