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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/15/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Arlington Park’s director of racing Chris Polzin, appointed to his current position last December, has used his three decades of experience in racing offices throughout Chicagoland to add potential to the possible field for the upcoming $100,000 Arlington Classic May 22.

As a result of Polzin’s foresight, the possible starters for Saturday’s 75th renewal of the tradition-rich Arlington Classic include all nine of the grass-favoring 3-year-olds that ran in Churchill’s Grade II American Turf Classic on April 30, Kentucky Oaks Day in Louisville.

The Arlington Classic, first leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple, will continue with the Grade II American Derby July 17 and conclude with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day Aug. 21.

When Arlington recently released the 135 nominations to the 2010 Mid-America Triple, the potential quality of this year’s sophomore turf series was underlined by those who established their grass credentials under the Twin Spires more than a fortnight ago.

“It was just common sense for Ben Huffman (Polzin’s Churchill Downs counterpart) and me to put our heads together so we didn’t run our best races on top of each other,” said Polzin. “Obviously, so far it’s working out well for both of us. It puts the Arlington Classic three weeks after Churchill’s American Turf Classic, and then three weeks after that they run the Grade III Jefferson Cup on June 12 (Churchill’s next race restricted to 3-year-olds on the grass).

WinStar Farm’s Doubles Partner, winner of Churchill’s American Derby, was unhurried early in that contest over the Louisville lawn, took command in upper stretch and was best by a length and three-quarters at the wire.

Joseph Riccelli’s Asphalt, runner-up in the American Turf at 1 1/16 miles, rallied behind Doubles Partner, could not catch that one but was clearly second best.

Michael Bruder’s Guys Reward finished third in the American Turf despite stumbling at the start, while the favored Setsuko, owned by Werthheimer et Frère, improved his position late.


Grass-favoring 3-year-old fillies are still establishing themselves this early in the Thoroughbred racing season, but a more focused picture of that division should develop following next Saturday’s third running of the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas at one mile over Arlington’s world famous turf course.

Three weeks later, on June 12, Churchill Downs will run the Grade III Regret Stakes on the grass for members of that same division at nine furlongs under the Twin Spires to further define its leading ladies.

Arlington director of racing Chris Polzin and his counterpart Ben Huffman at Churchill Downs worked together this winter to coordinate the spacing of those two turf tests.

Among the more interesting nominations to Arlington’s American 1000 Guineas, and also under consideration for the Regret, is Martin Racing Stable and Dan Morgan’s Jody Slew.

“I was looking to buy a grass filly and I saw her running in a grass race at Churchill last fall (the $60,000 Caressing Handicap Nov. 28) and I thought she ran an impressive race,” said owner Bill Martin. “As it turned out, she didn’t win that race but I thought she was the best horse in there. She had all kinds of trouble and was kept wide all the way and she still finished third beaten less than three lengths.”

However, during her winter in New Orleans, grass races for 3-year-old fillies were hard to find, so she ended up running in Fair Grounds’ three-race sophomore filly series on the main track. She captured the first two legs of that series before failing in the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks when compromised by several days of lost training.


Junior Alvarado, Arlington Park’s defending jockey champion from last season, scored a riding hat trick Friday to move two ahead of Michael Baze, who had a riding double on the day.

Alvarado captured the sixth race astride Dyedra Kademoglou’s King of America for trainer Dale Bennett; the eighth on Savoy Stable’s Forestry Type, again for Bennett; and concluded his triple aboard Frank Calabrese’s Wake Up Now for trainer Nick Canani.

Baze’s two-bagger was accomplished in the fourth with R. M. Living Trust’s Brokerage House for trainer Wayne Catalano, and completed in the seventh with Arlene’s Sun Star Stable’s Mam Bird, again for Catalano.

- END -

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