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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/23/10)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

GENERAL QUARTERS BACK ON TRACK THURSDAY IN LOUISVILLE

Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters, winner of the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes last year and the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic this spring, returned to the track Thursday at Churchill Downs for the first time since his disappointing sixth-place finish in last Saturday’s Grade III Arlington Handicap as the final designed prep for Arlington Million XXVIII.

“He went very, very well when we took him back to the track yesterday,” said owner-trainer McCarthy of his gray 4-year-old, speaking over the phone from Louisville Friday. “He was hitting the ground very well the whole time he was out there. We also took some X-rays and everything looked a hundred percent in the pictures.”

The positive report lends credence to the possibility of a return trip by General Quarters for a run in the Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 21. What would be a prerequisite, however, is some rain in Chicago over the next three weeks to soften the local turf course.

“I think he just took a bad step and wrenched an ankle a little bit early in the race the other day,” McCarthy said. “After that he didn’t even try. Hopefully, it’s going to be just like when a human sprains an ankle slightly and it turns out fine the next day.”

JOCKEY GRAHAM GETS CRACKING IN JULY

Irish-born jockey James Graham has been runner-up in the Arlington jockey standings for the last two seasons, but has been on a particular hot streak as Arlington’s leading rider this July with 16 wins entering Friday’s race day.

On Thursday, Graham celebrated his seventh riding double of the month by riding Global Racing Partnership’s Love That Kitten to win the second half of the Daily Double for trainer Michael Tomlinson. Graham returned to take the finale aboard Stan and Irene Burnstein and Robert DeWitt’s Mesonic for conditioner Eddie Kenneally.

Graham also enjoyed a two-win afternoon on Arlington’s previous race day last Sunday.

Jockey Michael Baze, new to the Arlington jockey colony this summer and currently second in the standings two wins in front of Graham, also rode two winners Thursday, taking the third race on Hilton Gordon and Howard Rose’s Peach Bottom for leading trainer Wayne Catalano, and coming right back to the winner’s circle after the fourth astride Cristel Racing Stable’s Light Sleeper for conditioner Mark Cristel.

Jockey Eddie Perez, currently fifth in Arlington’s 2010 standings through Thursday, was the third local rider with a two-win Thursday.

Perez won Thursday’s fifth on Mario Donato’s Bank Account for trainer Larry Rivelli, fourth in the standings through Thursday; and made it back-to-back wins in the sixth on Dundalk 5 LLC’s Dundalk Dust for conditioner Chris Block, third in the standings through Thursday.

Bank Account, incidentally, is one of two horses to have made four trips to the winner’s circle through Thursday of this season, as had Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Pink Belle Girl.

‘PINK IN THE PARK’ TO BE CELEBRATED SATURDAY AT ARLINGTON

Guests of Arlington Park are invited out Saturday to celebrate “Ladies Day: Pink in the Park” – a charity-themed day to highlight the Susan G. Koman Foundation. The day will feature fundraising efforts for the Susan G. Koman Foundation as well as live entertainment and giveaways.

Mario Tricci nail technicians will be on-site polishing nails pink for willing participants.

Other Pink in the Park activities include a hat judging contest in the Park area as well as a contest to win a weekend getaway courtesy of Apple Vacations.

- END -

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