Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/23/10)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
ARLINGTON CLASSIC HERO POSSIBLE FOR AMERICAN DERBY
Following his impressive front-running tally by two and a quarter lengths in Saturday’s 75th renewal of the Arlington Classic, Workin for Hops, owned and bred by Estrorace LLC’s Amy Bondon, became Chicago’s only hope to sweep this summer’s Mid-America Triple, a feat which has not been accomplished in 13 years.
Robert Schaedle III’s Honor Glide won the Arlington Classic in the spring of 1997, came back to take the Grade II American Derby that July and then completed his sweep with authority in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day.
“The American Derby is certainly one of the logical spots for his next start,” said trainer Mike Stidham during training hours Sunday morning when speaking of Workin for Hops. “The horse looks good this morning, so as long as everything continues to go well, we’d have to take a look at it.”
Workin for Hops, an altered son of City Zip, broke his maiden at first asking last Sept. 17 over Arlington’s Polytrack, and then easily captured a first level allowance race at Fair Grounds Dec. 28 with a four and a half-length score in his initial outing over grass. Following a three-month layoff, on Louisiana Derby Day March 27, the chestnut returned over the Crescent City oval’s Stall-Wilson turf course to win the $60,000 Grindstone Stakes.
The only blemish on his grass résumé came in Churchill Downs’ Grade II American Turf Stakes on Kentucky Oaks Day April 30, but Workin for Hops was compromised at the break before recovering to finish fifth.
“I don’t know whether he lost his footing or what,” said Stidham of the Churchill outing, “but it did cost him his position at the beginning of the race.”
Owner Amy Bondon was at Monmouth Park Saturday but did view the Classic there on Arlington’s simulcast signal.
“It was beautiful to watch,” Bondon said Sunday morning while still at the Jersey Shore. “There’s nothing like watching a race over the Arlington turf course. The fact that I bred this horse made it even more exciting. Most of the horses I have bred I am forced to sell because I don’t have a lot of money. However, I made a commitment to myself to try and keep this one. So far, things have worked out very well. City Zips tend to be a little fragile. They have speed but they don’t seem to last very long. That’s why we’d like to keep this horse on the turf. They seem to be able to stay around a little longer that way.”
The American Derby, with its $300,000 purse, will be run July 17, followed by the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes Aug. 21 as part of Arlington’s International Festival of Racing.
“I’d love to have the chance to come back to see my Arlington family and all of my friends there,” said Bondon. “I’ll certainly have to talk to Mike about it. Fortunately, when you have a good trainer like Mike, you can trust him to make all the right decisions.”
AMERICAN 1000 GUINEAS WINNER RETURNS TO WOODBINE
Robert Smithen’s Bay to Bay, Canadian-based, won Arlington’s American 1000 Guineas Saturday but was already on her way back to trainer Brian Lynch’s Woodbine headquarters Sunday morning.
In a later departure, her conditioner answered his cell phone while awaiting a flight out of O’Hare International Airport back to Toronto.
“We really enjoyed our day at Arlington yesterday,” said Lynch. “The people at Arlington showed us so much hospitality all day long and we really appreciated that. The filly ran well and we went out and had a nice dinner at Bob Chinn’s after the races. We loaded (Bay to Bay) on a van early this morning,” said Lynch. “She came out of the race just fine.
“I don’t know yet what will be next for her,” Lynch said. “She’s not a big filly, but she gives it everything she’s got every time she runs, so we like to space her races apart a little bit. There’s a race coming up at Monmouth in about three weeks, but that may be a little too soon for her. There is a nice race for her at Saratoga later in the summer, so we may just wait around for that one.”
John and Kim Glenney’s Go Ask Alex, who made the pace in the American 1000 Guineas, could not withstand Bay to Bay in the late stages but gamely held the place.
“We were real pleased with that effort yesterday,” said Glenney Sunday morning, “and she cooled out great. If she continues to do well, there’s a race at Churchill Downs in about three weeks we might take a look at.”
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