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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/12/09)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

‘HANDFUL’ HAS HANSEN HOPEFUL FOR HONOR GLIDE, HAWTHORNE DERBY

Last weekend’s International Festival of Racing at Arlington Park is over, with its shining stars on both sides of the Atlantic moving on to their next Group I or Grade I goals.

However, locally based Quite a Handful, owned by Chicagoans Jean and Ted Barlas and Michael Porcaro, is staying right at home after running quite well in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes at 42.80-1. What’s next for the local hopeful, who conducted himself with honor while running a late-closing sixth in last Saturday’s final leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple?

“We’re going to shoot for the ($50,000) Honor Glide Stakes Sept. 7,” said Arlington-based trainer Andy Hansen when speaking of the local oval’s nine-furlong turf test for sophomores as part of Arlington’s Turf Showcase on Labor Day. “If he runs well there, we’ll take a look at the (Grade III) Hawthorne Derby (Oct. 10).

“As for getting to saddle a horse for the Secretariat – it was just fun to be a part of,” said Hansen. “We were a little bit farther back then we wanted to be in the early part of the race, and that may have had something to do with the fact that course was not really firm that day. (Quite a Handful) likes to be closer to the pace to run his best race, and although he closed well in the stretch, with the course the way it was, the closers were not doing that well all day.

“In fact, in the early part of the race I turned to the owners and said, ‘We need to be closer than this.’ I would say that with a little bit more luck we might have finished fifth, but that’s about the best we could have done. That’s the way things go. But we’re very proud of him and the way he ran. He’s a good horse.”

How did Quite a Handful come out of the Secretariat?

“Very well,” Hansen said. “In fact we had to take him to the track this morning (Wednesday) because he’s been tearing the barn down the last couple of days.”

HOOSIER KINGDOM BACK HOME IN INDIANA WITH RON HERRELL

Hoosier Kingdom, who made the pace in Arlington’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes last weekend before giving way in the stretch run, has returned to his native Indiana in good order while leaving owners Ron Herrell, Keith Wexler and Brian Reed with many happy memories.

“It (Arlington’s International Festival of Racing) was a wonderful experience for all of us,” said Herrell, who serves as Hoosier Kingdom’s trainer and is also a current member of the Indiana House of Representatives. “We are so grateful to Arlington Park for treating us so well while we were there. They really know how to put on a successful show.

“The only problem was that I hadn’t quite conditioned him enough to go a mile and a quarter,” said Herrell. “I had him ready to go a mile, but the mile and a quarter took a toll on him. Plus, he ran on the inside all the way around the track, where it might have been a little bit more tiring. Nevertheless, it was very exciting to have run in a race like that and have the lead for as long as we did. But I knew deep down inside that tiring was a possibility.

“I liked the way Dr. Wexler described the way he felt about the way our horse ran,” said Herrell. “Right after the race, he said: ‘We just enjoyed 140 seconds of heaven, and 25 seconds of hell.’ Then he said, ‘Maybe we can come back next year to run in the Arlington Million, because our horse will be a year older and more mature.’ Then I reminded him all the others would be, too.

“However, I said all along that whole idea of running this horse was a way for all our families to enjoy themselves at the races,” concluded Herrell, “and, let me tell you, spending the day with your family at the races on Arlington Million Day is priceless.”

INEZ RIDES SUNDAY DOUBLE AT ARLINGTON

Jockey Inez Karlsson scored the lone riding double at Arlington Sunday, winning the third race aboard Gary and Beth Leverton’s Stanley G. for trainer Frank Kirby, and then coming right back to the winner’s circle after the fourth astride Carolyn McDonald and Tim Hamlin’s Attempt to Name for conditioner Helen Pitts-Blasi.

‘PARTY IN THE PARK,’ ‘PARTY ON THE PATIO’ RESUME FRIDAY

“Party In The Park” resumes Friday with live rock music by “The Spoken Four,” with first race and first song beginning at 2:30 pm.

Later Friday evening, immediately following the last race, “Party On The Patio” returns to Trackside Arlington Park following a one-week hiatus. This week features music by “Strawberry Fields Forever,” with songs by The Beatles as well as post-Beatles songs from John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

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