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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/29/09)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Barry, David and Dyan Abrams’ Unusual Suspect, who made a bold late run to upset Del Mar’s $150,000 Cougar II Handicap over Polytrack in his last start Aug. 5, is scheduled to fly in to Chicago Tuesday to run in next Saturday’s Grade II Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park – over that same brand of synthetic surface.

Previously, Unusual Suspect had finished fourth, beaten a length and a half for the win, in Del Mar’s $100,000 California Dreamin’ Handicap, but that was over that Southern California oval’s grass course.

Unusual Suspect is not the only west coast invader scheduled to ship in for the $200,000 Washington Park Handicap. Also due in at O’Hare International Airport on that same Tex Sutton equine charter is Capen and Tjosvold’s Church Service, who got up to be third, a length and a half behind Unusual Suspect in the Cougar II. Church Service raced four wide into the stretch that day, but was up to be second in Hollywood’s $100,000 Gallant Man Handicap at previous asking May 17.

The Washington Park, usually Arlington’s richest race over Polytrack, returns to Arlington’s stakes schedule after a one-year hiatus.

Frank Calabrese’s Lewis Michael, trained by Wayne Catalano, won the most recent renewal of the 1 3/16-mile historic stakes in 2007.

Past winners in the 75 renewals of the Washington Park include Jerry Sullivan’s Black Tie Affair in 1991 on his way to Horse of the Year honors and Hawksworth Farm’s Spectacular Bid in 1980, using that year’s Washington Park as a stepping stone to Horse of the Year honors that same season.

Trainer Louie Roussel III has two horses nominated to the Washington Park – his own Brothers Nicholas as well as Recapturetheglory, owned in partnership with Ronnie Lamarque. Both are also nominated to Labor Day Monday’s $100,000 Sea o’ Erin at Arlington.

“I haven’t made up my mind yet which one is going in which race,” said Roussel Saturday morning. “They are both doing great and I will work them both Wednesday before I decide. Recapturetheglory will work a half and Brothers Nicholas will work a mile.”

Recapturetheglory, who won the Grade II Illinois Derby last year and was fifth in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, won an allowance race over Arlington’s world famous turf course in his last start July 16, while Brothers Nicholas hasn’t run since last Feb. 7 in New Orleans when he finished third in Fair Grounds’ Grade III Mineshaft Handicap.

Others being pointed for the Washington Park Handicap are Let’s Go Stable’s Ready’s Echo, second in Woodbine’s Grade III Seagram Cup Aug. 3 and fifth in Belmont’s Grade II Suburban Handicap July 4, as well as Alghuwayriyah Stable’s Eldaafer, winner of Belmont’s Grade II Brooklyn Handicap June 5 and most recently third in the $250,000 Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park July 18.

Also likely for the Washington Park is Haras Santa Maria de Aras S. A.’s Palladio, winner of the Seagram Cup, as well as Tom Gregerson and Hicklin Farms’ Let It Rock, fifth in Mountaineer’s $125,000 West Virginia Governor’s Cup July 18.

Still under consideration for the Washington Park, which will be contested on the same afternoon as the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity and the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie, are Feel The Thunder Stable’s Gran Estreno, and Ashbrook Farm’s Wicked Style.


Illinois-based conditioner Donna Dupuy scored the first training double of her career Friday at Arlington, saddling Colleen Paliska’s Oh Gee She’s Gold to win the fourth race with Eddie Perez up and coming back to the winner’s circle after the seventh with Strike Impact, owned in partnership with her husband Michael and ridden by Junior Alvarado.

That leading rider scored a double of his own by riding Gordon and Sharon Bredeson’s Sharp Trick, trained by Moises Yanez, to take down winning honors in Friday’s finale.

Also scoring a riding double Friday on her first day back from a brief suspension was jockey Inez Karlsson, who won with her first mount back in the opener astride Ron and Linda Williams’ Our Charmer for trainer Roger Brueggemann and also took the fifth aboard William Tippett’s D’Code for conditioner Ron Goodridge.

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