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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/11/10)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

GRAHAM GRABS THIRD IN STANDINGS WITH THURSDAY QUADRUPLE

Jockey James Graham moved into a tie for third in Arlington’s rider standing Thursday evening following his four-win day at the suburban Chicago oval.

After scoring a hat trick at Arlington Sunday to climb from sixth to fourth place among the local leaders, the 31-year-old Irish native stepped up another rung Thursday to share third ranking with Jesus Castanon, who is hanging his tack at Arlington on a full-time basis for the first time this summer.

As he did Sunday, Graham kicked off his Thursday troika in the opener – this time aboard Gold Mark Farm’s Equiczar for trainer Tom Amoss. He returned to the winner’s circle after the fourth on Alex Campbell Jr.’s Home Fries for conditioner Rusty Arnold and then made it two straight wins in the fifth astride Pi Bella, owned by M E S Stable and trained by Roy Houghton.

Graham, known throughout his career for hot streaks in late May and early June, celebrated a four-win day on Father’s Day at Arlington two years ago. Coincidentally, it was that year that he celebrated Father’s Day as a father for the first time.

Three years ago, on May 25, 2007, he had a six-win afternoon at Arlington, and celebrated by performing an Irish jig with Arlington television personality and former jockey Zoe Cadman in the winner’s circle, accompanied by appropriate Celtic music provided by Arlington sound engineer Henry Bauman. That six-pack also doubled his total number of wins in the early stages of that meeting.

Finally, almost exactly a year prior to that, Graham enjoyed a five-win day in late May, doubling his win total in that early part of Arlington’s 2006 session to 10.

Graham is listed to ride six mounts Friday and seven Saturday, while Castanon has one mount scheduled Friday but is slated astride five Saturday.

BLACKHAWKS COLORS FLY IN CHICAGO FRIDAY, CHURCHILL SATURDAY

The Chicago Blackhawks – newly-crowned 2010 Stanley Cup champions – repeatedly hoisted the historic trophy above a crowd of more than a million fans assembled downtown in the City of Broad Shoulders Friday morning during their victory parade, and red Blackhawks home jerseys were abundant in the throng.

However, on Saturday at Churchill Downs, the Blackhawk red silks and Indian logo will fly astride Denis Savard, John Medcalf and Michael Pacella’s Our Douglas, who is 4-1 in the morning line for the Grade III Jefferson Cup, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16-miles over the Louisville lawn. Savard, a member of hockey’s Hall of Fame, was a star Blackhawk player for many years and is also a former coach of this year’s Stanley Cup champions.

The Jefferson Cup serves as an early preview of Arlington’ Grade II American Derby on July 17, Million Preview Day at Arlington.

Later on Saturday at Churchill, Patinack Farm and Timothy Turney’s Queen of the Creek will go to the post at 7-2 in the morning line for the Grade III Regret Stakes at nine furlongs under the Twin Spires grass course.

Owner Turney is also the breeder of the Savard group’s Blackhawk Red, an as-yet unraced 2-year-old. Turney sold the youngster to Savard about a year ago and suggested the Blackhawk Red name that was eventually registered.

SPANKY LOSES STONEHOUSE TO TWISTED INTESTINE

Arlington’s Prairie State Festival, a group of six races restricted to Thoroughbreds in the Illinois program, takes center stage June 19 at the Chicago oval, but unfortunately will be without the participation of Richard Rudolph and Michael Vranich’s Stonehouse, one of the top Illinois-bred Thoroughbreds of recent years.

Stonehouse finished fourth in Arlington’s Black Tie Affair Handicap in 2008 and was third in the Springfield Stakes of 2007, but died suddenly a fortnight ago without an immediate explanation. However, trainer Spanky Broussard explained the cause of death this week.

“Between the large intestine and the small intestine of a horse there is a little extra appendage that is similar to the appendix in a human,” said Broussard. “What happened was that somehow that section got twisted and wrapped around inside him. The vet tried his best to save him but he was gone in an hour. I’ve never had anything like that happen to any of my horses before.

“He was a good horse,” said Broussard, who saddled his first winner at Arlington 40 years ago this month. “He won the Grade III Mineshaft for me in New Orleans last winter.”

- END -

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