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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Arlington Matron (Grade III)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 25, 2011) Ė The Grade III Arlington Matron and the $100,000 Arlington Classic, both longtime fixtures at Chicagoís premier Thoroughbred oval, will share top billing on Saturday. Stone Farm, John Adger, Oak Crest Farm and Mike Stidhamís Upperline headlines the Arlington Matron and All In Stablesís Willcox Inn is among the favorites in the Arlington Classic.

A daughter of Mariaís Mon, Upperline was victorious in the Grade III Arlington Oaks at the mile and an eighth Matron distance last summer. Trained by co-owner Stidham, the 4-year-old already has two stakes scores to her credit this season, capturing the $60,000 Allen LaCombe Memorial Handicap and the $100,000 Bayou Handicap, both run over the Fair Grounds turf course. In her most recent start, she finished ninth after being steadied at the start in the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. Robby Albarado has been named to ride.

Michael Deeganís Pachattack, sixth after a poor start in the Grade I Beverly D. here last August, returns to Arlington Park as part of trainer Gerard Butlerís six-horse string that will be campaigning here this summer. The daughter of Pulpit is no stranger to all-weather surfaces having won the $175,000 Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine last November and finishing a good third on the Group III Sporting Bet Winter Derby at Lingfield in England. Leading rider Junior Alvarado gets the call.

Though winless in three starts this year, Alex Campbell Jr.ís Itís Tea Time comes into the Matron off a third-place finish in the Grade III Doubledogdare Stakes over the Keeneland Polytrack in April. The Rusty Arnold-trained 4-year-old Dynaformer filly has been competitive in graded stakes competition and won the Grade III Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga last August. Eclipse Award-winning rider Julien Leparoux makes his 2011 Arlington Park debut for this mount.

Completing the field for the Arlington Matron are: Nancy Vanierís Homeís the Best (Eduardo Perez); Tracy Farmerís La Gran Bailadora (E. T. Baird); Eugene Georgeís Milwaukee Appeal (Kent Desormeaux); Vladimir Kazakovís Santina Dond (Jozbin Santana); Jerry Jamgotchianís Satans Quick Chick (Julio Felix); Jerry Jamgotchianís Spring Party (James Graham) and Robert Zoellnerís Sheís All In (Luis Quinonez).

In the Arlington Classic, a mile and a sixteenth turf race which serves as the first leg of Arlingtonís Mid-America Triple that continues July 9 with the Grade II American Derby and concludes with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 13, Willcox Inn comes in off an eighth-place finish on Polytrack in the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

Previously, the Mike Stidham-trained son of Harlanís Holiday ran second in the $60,000 Grindstone Stakes at the Fair Grounds. Last year as a 2-year-old, Willcox Inn broke his maiden here beating eventual Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom in the process before finishing third in both the Grade I Breeders Futurity at Keeneland and the Grade II Breedersí Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs. Robby Albarado will ride Willcox Inn for the first time on Saturday.

Winning Stables and Raymond Rechís Crimson Knight has made two starts since being claimed for a $16,000 tag in February. Under new trainer Gerald Bennett, the son of Leroidesanimeaux ran second in the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby at odds of more than 80-1 and last out won an allowance race at that Florida race course. Ronnie Allen Jr. has the mount.

Team Blockís Suntracer looks for his third straight victory on turf. The Illinois-bred son of Kittenís Joy won a first-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park in March and a second-level allowance at Keeneland the following month. Trainer Chris Block has given the riding assignment to Julien Leparoux.

Vladamir Kazakovís Legendary King, a runner-up in his most recent start here, is a stakes winner in Poland. Trained by Gennadi Dorochenko, the son of Brahms will be ridden by Jozbin Santana.

Completing the field for the Arlington Classic are: Janis Whithamís Fort Larned (E. T. Baird); Mark Dedomenicoís Sandys Diamond (Tim Thornton); Volunteer Racingís Forbidden Forest (Junior Alvarado); Silverton Hillís Swagger Jack (James Graham); Pin Oak Stableís Pulpitarian (Luis Quinonez); Windwoods Farmís Strong Appeal (Jermaine Bridgmohan); Homewrecker Racing Stableís Twojohnsandajack (Florent Geroux) and Glen Hill Farmís Extensive (Kent Desormeaux).

Arlington Park Ė the Chicago areaís premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. Ė will run an 86-day meet in 2011 from Friday, May 6 through Sunday, Sept. 25. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 11 off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Waukegan, Shooters Bar & Grill at Don Carter Lanes featuring Trackside Rockford, Fat Samís Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Silk and Sulkies featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolinoís featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry, Tadís Sports Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit, Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins and Sundance Saloon featuring Trackside OTB in Waukegan. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at


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