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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/10/10)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

EARLY LOOK AT ARLINGTON HANDICAP ON MILLION PREVIEW DAY JULY 17

Jonathan Sheppard’s Just as Well, winner of last summer’s Grade III Arlington Handicap, will try to defend his championship July 17 in the 75th running of the 10-furlong turf test that now serves as the designed local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million five weeks later.

Following his Arlington Handicap win in 2009, Just as Well was runner-up to the favored Gio Ponti, owned by Castleton Lyons, in last summer’s Arlington Million.

Among those slated to oppose Just as Well in next week’s Arlington Handicap is Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters, winner of the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day May 1 this spring. Last year, General Quarters won the Grade I Blue Grass at Keeneland in his final start before his troubled trip in the 2009 Run for the Roses.

Thomas Fedro Sr. and Team Block’s Free Fighter, winner of Churchill’s Grade III Louisville Handicap at 12 furlongs on the grass May 22 but subsequently sixth in Arlington’s grassy $100,000 Black Tie Affair at 1 1/16-miles June 19, is also prominent among those expected for the Arlington Handicap.

Others considered likely at this time for next week’s local Million preview are Robert Evans’ Marsh Side, winner of Woodbine’s Grade I Northern Dancer last September and winner of the Grade I Canadian International two years ago; and Barr Three LLC and Cherrywood Racing Stables II’s Princeville Condo, second by a nose in the Black Tie Affair Handicap on Prairie State Festival Day June 19 and winner of Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Buddy Diliberto Memorial Handicap last December.

Also, Robert Courtney’s Rahystrada, third in Pimlico’s Grade II Dixie Stakes on Preakness Day May 15 and winner of Churchill’s Grade III River City Handicap last November; William Patterson’s Rumor Has It, winner of Arlington’s $50,000 Polar Expedition and $50,000 Rossi Gold stakes in 2009; and Shadwell Stable’s Tajaweed, winner of Cheltenham’s Group III Addleshaw Goddard Dee Stakes two years ago.

MODESTY HANDICAP TAKING SHAPE AS BEVERLY D. PREVIEW

William Deburgh’s Tuscan Evening, heroine of Hollywood’s Grade I Gamely Stakes in her last start May 29 for her fifth straight score in graded stakes company, is the new headliner expected to contest the 53rd renewal of the Grade III Modesty Handicap July 17 as the local prep for Arlington’s Grade I Beverly D. five weeks later on Aug. 21.

Undefeated this year, the Irish-bred mare began her win streak with four straight tallies at Santa Anita, beginning Jan. 3 in the Grade III Monrovia Handicap, continuing it with a win in the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap Feb. 15, made it three straight in the Grade II Santa Ana Handicap March 21 and four in a row in the Grade II Santa Barbara Handicap Apr 17.

Expected to oppose Tuscan Evening in the Modesty are Nelson McMakin’s Hot Cha Cha, winner of Churchill’s Grade III Mint Julep Handicap June 5 on Belmont Stakes Day and runner-up in Churchill’s Grade II Distaff Turf Mile on Kentucky Derby Day; Augustin Stable’s Rainbow View, winner of Pimlico’s Grade III Gallorette Handicap Preakness Day and third in Woodbine’s Grade II Nassau Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day; Rich Ege and Team Block’s Askbut I Won’ttell, winner of Arlington’s $100,000 Illinois Owners May 15; and Richard Duchossois’ Éclair de Lune, a German-bred who was fourth behind Tuscan Evening in the Santa Barbara in her second of only two starts since coming to North America.

ARLINGTON CLASSIC HERO TRIES FOR TWO IN AMERICAN DERBY

Estrorace LLC's Workin for Hops, winner of the first leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple May 22, is expected to continue his quest to become the first sophomore since 1997 to sweep the Triple by winning the Grade II American Derby July 17. The local Triple concludes with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day Aug. 21.

Also slated to contest the American Derby are Joseph Riccelli’s Asphalt, third in Churchill’s Grade III Jefferson Cup June 12 and second in that oval’s Grade II American Turf April 30; Jon Kelly’s Bogie, second in Hollywood’s Grade III Will Rogers June 20; Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Dean’s Kitten, winner of Turfway’s Grade II Lanes End Stakes March 27; Robert Trussell’s Formulaforsuccess, eighth in the Jefferson Cup but a winner in allowance company June 27; and Mr. & Mrs. A. C. Asbury’s Gleam of Hope, winner of the Jefferson Cup and third in the Arlington Classic.

Also, Peachtree Stable’s Marcello, third in Santa Anita’s $55,000 Baffle Stakes Feb. 13 and then sixth in that oval’s Grade III Sham Stakes March 6; Green Lantern Stables’ Mint Chip, foruth in Woodbine’s $150,000 Marine Stakes May 29; and Lothenbach Stables’s Mister Marti Gras, winner of Indiana Downs’ $200,000 Oliver Stakes June 30 and fourth in the $150,000 Arlington Classic May 22.

REMINDER: KIELE SANCHEZ DEBUTS SUNDAY IN ‘THE GLADES’

Arlington racing fans who are also television fans are reminded that Kiele Sanchez, daughter of Oscar Sanchez – agent for leading jockey Junior Alvarado – makes her debut Sunday night at 9 pm central time in A & E’s new series ‘The Glades.’

- END -

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