Arlington Park Stakes Advance
Contact: Brian W. Spencer
TURF MARATHONERS CLASH IN STARS AND STRIPES
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 8, 2015) – A competitive field of 11 passed the entry box for the 1 1/2-miles Grade III $100,000 Stars and Stripes at Arlington International Racecourse, including three horses – The Pizza Man, Yankee Dealer and Dramedy – who were cross-entered in the Grade III $100,000 Arlington Handicap on the same Million Preview Day card.
Midwest Thoroughbreds’ reliable 6-year-old gelding The Pizza Man would be aiming to defend his Stars and Stripes title if his connections elect to run him in the day’s finale. Trained by Roger Brueggemann, the son of English Channel was a popular winner of the 2014 Stars and Stripes on an Arlington turf course over which he has won eight of 11 career starts, including a follow-up score in the Listed $400,000 American St. Leger on Million Day last year. The Pizza Man kicked off his 2015 campaign with an easy victory in the $65,000 Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs and will be paired again with regular rider Florent Geroux from post two.
Dramedy, a 6-year-old Distorted Humor colt trained locally by Gerald Aschinger for owner John James Revocable Trust, will make his first start since capturing the Grade II $250,000 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland in April. A 30-1 outsider that day, the win earned him highweight status in the Stars and Stripes under 124 pounds with jockey Rosemary Homeister, Jr. scheduled to ride from post 10.
Michele and Cliff Love’s rapidly improving 4-year-old Exchange Rate gelding Xtra Luck enters the Stars and Stripes as the proverbial “now” horse. Always a consistent runner, the Kentucky-based Neil Howard trainee has taken his game to a new level in turf marathons, making his stakes debut a winning one when scoring in the Grade III $100,000 Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs in May at this same 1 1/2-mile distance. Brian Hernandez, Jr. has the return call from post five.
Lothenbach Stables’ Mister Marti Gras will try a turf marathon for the first time in the Stars and Stripes for trainer Chris Block. A stakes winner on turf, dirt and synthetic surfaces, the son of Belong to Me missed by a head to fellow Stars and Stripes entrant Yankee Dealer in his first race of the season in a high-end allowance. Jose Valdivia, Jr. will ride from post four.
Team Valor International ships their 5-year-old mare Three Hearts in from California to take on the boys in the Stars and Stripes for trainer Neil Drysdale. A graded winner over 1 3/8 grassy miles at Del Mar last November, the daughter of Hat Trick has relished longer distances and will look to bounce back off a disappointing effort in the Grade I $300,000 Gamely Stakes last time out at Santa Anita. Drayden Van Dyke will ride from the outside post 11.
Calvados (Jose Lezcano, rail), Roman Approval (Julien Leparoux, post two), For Greater Glory (Joe Rocco, post six), Afortable (Jerome Lermyte, post seven), Yankee Dealer (Samantha Colvin, post eight) and Castlederg (Mitchell Murrill, post nine) complete the field.
Arlington International Racecourse – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 77-day meet in 2015 from Friday, May 1 through Saturday, Sept. 26. Arlington International Racecourse, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates ten off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities in Arlington Heights, Aurora, Chicago, Waukegan, Villa Park, Rockford, South Elgin, Hodgkins, McHenry and Orland Hills. Arlington International Racecourse is a proud member of America’s Best Racing. Information on Arlington International Racecourse and Trackside OTB can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arlingtonpark and www.facebook.com/tracksideotb, and on Twitter at @Arlington_Park for the latest happenings, @arlingtonracing for the latest racing news and @tracksideotb for all things pertaining to off-track wagering.