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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/30/09)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

BRASS HAT LIKELY TO LEAD THE BAND IN STARS AND STRIPES HANDICAP

Although Arlington Park’s Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap was moved from its traditional Fourth of July weekend spot this season, there will still be plenty of American flags flying when Chicago’s classic turf marathon is contested for the 78th time on Labor Day Monday over Arlington’s world famous turf course.

Fred Bradley’s Brass Hat, suddenly a solid turf horse as an 8-year-old, is expected to make his first appearance in Chicago to run in the mile and a half grass race after a distinguished career mostly on the main track in earlier seasons.

Although he is an altered son of 1989 Breeders’ Cup Turf hero Prized, the top portion of Brass Hat’s résumé is underlined by wins on the main track in the Grade I Donn Handicap in South Florida and the Grade II New Orleans Handicap in Louisiana during the winter of 2006. Following those back-to-back wins, Brass Hat journeyed to the United Arab Emirates to finish second under the wire in the Grade I Dubai World Cup, but was subsequently disqualified.

However, in his most recent trip to the post Aug. 15, Brass Hat rallied wide late to finish third in the Grade I Sword Dancer Invitational – Saratoga’s traditional marathon turf test. In his previous start at Monmouth July 4, the Buff Bradley trainee rallied on the inside late to finish third in the Grade I United Nations Handicap over the grass course on the Jersey Shore.

Also expected for Labor Day’s Stars and Stripes Handicap is its defending champion Silverfoot, a 9-year-old owned by Chrysalis Stables and trained by Dallas Stewart. About a month after winning the 2008 renewal, Silverfoot finished fourth in the last season’s Grade I Arlington Million, and earlier this summer took down winning honors in Arlington’s $54,100 The Tin Man Stakes on June 6.

Another 9-year-old who captured the 2006 Stars and Stripes – Jim Messineo’s Major Rhythm – is also expected to seek a second victory on Labor Day. Major Rhythm was most recently second by a neck in Arlington’s $54,200 Rossi Gold Stakes June 6.

Major Rhythm, who finished ninth in the 2006 Arlington Million, breezed five furlongs over Arlington’s Polytrack in 1:02.20 Aug. 26.

Also expected to contest the Stars and Stripes is James Glenn and William Patterson’s Rumor Has It, who beat Major Rhythm to win the Rossi Gold after capturing Arlington’s $52,500 Polar Expedition Stakes here at a mile and three-quarters on June 27.

Thomas Fedro Sr. and Team Block’s Free Fighter, who breezed five furlongs in 1:01 on Aug. 26 at Arlington after winning his last start in an allowance race here Aug. 15, is another probable starter in the Stars and Stripes, as is Brenda Jones, MarMac Farms and Marc Sharp’s Up to No Good, who won his last start in the allowance ranks at Presque Isle Downs on Aug. 13.

PUCKER UP STAKES PROBABLE STARTERS ALSO POINTED OUT

Derby Daze Farm and Mark Hoffman’s Hooh Why, heroine of Keeneland’s Grade I Ashland Stakes April 4 and Woodbine’s $150,000 La Lorgnette Stakes May 17, is expected to make her first start on grass in Arlington’s Grade III Pucker Up Stakes on Labor Day, the second of two Monday racing programs at Arlington this season.

The Pucker Up Stakes, restricted to sophomore members of the distaff set, is one of four grass stakes on the holiday program – billed as Arlington’s Turf Showcase for the third successive local season.

Also slated for the Pucker Up is the British-bred filly Hameildaeme, owned by Newmarket Thoroughbred Racing, who finished fourth, while beaten a length and a half for the win, in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks Aug. 22. The daughter of Storming Home (first under the wire in the 2003 Arlington Million before being disqualified) was previously beaten a length and a quarter for the win in Del Mar’s Grade II San Clemente Handicap Aug. 1.

Frank Calabrese’s Romacaca, heroine of the $55,800 Hatoof Stakes on Arlington Million Day, is also expected to run in the Pucker Up, as is Glen Hill Farm’s Prytania, fourth in the Hatoof but gaining at that shorter distance.

Two Bucks To Show Stable’s Cumulonimble, Nelson McMakin’s Hot Cha Cha and Martin Racing Stable’s Malibu Win are also expected to compete in the Pucker Up.

JOCKEY JAMES GRAHAM SCORES SATURDAY HAT TRICK

Jockey James Graham, currently runner-up in the Arlington jockey standings, rode three winners on Saturday’s Arlington Park program.

Graham began his riding triple in Saturday’s fourth with Louie Roussel III’s Superior Attitude, continued it in the sixth astride Passion Tamer, owned by Bryton Racing LLC, and concluded it aboard Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Cure in the finale.

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