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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/23/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Red Rabbit Racing’s General Charley, with five wins from five starts at Arlington Park this season, could equal Arlington’s all-time record of six wins from six starts should the popular 8-year-old gelding with the gigantic local fan club capture Friday’s seventh race.

At the present time, Peter Abruzzo and George Todaro’s The Lord’s Tune is the only horse to win six races from six starts during a single season at Chicago’s northwest oval, a mark that the daughter of Relaunch a Tune established during Arlington’s 2001 meeting while trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who went on to be Arlington’s leading trainer that season.

“We’ve hung a huge sign outside Charley’s stall,” said an enthusiastic Rick Johnson of Red Rabbit Racing when speaking Thursday of the anticipation surrounding Friday’s race. “Nevertheless, we could run dead last tomorrow and we’ll still be very proud of him. We’ve had a lot of fun all summer long with Charley and that’s always been the whole idea of Red Rabbit Racing. I expect we’ll have a bundle of people on hand to join us in the winner’s circle should we be fortunate enough to win.”

General Charley has been pegged as the 9-2 third choice in the morning line for Friday’s race at about one mile over Arlington’s world famous turf course. Ironically, one of the other horses in the overflow field of 13 is named Voy Por Uno Mas (going for one more).

“Charley is doing fine,” said trainer Chris Block during training hours Thursday morning. “He breezed a half the other day (Saturday) in 49 flat. We’re facing a little deeper competition tomorrow than what he’s been seeing up to now, but we’ll see what happens. He’s doing good.”

Earlier this summer, Johnson said, “Red Rabbit Racing is a family Thoroughbred horseracing partnership created in 2004. The initial investors were the late Richard Johnson, Peggy (Johnson) Lenz, Jean (Johnson) Gallo, Jeff Johnson and Rick Johnson.

“Jean is my sister, Peggy is my aunt and Jeff is a cousin,” Johnson said, “but my Dad originally started the whole operation before his death. The name Red Rabbit comes from the nickname of the late Russell Johnson, who was father to Peggy and Richard and grandfather to Jean, Jeff and me.”


Estrorace LLC’s Workin for Hops captured the 75th renewal of the $100,000 Arlington Classic and the 96th running of the Grade II American Derby earlier this season but finished third in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day to foil his bid for a sweep of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple.

However, here comes Workin for Hops’ little (half) sister – Estrorace LLC and Rookie Thoroughbred’s Cryptocandiac – who will make the first start of her career in Friday’s sixth race.

Both Workin for Hops and Cryptocandiac are out of the mare Citi Pearl, a daughter of Citidancer who has previously had four foals, all of which are winners, with three of those four winning on the grass.

Workin for Hops, by City Zip, was bred by Amy Bondon (Estrorace LLC) and Tom McNally in Kentucky, while Cryptocandiac, by Candy Ride – although also a homebred – was foaled in Pennsylvania.


Arlington Park guests and racing fans of Arlington’s simulcast signal are reminded that Friday’s first race post time has been moved back to 1 pm.

The earlier than usual Friday post time will be in advance of Arlington’s “Coming Home” concert for 2010 “American Idol” winner Lee DeWyze, a native of nearby Mount Prospect, Illinois.

Prior to being named the winner of season nine of American Idol in May, DeWyze appeared in a concert at Arlington earlier that month that attracted 41,000 fans to Chicago’s showcase Thoroughbred oval.

Tickets are still available for Friday’s concert, which will begin at 7:30 pm, shortly after the day’s racing program. Fans attending Friday’s races will be allowed to stay for the DeWyze “Coming Home” concert without additional charge.

- END -

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