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Friday, October 25, 2002
Contact: Notes Team (847) 385-7472/7473
$1 million NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (Grade I)
Aldebaran/Beat Hollow -- On the eve of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, trainer Bobby Frankel expressed confidence with each of his seven contenders.
NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile entrants Aldebaran and Beat Hollow trotted on the "muddy" main track at Arlington Park on Friday.
"It's been a good year," Frankel said. "All of them are coming up to their races the way I like them to. I can't make any excuses. They're all doing great."
Frankel seeks his first win in the Mile. The Hall of Fame conditioner has started eight horses in the Mile with two seconds: Night Mover (eighth in 1984), Al Mamoon (second in 1985 and fifth in '86), Val des Bois (second in 1991 and fourth in '92), Luthier Enchanteur (sixth in 1992), Toussaud (fourth in 1993) and Kirkwall (eighth in 1999).
Speaking of Toussaud, she is the "super" dam who has dropped graded stakes winners Chester House, Chiselling, Decharchy and Honest Lady: all Juddmonte Farms-owned and -bred runners trained by Frankel.
Her latest product is 2yo colt Empire Maker, who has had Frankel beaming all week since his 3 ½-length debut win Sunday at Belmont Park.
"He ran a mile in 1:37 2/5," Frankel said. "[Jerry] Bailey was on him with the hammerlock hold. This is a runner - a real runner."
According to the Equibase chart, the son of Unbridled "raced close up outside, rallied four wide on the turn, reached the front in midstretch and drew clear under a hand ride."
"I was working him with [Classic entrant] Medaglia d'Oro," Frankel said. "I had no one else to work him with. He outworks all the others.
"He went back to Southern California and I'm going to bring him back for the Remsen [at Aqueduct]. Then I'll put him away and bring him back for the spring."
Boston Common -- Richard Englander's Boston Common jogged a mile on the main track with exercise rider Johnny Poe up at Arlington Park.
Rene Douglas will ride Boston Common in the Mile.
Trainer Michael Pino was asked what would have to happen for Boston Common, 50-1 on the morning line, to win the Mile.
"A miracle," Pino said with a laugh. "It is the owner's idea, and we were looking at the speed scenario. Maybe he can get out there and slow things down and see how he takes to the grass. Maybe they will leave us alone out there thinking he won't take to the grass."
Del Mar Show - The 5yo horse galloped 1 ¼ miles under assistant trainer/exercise rider Leana Willaford Friday at Arlington Park, and she said it doesn't matter what kind of turf course he sees Saturday.
Willaford used to have her own stable in Iowa and other spots deeper in the Midwest but she said she moved east because of the $5,000 horses she had in her charge. "I wanted to be around good horses," she said.
"The East Coast is a good place to get started because there are so many tracks everywhere. [Trainer] Bill [Mott] is great to work for."
Domedriver -- The 4yo colt by Indian Ridge, who comes into the Mile off a victory in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Longchamp on Oct. 5, cantered once around the main track at Arlington Friday morning with trainer Pascal Bary watching.
The Irish-bred colt has won two of four tries at the one-mile distance this season. Thierry Thulliez, his regular rider, is scheduled to arrive at Arlington Friday night.
Dress To Thrill -- The 3yo filly, who comes into the Mile riding a four-race winning streak, cantered around the training track Friday morning with exercise rider Liam Carthy aboard.
"It was just a little exercise to stretch her legs," said Jeff Byrne, assistant to trainer Dermot Weld. "All her training is done and she's ready to go."
The Irish-bred daughter of Danehll won the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 5 in her most recent outing. Regular rider Pat Smullen will be aboard Saturday.
Forbidden Apple -- The 7yo horse galloped twice around the Arlington track Friday, and assistant trainer Nicholas Bachalard said he handled the slop well.
He'll be running on grass on Saturday, and Bachalard said, "it doesn't matter one bit (turf conditions)."
Good Journey -- A concerned trainer Wallace Dollase watched as his 6yo son of Nureyev galloped a mile and a quarter on the main track. His concern was not for the main track but for the potential condition of the turf course on Saturday as Good Journey goes to the post in the Mile.
"If it stops raining now, I'll be OK, but if it rains the rest of the day, I'm liable to get a soft turf course and I'm not sure whether he's going to like that or not," the veteran trainer said. However, he recalled that the son of Nureyev won the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park last November on what Dollase considered soft turf.
"Considering that," he added, "the horse ran a super race."
Good Journey is on an undefeated journey since that Citation win, posting four straight victories, two at Churchill Downs and one at Woodbine. His most recent win was the Canadian track's Atto Mile.
Green Fee -- Having made the final cut for the Mile, Green Fee arrived without complication from Belmont Park to Arlington Park on Thursday afternoon. Friday morning, trainer Dan Peitz sent him out for a two-mile gallop, that only seemed to enliven the 6yo Green Dancer horse.
Back at the barn, as he was getting his bath, Green Fee playfully tried to nip at his trainer. Peitz had to repeatedly tug on the shank to distract Green Fee from his apparent mission of munching on the boss.
"He is still very fresh," Peitz said. "Maybe I'll bring him back out there again."
Green Fee broke a three-race losing streak with a half-length victory in the Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park on Oct. 5.
"He had been training well going into that race, and then he jumped up and ran pretty close to the best race of his life," Peitz said. "He has continued to do well, and that's why were so happy to be here. It seems that his physical problems are behind him, and he had a lot of them.
"Over the years, he had problems with his ankles, feet; he missed one year when he popped a curb. So, he's had a little bit of everything. This year, he is strong and sound and getting better. We just hope he is like one of these NCAA college basketball teams that gets hot for a three-week run. I only need him to be great on Saturday."
Peitz, a naive of Little Rock, Ark., actually began his career at Arlington Park with trainer Paul Adwell back in 1977 and '78.
Landseer/Rock of Gibraltar -- Trainer Aidan O'Brien's two hopes for the Mile went to the turf course for a canter Friday morning after clearing quarantine Thursday. Stable rider Michael Kinane will partner Rock of Gibraltar, unbeaten in his last seven starts, all Group I races.
"There's pressure, but I'm happy to be on him," said Kinane. "I'm not going to give him up to ride a 30-1 shot because of the pressure. He's drawn 10, and if I wanted to jump and be in the first two or three, then I wouldn't be happy. But I'll just have to be a little bit patient with him, and always have been, and hope we get that little bit of luck in running. He's a horse who comes to the races with his sleeves rolled up, bucking and kicking, and you know he's really happy to be there.
"The horses have had a break in mid-season because of the cough we've had, but they've really been bouncing in the last three or four weeks. They've taken their races well and that break may stand us in good stead.
"He's captured the imagination of the people here a bit. I came to the stable gate this morning and someone said, 'Hey, you the jock of the Rock?'"
Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile winner Landseer also cantered on the turf course Friday morning in preparation for the Mile. He is no forlorn hope for the race if Rock of Gibraltar is a legitimate even-money morning-line favorite. He has been beaten by even "the Rock" in both their meetings, but by a combined margin of less than two lengths.
Medecis -- Trainer Christiane Head-Maarek was on hand to supervise the 3yo colt's final gallop for Saturday's race.
"He worked very fast on Thursday (3f in 34 1/5)," the trainer said, "but we know he's a fast horse. Today he just jogged on the main track. It was nothing more than a hack-canter."
Medecis was second, beaten a neck by stablemate Dedication, in the 7f Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on Oct. 13, his most recent outing and his first in nearly two months.
"That was a little short of his best distance," Head-Maarek said. "He's much better going a mile. The most important thing about him here is that he's a fresh horse."
Medecis will have a new rider in Alex Solis for his run in the Mile.
Nuclear Debate -- The 7yo gelding galloped about 1 ¼ miles on the main track under exercise rider Rhett Fincher on Friday. "He and (Sprint entrant) Disturbingthepeace bounced around like yo-yos out there," said trainer Darrell Vienna of the sloppy conditions. "They had a good time."
Vienna admitted that Nuclear Debate will have his work cut out from the disadvantageous outside post, 14.
"He'll get a view of everything," said Vienna. "The worst thing I did at the draw was wish that 14 on somebody else, and it came right to me."
Touch of the Blues -- Though he hasn't run on anything but firm turf since coming to the United States in 2001, the 5yo showed an affinity for the softening-up turf course Friday morning as he galloped 1 1/8 miles on the course, according to exercise rider and assistant trainer Robert Guest.
"He took to the turf really well," said Guest, who was speaking in the place of trainer Neil Drysdale, who wasn't available at the time. "I think if it's softer that would even be better."
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Thursday, October 24, 2002
Contact: Notes Team (847) 385-7472/7473
$1 million NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (Grade I)
Aldebaran/Beat Hollow -- Trainer Bobby Frankel galloped his NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile contenders, Aldebaran and Beat Hollow, 1 3/8 miles on a "good" main track at Arlington Park on Thursday.
The Hall of Fame conditioner obviously likes his chances with multiple Grade I winner Beat Hollow, but warned bettors, "Don't leave Aldebaran off your Pick 6 ticket.
"I really like his style. I think it fits this race well. He's not being seriously considered because of his dirt races, but they were good. And I was really encouraged by his race at Belmont last fall (in the Nassau Handicap)."
As for Beat Hollow, Frankel was pleased with drawing Post 1.
"We've got the inside post, we'll be able to tuck in and come out for the stretch run. He needs a target and Saturday he'll get a target. In the last two races, he hit the lead too soon and was sort of idled out there."
Boston Common -- Richard Englander's Boston Common arrived early Thursday morning from Delaware Park for his grass debut in the Mile. Leading Arlington Park jockey Rene Douglas has the call on Boston Common, 50-1 on the morning line, who will exit post position 9.
Trainer Michael Pino said the Mile is an ambitious spot for Boston Common, who walked the shedrow Thursday morning and is expected to jog in the morning..
"He had picked up some Breeders' Cup points, but the Sprint was looking awfully tough and (Englander), well, sometimes he thinks, shall we say, out of the box, and I think that is one of the reasons for his success," Pino said.
"I claimed this horse as a 2-year-old, but when he ran here in the spring (including a start in the Illinois Derby), Michael Reavis had him."
Since returning to Pino's care, Boston Common has run seven times, all in stakes, with two victories, four seconds and a third, highlighted by a wire-to-wire victory in the Jerome Handicap at a mile.
Del Mar Show -- The colt flew from New York Wednesday and got his first look at Arlington Park's track with a 1 ¼ mile gallop just before 7 a.m. Thursday.
"He galloped nicely," said assistant trainer/exercise rider Leana Willaford. Trainer Bill Mott was still in New York.
Dress To Thrill -- The streaking 3yo filly, who will be one of the longer prices in the Mile despite having won four straight, cleared quarantine Thursday morning and was moved from the small quarantine barn into the Breeders' Cup quarantine barn.
Trainer Dermot Weld is due to arrive Thursday evening at Arlington.
Dress To Thrill, by Danehill, took the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 5 in her most recent outing.
Domedriver -- The 4yo colt stretched his legs Thursday morning with an easy canter around the Arlington main track. The Irish-bred is listed at 15-1 on the morning line with regular rider Thierry Thulliez aboard.
In his most recent effort, Domedriver won the Prix Daniel Wildenstein on Oct. 5 at Longchamp.
"He's run well this year," said Alan Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos Family, owners of Domedriver. "He won a Group II last out, and before that was second to Banks Hill (the Prix Jacques le Marois on Aug. 18). So he's had a good year.
"He can run on soft going," Cooper said, "but he prefers good ground and that's what we hope to have on Saturday."
Trainer Pascal Bary was due in Thursday evening from France.
Forbidden Apple -- The 7yo horse arrived at Arlington Park Wednesday and galloped about a mile Thursday.
Assistant trainer Nicholas Bachalard noted the son of Pleasant Colony is familiar with the track as he raced - very well - in this year's Arlington Million. He set the pace most of the way and held on to finish third in a tight finish with Beat Hollow and Sarafan.
Good Journey -- Following his 4f workout on Wednesday, the 6yo son of Nureyev, whose most recent effort was a winning one in the Atto Mile, walked the shedrow Thursday morning.
Trainer Wallace Dollase expressed great satisfaction with Wednesday's work and the entire preparation schedule for his prospect for the Breeders' Cup Mile. Dollase said the Atto winner has responded well to the weather and his surroundings and has been training quite well.
Listed at odds of 8-1 on the morning line, Good Journey will break from post position 4, a spot that Dollase believes will play into his plan for the horse to be racing in mid-pack before getting his call from jockey Pat Day to turn on the gas.
Green Fee -- Trainer Dan Peitz arrived at Arlington from Belmont Park on Thursday morning, but Green Fee was not expected until 1 afternoon (CT).
Landseer/Rock of Gibraltar -- Trainer Aidan O'Brien's two runners in the Mile remained in their stalls Thursday morning in anticipation of their blood tests meeting USDA approval later in the day. The trainer plans a canter for both of them Friday morning.
"They've both had a long, hard season and they were very sick in the middle of it, so it's great that they're even here," O'Brien said. "It would have been a huge call to run Rock of Gibraltar in the Classic because it's completely unknown territory. It might have been fun to do it, but perhaps a bit unfair after he had given us his all throughout the year.
"Landseer could be a little more affected by his draw (13) than Rock of Gibraltar (10). You could put Rock of Gibraltar anywhere, but Landseer likes to drop in just behind the pace so there is a chance they could keep him out. There isn't much between them...they ran against each other only once this season, at Ascot.
"Rock of Gibraltar is very straightforward...just jump him out, keep him relaxed, and he doesn't mind if he sits close or far back, and then just hope he gets a run. He's run in only Group Is this year and no matter how easy they win a Group I, you always know they've run in one.
"He seems to have taken each race as it came easier than the others, so we hope he'll be all right. If he gets beaten and the sequence (a record seven Group I wins in a row) ends we'll have to accept it...if you keep racing them at the top level they all get beaten, circumstances can beat them. If it happens, it happens."
Medecis -- The 3yo son of Machiavellian, listed at 15-1 on the morning line for the Mile, breezed on the main track Thursday morning, getting 3f in a quick 34 1/5.
The move was supervised by Jean-Pierre Mallet, assistant to trainer Christiane Head-Maarek, who is due in Friday.
Medecis has a quick turn of foot, as he showed when second in the 7f Prix de la Foret last out on Oct. 13. He gets a new rider for Saturday's race, with American jockey Alex Solis booked to ride for the first time.
Nuclear Debate -- The 7yo gelding, with exercise rider Rhett Fincher, jogged and galloped about 1 ¼ miles Thursday with a stable pony.
Scott Chaney, assistant to trainer Darrell Vienna, tried to put a positive spin on drawing the disadvantageous outside post, 14.
"It's not the post you hope for, but it could be worse for a different horse," said Chaney. "He's one that would come from out of it anyway."
Jockey Gary Stevens, busy with some acting work in the role of jockey George Woolf for the "Seabiscuit" movie this week, is scheduled to be here Friday.
Touch of the Blues -- The runner-up to Landseer in Keeneland's Shadwell Turf Mile galloped a mile on the Arlington Park turf Thursday morning in his get-acquainted jaunt at Arlington Park.
The 5yo son of Cadeaux Genereux arrived at Arlington Wednesday after a van ride from Keeneland, where he had remained stabled after the Oct. 6 Shadwell event.
Trainer Neil Drysdale, in from his Southern California base, attended Thursday's gallop and declared the horse as doing very well in his preparation for the Mile.
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Monday and Tuesday notes
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