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Arlington Park Stakes advance

Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 20, 2002) -- Sixty-three of the best Illinois-registered Thoroughbreds in training, including two that are cross-entered in multiple races, will do battle in six $75,000-added stakes races that comprise the third annual Prairie State Festival Saturday at Arlington Park.

The Prairie State Festival is Arlington's all-Illinois Day. In addition to the six thrilling stakes races restricted to Illinois-bred and/or foaled horses, the event showcases Illinois experiences and offers visitors the opportunity to discover unique statewide destinations via performances, Illinois history and demonstrations of Illinois crafts.

The six stakes races that make up the Prairie State Festival are:

  • The Purple Violet Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile
  • The Springfield Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile
  • The Isaac Murphy Handicap for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs
  • The White Oak Handicap for 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs
  • The Lincoln Heritage Handicap for fillies & mares 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf
  • The Cardinal Handicap for 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf

The Cardinal, carded as the ninth of 10 races on Saturday, attracted the deepest, most talented group, with a capacity field of 14 turf specialists heading postward.

Patricia Miessler & Cliff Raber's Fan Club's Mister, winner of the Grade II American Derby over this course last year, will carry highweight of 121 pounds in the Cardinal. Last time out, the Rickey Harris-trained 4-year-old finished fifth in the $75,000 Glassy Dip Stakes at Hawthorne Race Course. The Glassy Dip, a five-furlong turf dash, was clearly not his cup of tea and he should fare better at Saturday's mile and a sixteenth distance.

Among his 13 rivals in the Cardinal is Team Block's Mystery Giver, winner of the $150,000 Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup Handicap and second to Fan Club's Mister in the $100,000 Woodchopper Stakes at the New Orleans oval.

Slated to face the top duo in the Cardinal are: Mt. Joy Stables Inc.'s Just Like Jimmy; Carolyn Friedberg's Minor Wisdom; Horse Cents Stable's Mister Volare; BJB Stable's Runaway Victor; Mrs. & Michael P. Brickman's Smilin' Slew; Howard E. Nelson & Dan Johns' Treat Me Doc; Thomas Fedro Sr.'s Reno Rumble; Carl Moore Management LLC's G All Day; Mikos, Mikos & Miller Racing Stable Ltd.'s Lil Mephistopheles; Jan Nilsen's Paddy Spy; Irish Acres Farm's Afleet Buck; and Steve H. Lewis' Chartwell.

Two-time defending champion Ioya Two, who races in the colors of Team Block, looms a prohibitive choice in the Lincoln Heritage. The 7-year-old Lord At War mare, voted Illinois champion older distaffer in 2001, also captured last year's Grade III Modesty over the Arlington turf and last time out finished second against open rivals in the $45,000 Nicole Stakes at Hawthorne.

The Chris Block trainee will face 11 rivals in the Lincoln Heritage including stablemate Suprise Me Again; Stamas, Marovich Enterprises LLC & Crown's Way Farm's Soccory; Moises R. Yanez's M and M Machine; W. Lloyd & G. & S. Belpedio's Ellie's Rose; the M. Y. Stables Inc.-owned tandem of Puny and Dentons Ruby; Cutshall Racing LLC's Buba's Caper; Frank Mancari's Falasha; Dan C. Muckler & Jack Wolfner's Ballado's Baby; Felix Martinez's Rapidrunstheriver; and Carolyn & Harry Disko's I Can Fan Fan.

Defending champion Tic N Tin will face off against veteran campaigner Magic Doe and seven others in the White Oak Handicap. Tic N Tin, who races for owner-trainer Ron L. Brandenburg, was the only horse to win stakes races at all four Illinois Thoroughbred racetracks (Arlington, Hawthorne, Sportsman's and Fairmount) last year. Magic Doe, a 7-year-old gelding who is owned by 83-year-old William Cortesi and trained by 92-year-old Jim Eckrosh, won the $100,000 Chicagoland Handicap at Sportsman's Park earlier this season.

They will face Asiel Stable's Classic Appeal; Freeway Ticket Partnership's Freeway Ticket; W. Dean West's Lil Charlie Too; Michael Reavis & White Eagle Stable LLC's Chinkapin; Terry Renfrow & Eugene Young's Too Many Bucks; Henry, Marsella & Emerald Ridge Farm's Manitowish; and Hock, Gricus & Bogan's Meadow Champ.

John Conforti's Capitol View and David Halfacher's Rain Boots, the 2000 and 2001 victresses, respectively, seek to repeat in the Isaac Murphy Handicap. The former, by Sports View, also captured Hawthorne's $75,000 Powerless Stakes last November while the latter ran a good fourth against open rivals here on June 9.

Also in the Isaac Murphy are L. J. Gaudreau & Larry Gillen's Come September; the M. Y. Stables Inc.-owned tandem of Puny and Dentons Ruby; R. T. M. Racing Ltd.'s Faccia Bella; Mel Silver Racing Ltd.'s Darling L; Ron L. Brandenburg's Little Mo; Joseph Marovich LLC & Crown's Way Farm's Shemya; Frosty Stable's Johnna Ray; and William Stiritz's Win Won.

Kammalot Stables' Tejano Honey, Illinois champion 2-year-old filly of 2001, and Crown's Way Farm's Gracility look to be the horses to beat in the Purple Violet Stakes. The former, a daughter of Tejano Run, has won her last two races including her most recent start against open company rivals. The latter, by Known Fact, captured the $100,000 Violet Stakes at Sportsman's Park in March and a second-level allowance race over this oval earlier this month.

The remainder of the field for the Purple Violet consists of Tom Swearingen, Greco Racing & Bill Strauman's Captured Gold; Linda & Ed Fisher's Demanding Woman; Hondo Ranch Inc.'s Dinner In Reno; Mary B. & Rylee Zimmerman's Flower Cart; Ken Spraggins & MWM Stable's Miss Spragg; Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Summer Mis; Mueller, Morawski & Brandenburg's Tricky Surprise; Lothenbach Stables Inc.'s Westend Tapper; and Thomas R. & Bonita Gerdes' White O Morn.

Piazza, Scherer & Lacoco's Medlin Road, twice placed in open stakes company, heads a field of eight sophomores entered in the Springfield Stakes. The son of Cartwright took the runner-up spot in both the $100,000 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs and the $45,000 Rustic Ruler Stakes at Hawthorne in May.

He'll be joined in the starting gate by Ajubita, Hock & Hondo Ranch Inc.'s Beabasque; Irish Acres Farm's Colorful Tour; Peter Stamas & Crown's Way Farm's Coping; Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Jocko; Harvey L. and Nancy A. Vanier's Mucho Rapido; Guy Carnagey's Report To All; and Audrey Johnson & Monticello Stable's Traffic Signal.

Arlington Park, the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill., will run a 107-day meet in 2002 from Wednesday, June 5 to Sunday, Oct. 27. Arlington Park, which merged with Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN) in September 2000, also operates five off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities -- "Trackside" Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Quad City Downs (East Moline), Chicago, Rockford and Waukegan. For further information on Arlington Park, visit our website at www.arlingtonpark.com.

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