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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/17/09)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

‘SHUG’ INVADING ARLINGTON FOR EACH OF SATURDAY’S FOUR STAKES

Hall of Fame trainer “Shug” McGaughey is set to take his New York-based act on the road this Saturday, bringing horses to Chicago for all four of Saturday’s stakes at Arlington Park.

Stewart Armstrong’s Venetian Causeway, a 4-year-old Giant’s Causeway filly who was a 1 3/4-length victress at last asking over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface April 16, has been penciled in for Saturday’s Grade III Arlington Matron, the local oval’s main event each season for older fillies and mares on the main track.

Considered likely for Saturday’s Grade III Hanshin Cup, observing its 15th anniversary as Arlington’s exchange race with the Japan Racing Association, is the McGaughey-trained Vacation, owned by the Phipps Stable. The 4-year-old son of Dynaformer finished third, beaten only a neck, over Keeneland’s Polytrack in his last start April 17, but hopped at the start to immediately compromise his chances.

Also owned by Phipps Stable is Consequence, a McGaughey-conditioned daughter of El Prado who is slated for Saturday’s second running of the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas for 3-year-old fillies at Arlington.

Two 3-year-old colts – Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Rescue Squad and Phipps Stable’s Conservative – are original nominees to Arlington’s Mid-America Triple and at least one of those is likely for Saturday’s 75th running of the Arlington Classic. The $150,000 Arlington Classic serves as the first leg of the Triple.

McGaughey, 58, who resides in Old Westbury, N.Y., and guided the careers of such greats as the undefeated filly Personal Ensign and 1988 juvenile champion Easy Goer, is expected be on hand at Arlington to saddle his horses in all four of Saturday’s stakes.

The native of Lexington, Kentucky, was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at Saratoga Springs, New York, in 2004.

INDESCRIBABLE SEEKS ARLINGTON MATRON REPEAT

Courtlandt Farms’ Indescribable, who captured the 2008 Arlington Matron as a 4-year-old filly, is expected to defend her Matron championship this Saturday as a 5-year-old mare.

Should she accomplish that feat, the daughter of Pleasant Tap would become the first member of the distaff set to do so since Petre and Vodanovich’s Sixty Sails did it 35 years ago.

Indescribable breezed a “bullet” five furlongs in 1:00 flat over Keeneland’s Polytrack Saturday morning.

Now conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott but last year in the hands of Graham Motion, Indescribable could become the first back-to-back winner of the Arlington Matron since Lazy Lane Farms’ Bright Valour won successive renewals eight years ago.

Others expected to contest the 72nd renewal of the $150,000 Matron include Pin Oak Stable’s Euphony, Dede McGehee’s Boudoir, Chiefswood Stable’s Born to Be, Alfred Nuckols Jr.’s Kiss With a Twist, John and Glen Sikura’s Serenading, Kiki Courtelis’s Sky Mom and Stewart Armstrong’s Venetian Causeway.

Possible for the Matron are Mrs. Paul Shanahan’s Allicansayiswow, G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Communique and Mark Stanley’s Swift Temper.

CORAGIL CAT TO TRY FOR SECOND STRAIGHT HANSHIN CUP WIN

Jim Tafel’s Coragil Cat, who won the $53,400 Timeless Native Stakes on Arlington’s opening day May 1 after winning last year’s Timeless Native, will be attempting to follow that back-to-back double with a second straight victory in Saturday’s running of the $100,000 Hanshin Cup.

RENE RETURNS TO TOP OF LOCAL LEADER BOARD; EMIGH AT 2,993 WINS

Defending jockey champion Rene Douglas tallied with a riding triple Saturday to surge two wins in front of his nearest pursuer E. T. Baird in the Arlington jockey standings entering Sunday’s race day.

Arlington’s 2006 jockey champion Chris Emigh rode Carson Springs Farm, Arbaway Farm and Campbell and Dobbs’ Tazz to victory in Saturday’s second race for leading trainer Christine Janks to move seven wins away from the 3,000-career win milestone entering Sunday.

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