|Arlington Park Stakes advance
Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535
Stakes Advance: The Grade I Secretariat Stakes
WIDE OPEN SECRETARIAT STAKES ATTRACTS SEVEN SOPHOMORE TURFERS
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 14, 2002) -- Peter Vegso's Orchard Park, a winner in five of six starts this year, may merit favoritism in a well-matched group of seven sophomore grass specialists from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean assembled for Saturday's 26th renewal of the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park.
The Grade I Secretariat, a mile and a quarter race, is for 3-year-old turf stars of world-class caliber and is part of the one-day International Festival of Racing that also features the 20th running of the Grade I Arlington Million and the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D. for fillies and mares.
A son of Hennessy, Orchard Park carries a two-race win streak into the Secretariat. The chestnut colt, trained by Hall-of-Famer Bill Mott, captured the Grade III Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs in June and the $500,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs in July in his last two trips to the post. In the latter named race, Orchard Park made a three-wide move at the quarter pole en route to a length and a half tally. Hall-of-Fame reinsman Jerry Bailey, who successfully guided the colt to a pair of stakes tallies in Florida during the winter, gets the riding assignment.
Among those slated to line up against Orchard Park are Mananan McLir, Jazz Beat and Extra Check, the 1-2-3 finishers in the Grade II American Derby over this course July 21.
Mananan McLir, who races in the colors of Michael Jarvis, Gary Margolis et al., had only one horse beaten at the top of the stretch in the American Derby, but the son of Royal Academy made a four-wide charge in the lane to better Jazz Beat by three-quarters of a length in the mile and three-sixteenths race. Trained by Wally Dollase, the bay colt will be ridden by Arlington's leading jockey Rene Douglas.
Moyglare Stud's Jazz Beat has made another cross-Atlantic trip to Arlington from the Emerald Isle after returning home following his second-place run here in the American Derby. In that race, Jazz Beat was shuffled back at the start, rallied to take a short lead in deep stretch but was unable to hold off Mananan McLir. Trained by Dermot Weld, Ireland's all-time leading conditioner, the Irish-bred son of Darshaan will have Pat Smullen in the saddle.
Locally owned and trained Extra Check was a fast-closing third in the American Derby after encountering some road trouble at the quarter pole in that July 21 race. The Three Kings Stable's colorbearer captured a second-level allowance race over this oval two weeks earlier in his first start off a six-month layoff. The Mike Stidham-trained son of Chequer has Frank Lovato Jr. slated for the tack.
Hall-of-Fame trainer Bobby Frankel sends Juddmonte Farms Inc.'s Chiselling to Arlington for the Secretariat. A son of Woodman, Chiselling rallied gamely between rivals in deep stretch to get up in the final stride of the Grade III Lexington Stakes at Belmont Park in July. The New York race was the first in stakes competition for the bay colt who has missed the board only once in six career starts. Kent Desormeaux has the call astride Chiselling.
Michael Doyle's Love Regardless invades from England via Germany after winning the Group III Jaguar-Meile Stakes at Cologne August 4. The lightly raced Storm Bird colt's three previous starts were in Great Britain where he broke his maiden as a 2-year-old and ran second in a minor stakes race at Doncaster in July. English-trainer Mark Johnston has given the mount to American-based jockey Corey Nakatani.
Completing the field for the Secretariat is James M. Messineo's Major Rhythm. The locally campaigned son of Rhythm faces his toughest task to date. In his most recent start July 26, the Jeffrey Lynn charge ran third in a second-level allowance race over this course. Arlington's all-time winningest jockey, Hall-of-Fame rider Earlie Fires, will be in the irons.
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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