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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/12/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Arlington Park guests and fans of Arlington’s simulcast signal are reminded that a special Friday post time of 1 pm – and a special Saturday post time of 12:15 pm – will be in effect this weekend at the northwest suburban Chicago oval.

Friday’s earlier-than-usual post time on what is normally a twilight racing program has been set in order to accommodate the possible “Lee DeWyze American Idol Homecoming Performance” at Arlington that would take place shortly after Friday’s last race – providing the Mount Prospect/Arlington Heights resident advances to the Final Three on Wednesday’s show.

DeWyze, a top four finalist on this season’s popular FOX television program “American Idol,” would entertain with a Mini Concert performance beginning at 6:30 pm at Arlington Park that would serve as the culmination of his daylong return to the Chicago area.

Friday’s performance – a ticketed event only – would follow at motorcade/viewing through downtown Mount Prospect to honor DeWyze.

Saturday’s earlier-than-usual post time of 12:15 pm will allow a 12-race local racing program to include a simulcast of the Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, as the second jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown this spring.

Heading the field for the Preakness is WinStar Farm’s Super Saver, hero of this year’s Kentucky Derby two weeks ago. That colt will be attempting to become the first Triple Crown winner since the Florida-bred Affirmed accomplished that feat in 1978.

Chicago racing fans will be able to watch and wager on the Preakness, broadcast live to Arlington and also enjoy food specials and live entertainment at Arlington Park.

The $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes for Illinois-owned horses at 1 1/16-miles on the turf, and the $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes (female division), for fillies and mares at 1 1/16-miles on the turf, will serve as Arlington’s co-featured races on Saturday.


Multiple stakes winner Scooter Roach, an Illinois-bred winner of $842,754 during his racing career and a competitive veteran of Arlington’s Prairie State Festival Day four straight seasons, has been retired and has been in residence at the Illinois Equine Humane Center (ILEHC) near Elgin, Illinois, since May 9.

“He appears 100 percent sound,” said Gail Vacca, president of ILEHC, speaking over the phone Wednesday. “We’re going to give him a little vacation for 30 days or so and then put him back in light training. Our goal is to make a pleasure horse out of him and give him a career in dressage or as a jumping horse.”

Prairie State Festival Day highlights from Scooter Roach’s 88 lifetime starts include an eventual second-place finish in the 2003 Cardinal Handicap following a disqualification, a seventh-place finish in the 2004 Cardinal ‘Cap when beaten only two lengths for the win, a runner-up finish in the 2005 Black Tie Affair Handicap when beaten by multiple Illinois Horse of the Year Fort Prado, and a fourth-place finish in the 2006 Black Tie Affair when beaten less than three-lengths, again by Fort Prado.

As a 3-year-old in 2002, Scooter Roach ran in the Grade II Arlington Classic and the Grade II American Derby, first two legs of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple.

“Scooter Roach came to us through the efforts of an on-line racing group called ‘Fans of Barbaro’,” Vacca said. “These folks look out for and keep track of horses that have made more than a half-million dollars in their career and are still racing for a claiming price of $5,000 or less. Scooter Roach, who made his last start March 27 at Beulah Park in $3,500 claiming company, easily met that requirement.”

Vacca, founder of ILEHC, opened the doors of that facility in the fall of 2008 and currently has about 14 horses under her care.


The highly hyped 2010 version of the film “Robin Hood,” starring Russell Crowe, hits theaters Friday, but this Saturday, the appropriately-named horse Forest Attack makes his grass debut over Arlington’s world-famous turf course as a supplementary nomination in Arlington’s $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes.

Forest Attack, owned by Scarlet Stable and trained by Michael Maker, is a 6-year-old son of Forestry who has posted seven wins and seven seconds from 19 lifetime starts, but has never run on turf.

“His connections decided to supplement to this race because they wanted to see how he would handle the grass,” said Arlington stakes coordinator David White of the horse that captured Turfway Park’s $50,000 Dust Commander Stakes Feb. 13.

- END -

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