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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/10/09)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

FREE FIGHTER, HOT CHA CHA READY FOR NEXT ROUND

Thomas Fedro, Sr. and Team Block’s Free Fighter, who out-gamed Fred Bradley’s multiple stakes winner Brass Hat by a half-length in Arlington’s Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap on Labor Day, came out of that 12-furlong grass marathon in good order according to trainer Chris Block.

“He came back real good,” said trainer Chris Block Thursday morning. “We’re real proud of him. It was a very exciting win for all of us, and he showed us a new dimension going a mile and half. Now we’ll probably point him for the (Grade III) Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland (12 furlongs over the Lexington lawn Oct. 22).”

“Giant Oak also came back fine,” said Block of the Virginia Tarra-owned sophomore who finished third beaten a length in Monday’s $52,400 Honor Glide Stakes. “We’ll be taking a look at the (Grade III) Hawthorne Derby (3-year-olds at nine furlongs on the turf Oct. 10).”

Nelson McMakin’s Hot Cha Cha, length and a half heroine of Monday’s Grade III Pucker Up Stakes during Arlington’s Turf Showcase, also came out of her effort without problems, according to her trainer Phil Sims.

“She came back well,” said Sims, speaking over the phone from his base of operations at Keeneland. “As for what’s next, we’re looking at the (Grade I) Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (Oct. 10) or the (Grade III) Pin Oak Valley View (Oct. 23),” said Sims. “They’re both for 3-year-old fillies and they’re both on the grass.”

Jockey James Graham was aboard both of Monday’s graded stakes winners, and also had a third winner aboard Our Stromboli Farm’s Irish-bred Al Nasr Dream. The Irish-born reinsman also recorded a “hat trick” on last Friday’s Arlington program.

Peter Karahalios’ Public Speaker, winner of Monday’s $100,000 Sea o’Erin Stakes, was doing well Thursday morning and was expected to head to Keeneland with no specific plans for a next start, according to trainer Dale Bennett.

Leading jockey Junior Alvarado was aboard Public Speaker and has six more wins than runner-up rider Graham in the local jockey standings entering Thursday’s racing program.

GREELEY’S ANGEL’S OWNERS CONTRIBUTE TO MICHAEL STRAIGHT

R Plus Partners’ Greeley’s Angel, whose ownership includes WLS Channel 7 news anchor Ron Magers as well as WLS-AM’s Roe Conn, won Monday’s fifth race, and that ownership group announced that they were donating 10 percent of their winner’s purse to a fund for injured jockey Michael Straight following the horse’s win.

ARLINGTON ANNOUNCES ‘PIGSKINS AND PONIES’ FOR SEPTEMBER SUNDAYS

Arlington Park guests and football fans are invited to make Chicago’s northwest suburban oval their Sunday destination on the final three weekends of Arlington’s racing season which brings down its curtain Sept. 27.

On Sept. 13, 20 and 27, football fans can pay just $4 for general admission to Arlington by purchasing their tickets online by using the coupon code “PIGSKINS.”

Also on those final three Sundays, football fans can test their Pick-6 abilities in a free contest that challenges them to pick three winners of selected horse races and three winners of selected football games that day.

The “Pigskins and Ponies Pick-6 Challenge” will also be available at all Trackside OTBs every Sunday for the entire football regular season.

To win, guests must pick all six winners correctly. If there are multiple winners, the pot will be split evenly each week.

Arlington Park will feature $4 16-ounce Miller Lite specials on these dates as well.

Other upcoming events this weekend include “Blackhawk Legends Day” at Arlington this Saturday, when Chicago Blackhawks’ Hall of Fame players Bobby Hull and Denis Savard are scheduled to be on hand at Arlington to sign autographs.

Also on Saturday, Arlington Park will host its first High Limit Showcase, a live money NTRA/DRF qualifier that will send three players to the 2010 National Handicapping Championship.

ASMUSSEN 5,000-WIN MILESTONE POSSIBLE THURSDAY AT ARLINGTON

Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen has two horses running at Arlington Thursday, and if the both win the conditioner will reach the 5,000-win milestone.

Asmussen has Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Tora in Thursday fifth race and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tactition entered in Thursday’s seventh.

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