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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/18/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Michael Stidham’s Secret Kin, the only Illinois-bred foal that was cross-entered in two races in advance of Saturday’s six state-bred stakes Prairie State Festival at Arlington, will go short instead of long, the owner-trainer confirmed Friday morning.

The 6-year-old mare, owned, bred and raced by Team Block throughout her career through her last start May 30, was claimed by Stidham for $62,500 that day out of an optional claiming one-mile grass test at Arlington. She was nominated to Saturday’s $100,000 Isaac Murphy Handicap for older fillies and mares at six furlongs on Polytrack as well as Saturday’s $100,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap at 1 1/16-miles over Arlington’s world famous turf course.

“We’ve decided we’re going to go in the sprint,” said Stidham of Secret Kin Friday at Arlington before leaving to saddle Phillip Maas’s Beverly D. nominee A She’s Adorable in Saturday’s $75,000 John W. Rooney Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park.

“We figure the 1 1/16-mile distance (of the Lincoln Heritage) is a little bit of a stretch for Secret Kin, but on the other hand, the six furlongs (of the Isaac Murphy) might be a little too short for her. It’s really a bit of a toss-up.”

Secret Kin, by Sea of Secret’s out of a Capote mare, has seven wins, five seconds and nine thirds from her 28 lifetime trips to the post for a 25 percent win ratio and an in-the-money ratio of 75 percent. However, in four turf starts to date, she has yet to reach the winner’s circle.

Completing the sextet of Saturday’s $100,000 Prairie State Festival Stakes – in addition to the Isaac Murphy and the Lincoln Heritage – is the Springfield Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile; the Purple Violet for 3-year-old fillies and also at eight furlongs; the White Oak Handicap for older horses at six furlongs; and the Black Tie Affair Handicap for older horses at 1 1/16 miles over the local lawn.


A She’s Adorable, Stidham’s Beverly D. nominee at Delaware, breezed a half over the Polytrack here in 49 flat on Sunday.

The homebred was beaten a head for the win by stable mate Tizaqueena, owned by Darley Stable, in Fair Grounds’ $100,000 Bayou Handicap March 27, and that mare captured the Grade III Arlington Matron here in her last start May 29.


In her last start against fellow Illinois-breds, Bob Ackerman et al.’s Souper Miss – entered in Saturday’s $100,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap – scored a clear front-running victory by a length and a quarter in Hawthorne’s $100,000 Peach Of It Handicap April 24.

Then, at last asking May 29, the daughter of Alphabet Soup drew the outside post in the Grade III Arlington Matron and was quickly run into submission, finishing 11th in the field.

“Bad instructions by me,” said trainer Mickey Goldfine Friday on the eve of the Prairie State Festival. “I told the jock (Timmy Thornton) to grab her and take her back and then let her run late, but instead she was kept wide all the way, and they were going slow up front.

“This time we have the #7 post with plenty of speed in the race, so hopefully things will set up a little better for her,” Goldfine said. “I am a little concerned about the weather. They say that there are bad storms coming, and the only time she has ever run over a ‘yielding’ turf course she didn’t run well at all.”


Veteran trainer Tom Dorris, father of conditioner Chris Dorris – also Arlington-based – will try for his second consecutive Father’s Day weekend score at Arlington when he saddles Gary Tussey’s Sugared Toast in Saturday’s $100,000 Purple Violet Stakes.

More than three decades ago, the senior Dorris captured multiple leading trainer honors at Ellis Park, but despite more limited opportunities in recent times, Arlington’s “Gentle Giant” still knows how to make the most of the hand he’s been dealt.

Dorris won last summer’s Purple Violet with WRC Thoroughbreds’ Bow Tie Pasta, and can make it two straight in the sophomore filly affair with Sugared Toast.

- END -

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