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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/16/09)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Golden Mexico is an undefeated Irish-bred 3-year-old colt who broke his maiden in Italy, is owned by Team Valor International and former South African resident Gary Barber, is trained by French-born Christophe Clement and was most recently ridden by Peruvian-born Alan Garcia.

Now, the son of Daggars Drawn is under consideration for the 75th running of the Arlington Classic May 23 as the first leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple. The Triple continues with the Grade II American Derby July 11 and concludes with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day on Aug. 8.

A $500,000 bonus is being offered by Arlington this season to the owners of any horse who sweeps all three legs of this summer’s sophomore series, all of which will be run over Arlington’s world-famous grass course.

In his most recent trip to the post at Keeneland April 5 over the Lexington lawn, Golden Mexico defeated Wertheimer and Frère’s highly regarded Affirmatif, the 3-10 favorite that day who hails from the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher.

American hopes currently slated for the Arlington Classic include Churchill’s Grade III American Turf Stakes hero Orthodox, owned by John and Kim Glenney, and Giant Oak, owned by Virginia Tarra Trust, runner up in both Churchill’s Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes last fall and Hawthorne’s Grade II Illinois Derby this spring.

Walts David Stable’s Turfiste, third behind Orthodox in the American Turf, is also under consideration for the Classic.

Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman’s Summer Bird, sixth in the Kentucky Derby, and previously considered a strong Classic possibility, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 at Louisiana Downs Friday and is now more likely for the Grade I Belmont Stakes June 6 – with a final decision to be made after the results of the Grade I Preakness Stakes.

The Arlington Classic is one of four stakes carded for Arlington’s Saturday program on Memorial Day Weekend. The gala racing program also offers the Grade III Arlington Matron, the Grade III Hanshin Cup and the second running of the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas.


Jockey Tanner Riggs, 20, a native of Mitchell, South Dakota, and currently enjoying his second full season at Arlington, broke his nose during training hours Saturday morning but will fulfill his riding engagements during the afternoon.

“It’s no big deal,” said Riggs’ agent Randy Curran later in the morning. “A horse he was about to work this morning reared suddenly and hit him in the face, but he’ll ride today. We’re headed back to the racetrack right now. It’s just a bloody nose, that’s all. He’s fine.”

In other updates at the local riding colony, defending jockey champion Rene Douglas has joined E. T. Baird atop the Arlington leader board following a riding double Friday.

Douglas and Baird both have made 10 trips to the winner’s circle entering Saturday’s 12-race Preakness Day program. Also with a riding double Friday was Oaklawn’s 2008 jockey champion Eddie Razo.

Jockey Chris Emigh, Arlington’s 2006 jockey champion, rode William Stiritz’ Time to Getit to victory in Friday’s fourth race to move eight wins away from the coveted 3,000-career win milestone.

The father and son duo of veteran jockey Randy Meier and his son Brandon rode winners on the same program for the first time this summer to record a Meier Family riding double.

The elder Meier, 54, lit up the tote board with a $68 win price astride the Monique Cameron-trained Top of the Scale, owned by William Harris, in Saturday’s opener.

Brandon, 20, piloted Renee and Wayne Catalano’s Helicopter to the winner’s circle after the sixth race of the day for Arlington’s defending trainer champion.

On Thursday, Wayne Catalano’s Trigger Fish Lane, also saddled by last season’s leading conditioner, became the first two-time winner of the Arlington 2009 season when he tallied in the last race of the day.


Irish-bred Balius, owned by Godophin, and Brazilian-bred Gloria de Campaeo, owned by Stefan Friborg – both Arlington Million nominees – are both slated to run Sunday’s Group I Singapore Arlines International Cup at Singapore’s Kranji Racecourse.

Arlington Million XXVII will be contested on Aug. 8.

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