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Arlington Park Stakes advance

Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535

Stakes Advance: The Grade I Beverly D.


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 14, 2002) -- Astra, a disappointment when finishing last as the 7-10 favorite in the 2001 Beverly D. Stakes, returns to Arlington Park Saturday to face defending champion England's Legend and four other turf distaffers of international caliber in the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D.

The 13th running of the Beverly D., a mile and three-sixteenths grass race for fillies and mares, is the sister race to the Grade I Arlington Million which will also be contested Saturday as part of Arlington's one-day International Festival of Racing, the traditional centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred season, that also features the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds of global turf stature.

Astra, who races in the colors of Allen E. Paulson's Living Trust, never got a hold of the yielding turf in last year's Beverly D. and faded to last after racing wide early in the race, which proved to be her final start of 2001.

Since returning to action with a third-place finish in the Grade II Santa Ana Handicap at Santa Anita, the 6-year-old daughter of bi-continental champion Theatrical now trained by Laura de Seroux has been unstoppable. In her last three trips to the post, the bay mare has rattled off successive scores in the Grade II Santa Barbara Handicap, also at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park's Grade I Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap and the Grade I Beverly Hills Handicap at that same Southern California oval.

Regular rider Kent Desormeaux, who captured the 1992 Beverly D. astride Kostroma, is slated for the tack.

Baron Edouard de Rothschild's England's Legend, a wire-to-wire victress here one year ago, is back to defend her turf in an attempt to become the first two-time winner of Arlington's top event for the distaff set.

After capturing last year's Beverly D., the daughter of Lure just missed making it two straight Grade I scores when narrowly beaten in the Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park after making the pace for most of the 10-furlong race. She finished her 2001 season with a disappointing 11th-place finish as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, also at Belmont.

Trained by Christophe Clement with a fall campaign in mind, the 6-year-old mare has only made one start this year, capturing the Grade III Modesty Handicap over this course in her typical front-stepping fashion on July 27. Corey Nakatani, who was aboard for her 2001 Beverly D. tally, has a return call astride England's Legend.

Also sure to receive support from the bettors is Gary A. Tanaka's Golden Apples. The daughter of Pivotal beat Astra in the Santa Ana in March but lost to that rival a month later in the Santa Barbara when forced to alter course with an eighth of a mile to run in the race. In her last start, the Ben Cecil-trained filly made a late rally to finish second to Affluent in the Grade I John C. Mabee Ramona Handicap at Del Mar July 27. Pat Valenzuela has the riding assignment.

Juddmonte Farms Inc.'s Tates Creek invades from New York for Saturday's Beverly D. A daughter of Rahy out of a Nureyev mare, Tates Creek comes in off back-to-back scores in the East, capturing the Grade II Diana Handicap at Saratoga in her most recent effort July 27. Conditioned by Hall-of-Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, the 4-year-old filly also shows 2002 victories in the Grade III Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland and a conditioned allowance race at Belmont Park. Hall-of-Fame jockey Jerry Bailey will ride.

Aldridge Racing Ltd.'s Golden Silca is the only European-based horse in this year's Beverly D. The 6-year-old Inchinor mare is winless over her last two campaigns but is group stakes placed this year when second in the Group II Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last month. Named highweight 2-year-old filly in Germany and highweight older filly or mare in England and Ireland as a 4-year-old, Golden Silca is trained by Mick Channon and will have Richard Hughes in the saddle.

Completing the talented lineup for the Beverly D. is Joseph Allen's Volga. The daughter of Caerleon finished second, beaten only a neck, in her last start, the Grade II New York Handicap at Belmont Park. Last year, in her North American debut, she ran second to Choc Ice in the Grade I E. P. Taylor at Woodbine Race Course near Toronto. She is also trained by Clement but will race as a separate betting interest from her stablemate England's Legend. Jose Santos has the mount.

The Beverly D. will be shown on a tape-delay basis as part of ESPN's "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" telecast which includes the live running of the Arlington Million and Saratoga's Grade I Alabama Stakes from 4-5 p.m. Central time Saturday.

Arlington Park, the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill., is running 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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