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Arlington Park Stakes advance

Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535

Stakes Advance: The American Derby (Grade II)


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 19, 2002) -- Cappuchino and Mananan McLir, only a head apart at the finish of the Round Table Handicap at Bay Meadows two starts back, match strides again when they face six international rivals in Sunday's $225,000 American Derby at Arlington Park.

The Grade II American Derby, at a mile and three sixteenths on Arlington's world renowned turf course, is the second leg of the Mid-America Triple that began with the Grade II $175,000 Arlington Classic and concludes with the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes. Mr. Mellon, who won the June 29 Classic, has bypassed the American Derby but may return for the August 17 Secretariat.

A bay son of Capote, Cappuchino, owned by the partnership of George Todaro, Howard Litt & trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, set the pace for more than three-quarters of a mile in the Arlington Classic before fading to sixth. In addition to capturing the Round Table in June, the Jerry Hollendorfer charge took top honors in the $55,000 Golden State Mile at Golden Gate Fields in February and finished a good second in the $150,000 California Derby on the main track at Bay Meadows. Randall Meier, who was aboard Cappuchino in the Arlington Classic, gets a return call.

Michael Jarvis, Gary Margolis, et al.'s Mananan McLir, whose late rally in the Round Table came up a head short, ran fourth in the Grade III Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park the same weekend that Cappuchino ran here in the Arlington Classic. The son of Royal Academy is trained by Wally Dollase and will have the services of Arlington's leading jockey, Rene Douglas, who has ridden the winner in all three of the track's graded stakes contested thus far this season.

Moyglare Stud's Jazz Beat invades from Ireland for Sunday's headliner. The son of Darshaan ran eighth in the Group I Budwesier Irish Derby on the Emerald Isle in his last start. He is trained by Dermot Weld, Ireland's all-time leading conditioner who won the American Derby two years ago with Highland Farms et al.'s Pine Dance. Jockey Patrick Smullen, who has ridden Jazz Beat in three of his four career starts, is slated to fly in from Europe for the mount.

In addition to Cappuchino, three other starters from the Arlington Classic -- Lizabeth Gore's Scooter Roach, William P. Stiritz & Brian Zander's Robin Zee and Jerry Givens & Jack Gullett's Seanisky -- have been entered in the American Derby.

Of that trio, Seainsky turned in the best performance in the Classic with a third-place finish that may have been compromised by a lack of early running room. Gerard Melancon, the colt's regular rider in Texas and Louisiana, reunites with the Wes Hawley-trained son of Sea Hero for the American Derby.

Scooter Roach, an Illinois-bred son of Mi Cielo who finished ninth in the Classic, previously was the adjudged winner of the Grade III Hawthorne Derby. Jesse Campbell gets the riding assignment from trainer Terrel Gore.

Robin Zee was fifth in the Classic, which served as the turf debut for the son of Robin des Pins. Carlos H. Marquez Jr. rides the Roger Brueggemann trainee.

Irish Acres Farm's Afleet Buck looks to rebound after finishing 13th in the Cardinal Handicap on Prairie State Festival day here June 22. The son of Bucksplasher bled in the race and will be treated with Lasix for the first time in the American Derby. The Alfonso Razo charge earlier had won the $100,000 Canterbury Park Breeders' Cup Derby in Minnesota in May, a race captured last year by Miessler & Raber's Fan Club's Mister, who went on to take the 2001 edition of the American Derby. Elvis Trujillo rides.

Completing the field for the American Derby is Three Kings Stable's Extra Check. The son of Chequer who is trained by Mike Stidham and will be ridden by Frank Lovato Jr., rallied from off the pace to win a second-level allowance race off a five-month layoff June 6.

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