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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/11/09)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Communique, runner-up in the 2008 Grade I Beverly D., heads a field of seven fillies and mares in Saturday’s $50,000 Reluctant Guest Stakes on the grass – designed as a local prep for this season’s sister race to the Arlington Million.

The Arlington Million, the Beverly D. and the Secretariat Stakes – as the only three Grade I races contested in Illinois on an annual basis – will make up this summer’s International Festival of Racing on Aug. 8.

In last year’s Beverly D., Communique closed willingly between horses in the late stages, could not catch the victorious Mauralakana but clearly earned the place position. Trained by Rusty Arnold, the daughter of Smart Strike finished second in the Grade III Bewitch Stakes over Keeneland’s turf on April 23 in her most recent trip to the post.

Communique, an original nominee to this summer’s Beverly D. at 1 3/16-miles over the local lawn, has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite for Saturday’s nine-furlong Possibly Perfect with E. T. Baird listed to handle the reins.

Capable of providing strong competition for Communique in the Possibly Perfect is Bentley Smith Revocable Trust’s Lady Carlock, who will be ridden by James Graham and is 5-2 in Saturday’s morning line.

The Carl Nafzger trainee finished sixth at last asking in Keeneland’s Grade II Jenny Wiley Stakes over a Lexington lawn rated “good,” but was compromised after being bumped in the stretch. Before that she was seventh in Gulfstream’s Grade III The Very One Stakes Feb. 22 but was forced to check on the first turn that day. Previously, the daughter of 2000 Arlington Million winner Chester House captured Gulfstream’s Grade III Suwannee River Stakes Feb. 1.

Completing the Possibly Perfect field are Susan Fallon and Genevieve Rafael’s Guanahani, Quincy Hamilton up; Craig Bernick’s You Go West Girl, Junior Alvarado; Three Chimneys Racing’s Russian Rosie, Fernando Jara; Mack Robinson’s Cherokee Queen, Jesse Campbell; and Joseph Higgins’ Laguna Plateada, Eddie Razo in the irons.

You Go West Girl merits consideration here after racing five wide when third in Belmont’s $111,000 Mount Vernon Stakes at last asking May 17. Despite taking the overland route that afternoon, the daughter of Mr. Greeley was only beaten 2 3/4-lengths at the wire. Last winter at Calder, You Go West Girl was a competitive fourth in the Grade II La Prevoyante Handicap at 12 furlongs over the South Florida grass.


Panamanian jockey Fernando Jara, who burst into national prominence as a teenager by winning the 2006 Belmont Stakes aboard Shadwell Stable’s Jazil, arrived in Chicago Wednesday night and will hang his tack at Arlington Park for the remainder of the season.

Jara, now 21, continued his sudden Belmont success by winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic astride Shadwell’s Invasor at Churchill Downs later that fall.

In February of 2007, Jara teamed with Invasor to win the Grade I Donn Handicap and in March journeyed to the United Arab Emirates to capture the Grade I Dubai World Cup aboard that same Argentinian-bred.

After choosing to remain in Dubai most of that year, Jara fell off the racing public’s radar in North America.

Jara worked a horse for trainer Steve Hobby Thursday morning, and is slated to ride six horses Saturday at Arlington, including the Irish-bred Russian Rosie in featured Possibly Perfect Stakes, as well as both halves of the opening Daily Double.

Jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan, another newcomer to the Arlington jockey colony who arrived last week, will journey back to South Florida Saturday to ride on Calder’s Festival of the Sun program but return to Chicago at its conclusion.


Terry Biondo’s Cubswin, an unstarted 3-year-old conditioned by veteran Arlington Park trainer Michele Boyce, breezed three furlongs in :37.20 Thursday morning but remains some weeks away from his first start - in similar fashion to the 2009 Chicago Cubs.

“Actually, I was hoping he could start last year and win his first race while the Cubs were winning the World Series,” Biondo said. “As you know, that didn’t happen.

“Now, I’m hoping Cubswin will be ready to make his first start – maybe in July – just about the time the Cubs take over first place in the standings this summer.”

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