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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/8/09)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Following Friday afternoon showers and intermittent overnight rain in the northwest Chicago area, Arlington Park's world-famous turf course was rated "Yielding" on the morning of the Grade I Arlington Million.
Along with Saturday's $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes for an international field of grass-favoring fillies and mares and Saturday's $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for turf-favoring sophomores of international caliber, Chicago's only three Grade I races conducted on an annual basis make up Saturday's one-day International Festival of Racing - centerpiece event of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season.
The weather changes were greeted with "gloom-and-doom" by most of the European camp. However, the Irish invaders were ecstatic.
Those unhappy with the developments included the connections of Stefan Friborg's Gloria de Campeao, Teruya Yoshida's Cima de Triomphe and Peter Harris's Stotsfold - the Million's three European-based starters.
The connections of the two fillies from France in the Beverly D. - His Highness the Aga Kahn's Studs, Ltd.'s Alnadana and Mrs. Alec Head's Denomination - were similarly displeased with the wetter weather.
However, Ireland's all-time leading trainer Dermot Weld had said upon arrival at Arlington Thursday morning that Moyglare Stud Farm's Beverly D. candidate Mad About You's chances would improve over some ground with some give to it.
"We need some rain," Weld said Thursday morning on the Arlington apron. "My filly doesn't do well over faster ground."
Irish-bred Black Bear Island, owned by R. D. Hubbard, Robert Masterson and Edward Allred and the lone European invader for the Secretariat, should also be helped by the softer ground, his jockey Johnny Murtagh indicated. Murtagh is also slated to ride Mad About You.
Louie Roussel III and Ronnie Lamarque's Recapturetheglory, winner of the Grade II Illinois Derby last year and fifth in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, was scratched Saturday morning from the Grade I Arlington Million to be run later in the afternoon.
Roussel, who doubles as the colt's trainer, had indicated all week that Recapturetheglory needed to have firm ground to perform at his best.
Silverton Hill LLC's Driving Snow, part of an entry in Saturday's Grade I Secretariat Stakes, was withdrawn early Friday afternoon.
However, the other half of the entry - Silverton Hill LLC's Cliffy's Future, was still slated to run as of scratch time Saturday.
Nine years ago, retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey put his personal stamp on the International Festival of Racing at Arlington Park when he became the first and only jockey in history to win the Grade I Arlington Million and the Grade I Beverly D. in the same year.
Since then, of course, the ultimate afternoon for a jockey during the one-day International Festival of Racing at Arlington would be to sweep the Million, the Beverly D. and the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on the second Saturday in August. Together, they are the only three Grade I races offered in Illinois on an annual basis.
Two veteran reinsmen - Kent Desormeaux and Julien Leparoux - are in a position to sweep Saturday's Festival.
Kent Desormeaux rides Starlight Partners' Take the Points in the Secretariat, Dr. John Chandler's Dynaforce in the Beverly D. and Circle E. Racing's Mr. Sidney in the Million, while Leparoux rides Ashbrook Farm's Reb in the $400,000 Secretariat, Lewis Lakin's Pure Clan in the $750,000 Beverly D. and Midnight Cry Stable's Einstein in the Million.
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