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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/27/09)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Telling, who shipped from Arlington in mid-August to earn the winner’s slice of the pie in Saratoga’s Grade I Sword Dancer Invitational, breezed a half-mile in 50 flat at Arlington Sunday morning in preparation for Saturday’s Grade I Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park.
Also pointing to that $600,000 Turf Classic is Castleton Lyons’ Gio Ponti, who captured the Grade I Arlington Million in his last start Aug. 8 and will be shooting for his fifth straight Grade I victory in the Joe Hirsch.
“I was hoping (Gio Ponti) would go in another direction,” Hobby said Sunday morning, “and I also heard he may not start Saturday if the turf was real soft.
“However, we’re going to run no matter what the condition of the turf course is on Saturday,” said Hobby. “It won’t change our plans. We’re going.”
Virginia Tarra Trust’s Giant Oak, who captured the 75th anniversary edition of the Arlington Classic on May 23, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 Sunday morning in preparation for his next trip to the post this Saturday.
Still undecided is where it will be.
“We are taking a look at the (Grade II) Ohio Derby (at Thistledown),” said Block after Sunday’s move, “but we’re also considering the (Grade II) Indiana Derby (at Hoosier Park).”
Also on the work tab Sunday morning for Block was Virginia Tarra Trust’s Apple Martini – Giant Oak’s older full sister – who went a half-mile in 51.60.
“She’s being pointed to the Indian Maid Handicap at Hawthorne,” Block said.
Jockey Jesus Castanon, who didn’t hang his tack at Arlington Park until after the Saratoga season ended on Labor Day, scored his second consecutive riding triple Saturday after accomplishing that same feat during Friday’s twilight racing program.
The 36-year-old native of Panama has ridden 21 winners from 83 mounts for a 25 percent win ratio, with 59 percent of his mounts finishing in the money.
Entering the final day of Arlington Park’s 2009 racing season Sunday, leading rider honors were still too close to call, with Junior Alvarado leading James Graham by two wins.
Defending Arlington Park trainer champion Wayne Catalano, already assured of his fifth straight local training title, widened his insurmountable lead Saturday afternoon by saddling three winners.
Catalano won the second race with Darrell and Evelyn Yates’ Cupid’s Best, the ninth with R. M. Living Trust’s Eighteenthofmarch, and came right back in the tenth with Darrell and Evelyn Yates’s Agnostic.
In addition to his five straight local titles, Catalano has been Arlington’s leading conditioner eight of the last 10 Arlington racing seasons.
Arlington Park guests and all Chicago Thoroughbred racing fans are reminded that they can enjoy the Arlington facility once again on Nov. 7 to watch and wager on the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships from California, in the Million Room.
Pricing includes admission, reserved seating with private television, program, continental breakfast and a world class lunch buffet.
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