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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/18/09)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Dave Flanzbaum, a 42-year-old resident of Rolling Meadows – an Illinois community immediately adjacent to Arlington Park – took down second-place honors in last Saturday’s Arlington qualifier for the Daily Racing Form-National Thoroughbred Racing Association (DRF/NTRA) National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, in January of 2010.

The top three finishers of last weekend’s local contest received automatic berths in Nevada’s national championship, but because Flanzbaum had won a previous qualifier at Keeneland in the spring, last weekend’s local fourth-place finisher was also awarded a berth.

“I’ve only been doing the contests about three years,” said Flanzbaum, “but I’ve been really lucky this year. I’ve been coming to the track since I was a kid and playing horses most of my life, but believe me, playing horses in these contests is a totally different thing.”

Flanzbaum also finished fourth in Arlington’s previous qualifier earlier this season, and earned a berth in last January’s 2009 championship by finishing second in an Arlington qualifier during Arlington’s 2008 season.

The quickly emerging local handicapping star also currently owns seven horses in a partnership that races under the nom-de-course of Butterfly Stable with longtime Arlington-based trainer Dave Kassen.

“So far, Quick Notice has been the best one,” said Flanzbaum. “She’s on the sidelines right now, but she’ll be back. She finished third in the (Grade III) Sixty Sails Handicap last year.”


Kingfield Racing Stable’s Jambalaya, winner of the Grade I Arlington Million two years ago, made his first start since that victory by winning Friday’s second race at Canada’s Woodbine Race Course.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum and Dr. A. H. Parker’s Archipenko, runner-up by three-quarters of a length in the 2008 Arlington Million as the choice in the wagering, will enter his first season at stud at Great Britain’s Lanwades Stud in 2010.

Castleton-Lyons Gio Ponti, hero of Arlington Million XXVII last month, breezed a half in 51 at Belmont Park Tuesday in preparation for either Belmont’s Grade I Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Oct. 3 or Oak Tree’s Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship Oct. 11.

Another Grade I winner, Arlington-based Telling, owned by Alex and JoAnn Lieblong and winner of Saratoga’s Grade I Sword Dancer Invitational Aug. 15, worked six furlongs in 1:16.60 at Arlington Sept. 10 and is being pointed for the Joe Hirsch, according to Arlington trainer Steve Hobby.


Former jockey and former assistant trainer Leo Gonzalez was given the chance to make his debut as a racing official this season at Arlington, and has made the most of the opportunity.

“I’ve been galloping horses for the last seven years,” said Gonzalez, “and when (clerk of scales) Dennis Petrucelli called me before Arlington opened and asked if I wanted to be his assistant this summer I jumped at the chance. I love my job here. All of the jockeys here are a great bunch of great guys and I love being around them. I tried being a jockey for three years, but when the chance to be an assistant trainer came along, I had to make a financial decision to give up riding and go to work for somebody else.

“I’ve worked for some really good horsemen, like J.R. Smith, J.R. Smith Jr. and Frank Kirby,” said Gonzalez, “but I like my new job here and I like to work, so this has all been a plus for me this season.”


Arlington Park guests and football fans are reminded that the second session of the “Pigskins and Ponies Pick-6 Challenge” is being offered this Sunday.

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.

- END -



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