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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/20/09)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

GIANT OAK GETS MONDAY MOVE FOR SATURDAY’S ARLINGTON CLASSIC

Virginia Tarra Trust’s Giant Oak, the Illinois Derby runner-up being pointed for Saturday’s 75th anniversary edition of the $150,000 Arlington Classic, breezed a half-mile Monday morning in :47.60 in advance of the first leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple.

“It was just what I wanted and sets him up just fine for Saturday,” said trainer Chris Block after the breeze.

With jockey Eddie Razo aboard for Monday’s 9:30 am move, Giant Oak recorded three successive splits of :12 to get the first three-eighths in :36. After the half, the sophomore son of Giant’s Causeway galloped out five-eighths in :59.40 and six furlongs in 1:14.20.

Razo was aboard the Illinois-bred chestnut when he made a bold late move to finish second by a neck in last fall’s Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Following Saturday’s Arlington Classic, the Mid-America Triple will continue with the Grade II American Derby July 11 as part of Arlington’s Million Preview Day and conclude with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes Aug. 8 as part of Arlington’s International Festival of Racing on Arlington Million Day.

PARADING MARCHES TO VICTORY IN PIMLICO’S DIXIE ON PREAKNESS DAY

Phipps Stable’s Parading tallied by a half-length in the Grade II Dixie Stakes over Pimlico’s grass course on Preakness Day in the Baltimore oval’s traditional prep for Chicago’s Grade I Arlington Million.

Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer “Shug” McGaughey, who is slated to saddle horses in all four of Arlington’s stakes this Saturday, Parading has campaigned almost exclusively on grass but did win Keeneland’s Grade III Ben Ali Stakes over Polytrack and may make his next start in the Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup July 11 over synthetic going.

Arlington Million XXVII updates were also recorded by last weekend on two other continents, with 2009 Million nominee Gloria de Campeao winning the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup at Singapore’s Kranji Racecourse and fellow upcoming Million nominee Never on Sunday capturing France’s Group I Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp.

Gloria de Campeao is a Brazilian-bred owned by Stefan Friborg while Never on Sunday is a French-bred owned by Daniel-Yves Treves.

European-based runners finished first, second and third in the 2008 Arlington Million, which annually attracts the best turf horses from all over the world.

ARLINGTON’S AMERICAN 1000 GUINEAS COMPLETES SATURDAY’S 4 STAKES

The second running of the American 1000 Guineas, restricted to grass-favoring 3-year-old fillies, completes a foursome of stakes races slated this Saturday at Arlington Park.

The one-mile grass test, patterned after an almost worldwide series of more traditional 1000 Guineas races, offers a purse of $200,000 and joins Saturday’s 75th running of the Arlington Classic, the 72nd renewal of the Grade III Arlington Matron and the 57th running of the Grade III Hanshin Cup – celebrating its 15th anniversary as an exchange race with the Japan Racing Association – to make up Arlington’s four-star race day kicking off the Memorial Day weekend.

A guaranteed $100,000 Pick 4 pool will be offered on Saturday’s quartet of Arlington stakes, to be carded as the last four races on the 11-race program.

Earlier this month, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Ghanaati won Great Britain’s Group I stanjames.com 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, and Martin Schwartz’s Elusive Wave submerged her competition in Longchamp’s Group I French 1000 Guineas, better known as the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.

Following Saturday’s American 1000 Guineas at Arlington, the Group I Irish 1000 Guineas will be contested over Ireland’s The Curragh on Sunday.

LOCAL JOCKEY MILESTONE UPDATES: EMIGH AT 2,994; HAMILTON AT 997

Veteran Illinois-based reinsman Chris Emigh, Arlington’s 2006 jockey champion, is now six wins away from the 3,000-career win milestone and is listed to ride five races Thursday.

Jockey Quincy Hamilton, a newcomer to Arlington’s riding colony this season, is currently seven victories shy of the 1,000-career win milestone but has no mounts scheduled for Thursday’s program.

Junior Alvarado, now in his second full season at Arlington, had a riding triple Sunday to move up to the runner-up spot in the current standings – one win behind leader Rene Douglas.

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