Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/2/10)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
REMINDER: FRIDAY POST TIME 2 PM
It may be a “long, long way from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September.”
Lyricist Maxwell Anderson wrote the words to “September Song” in 1938 for Kurt Weill’s Broadway musical “Knickerbocker Holiday” but here in Chicago in 2010, it means that Friday’s twilight racing program first race post time has been pushed back to 2 pm due to the waning daylight hours this month.
Guests of Arlington are also reminded that Friday will be the final “Miller Lite Party in the Park” of the northwest Chicago Thoroughbred oval’s 2010 racing season, which will end on Sunday, Sept. 26.
Friday’s Party in the Park band is the aptly-named “Local Favorite.”
TWO GRADE III STAKES HIGHLIGHT ARLINGTON’S LABOR DAY WEEKEND
Dr. Fager won it, as did Round Table, Black Tie Affair and Gun Bow, but this Saturday’s 77th running of Arlington’s Grade III Washington Park Handicap will be contested at a mile and three-sixteenths over the Arlington Polytrack course for the fourth consecutive year.
Saturday’s renewal features last year’s Argentine-bred winner – Feel The Thunder Stable’s Gran Estreno – who with the victory would become only the fourth horse in the race’s storied history to win back-to-back renewals of the Washington Park Handicap.
Whoever wins Saturday’s Washington Park Handicap will earn a starting berth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs under the “Win and You’re In” provision of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Season.
Two days later, on Labor Day, only the third Monday racing program of the 2010 local season will be run and the featured stakes race of that holiday will be the 47th running of the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes. The nine-furlong test restricted to sophomore members of the distaff set will be contested over Arlington’s world famous turf course.
Monday’s renewal of the Pucker Up is expected to include Barbara Hunter’s Snow Top Mountain, who with the win Monday would become only the third filly in history to win the Grade III Arlington Oaks on the main track (which she did July 3) and then come back to take the Pucker Up on the grass.
CAN ‘DUNDALK’S’ IRISH ROOTS HELP KISS BLARNEY STONE IN PUCKER UP?
Tim Kindlon, although Chicago-born and raised in Wheaton, helped name his family’s Dundalk 5 LLC Thoroughbred racing operation on behalf of his grandfather, who emigrated to the United Stakes from the town of Dundalk, Ireland in 1904.
So does that mean that the 3-year-old filly Dundalk Dust, although an Illinois-bred herself, could carry the luck of the Irish with her into Arlington’s Grade III Pucker Up Stakes that highlights the local Labor Day Monday program?
Actually, she may not need it. The daughter of Military out of the Beau Genius mare Plus Beau is coming off a solid one-length win in her last start July 22 over Arlington’s grass course despite being bumped at the start, and before that she finished third and was eventually placed second in Arlington’s Grade III Arlington Oaks July 3 on the local Polytrack despite being shuffled back early. And on Monday of this week, Dundalk Dust breezed five furlongs in a minute flat – a tick slower than the bullet work of the day – in preparation for the Pucker Up.
“Over the last four or five years since our stable was formed, we’ve probably owned 15 or 20 horses, but she is the best horse we have ever had,” said Kindlon Thursday morning. “My father Joseph, who died two years ago, always loved horses. He was a member of the Racing Board, but after he resigned from that he got into the business as an owner.
“He’s also basically the one who got me hooked on the game,” Kindlon said, “so I’m the one that’s carrying on the stable. Originally, the Dundalk 5 also included my mother Bess, who died last year, and my brothers Dan and Doug, who complete the group. My mother loved the horses, too. Every time we had one running, she wanted to be there. We named our horse Blue Smoke Bess after her.
“I’m very excited about running Dundalk Dust in the Pucker Up,” said Kindlon, 58, a retired school teacher. “I’m looking forward to being out there Monday. She is the first stakes horse we have ever had.
“My one brother who lives in Springfield will probably go to his local OTB to watch the race, but my other brother lives in Boston, so I doubt he’ll be watching.”
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