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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/19/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Silverton Hill’s Kilmore Quay, the Irish-bred, French-campaigned 3-year-old filly slated for a start in Saturday’s $200,000 American 1000 Guineas at Arlington, breezed three furlongs in 38.60 Wednesday morning over the local lawn in her initial introduction to Chicago’s international Thoroughbred venue since arriving from France last weekend.

“We were very pleased with the way she went this morning,” said Kilmore Quay’s American trainer Darrin Miller, who traveled from Louisville to supervise the move before heading back to Kentucky later in the day. “We just wanted to give her a chance to stretch her legs across this turf course and get a feel for her surroundings here. I’m sure being out there all alone this morning was a lot different from what she was used to in France.”

Quincy Hamilton was aboard Kilmore Quay for Wednesday’s breeze but Jesus Castanon has been named for Saturday’s turf test restricted to sophomore members of the distaff set.

Kilmore Quay is named for a quaint, pristine fishing village in the Southeast corner of Ireland with waters rich in bass, cod, and mackerel, as well as nearby islands hosting a large bird sanctuary inhabited by puffins, cormorants and razorbills. In a perspective timeline of dark counterpoint, the filly Kilmore Quay made her last start in France April 20 at Longchamp – winning the $46,000 Prix de la Flandrie by a length and a half on the same day that the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion began its crippling damage to the fishing industry and beaches along America’s Gulf Coastline.


Estrorace’s Workin for Hops, five-length hero of Fair Grounds’ grassy $60,000 Grindstone Stakes on March 27 near the end of the Crescent City Thoroughbred racing season, breezed a half-mile in 51.00 Monday over Arlington’s Polytrack in preparation for Saturday’s 75th renewal of the $100,000 Arlington Classic.

In his last start Workin for Hops finished fifth in Churchill’s Grade II American Turf over the Louisville lawn on Kentucky Oaks Day April 30, but lost all chance after losing his footing at the start.

After that, the altered son of City Zip rebounded with a bullet four-furlong move in 47.00 over the Polytrack here May 11.

The Arlington Classic, restricted to 3-year-olds, is the first leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple, a grass series which is continued with the Grade II American Derby July 17 on Million Preview Day and concludes with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes Aug. 21 during Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing.


Last Saturday’s 109th running of Pimlico’s Grade II Dixie Stakes, an annual stop on the road to the Grade I Arlington Million later in the summer, got lost in the shuffle of NBC’s Preakness telecast last weekend, but fans of Chicago’s signature race should note that the Dixie runner-up Just as Well, owned and trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Jonathan Sheppard, also finished second in last year’s Dixie before taking down winning honors in last summer’s Grade III Arlington Handicap.

“Probably a little more distance wouldn’t hurt him,” Sheppard was quoted as saying of Just as Well after last weekend’s nine-furlong Dixie.

As the final major designed prep for the Arlington Million, this summer’s Arlington Handicap will be run at 10 furlongs July 17, five weeks prior to the Arlington Million Aug. 21.

Just as Well finished second in last summer’s Arlington Million at 19-1, beaten a length and a quarter by the favored Gio Ponti, owned by Castleton Lyons, despite the runner-up’s awkward start.


Arlington racing fans and handicappers are reminded that handicapping experts Joe Kristufek, Brian Spencer and Jeremy Plonk will chat with fellow horseplayers Friday night to exchange handicapping strategies and opinions about Saturday’s $200,000 American 1000 Guineas and Saturday’s $100,000 Arlington Classic.

Friday’s chat focusing on Saturday’s 3-year-old grass fixtures at Arlington Park will get underway at 8 pm and run about one hour. Fans can access the chat from either or

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