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ARLINGTON NOTES

Arlington Park Stakes advance


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Stakes Advance: The Arlington Matron (Grade III)

WIDE OPEN ARLINGTON MATRON COULD BE A 'PICKUM'

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 31, 2002) -- Jay Em Ess Stables' Miss Pickums and Edward P. Evans' With Ability will share starting highweight of 116 pounds Monday when a field of six distaffers heads postward in the 67th running of the $150,000 Arlington Matron, the Labor Day feature at Arlington Park.

The Grade III Matron, a mile and an eighth race for fillies and mares, serves as the final local prep for the Grade I $2,000,000 Breeders' Cup Distaff which will be contested here as part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Saturday, October 26. The Matron will also be the middle leg of the America's Day Pick Three, a $1 wager that starts with the $200,000 Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes from River Downs and concludes with the $125,000 Solana Beach Handicap from Del Mar.

A daughter of Afternoon Deelites, Miss Pickums carries a two-race local win streak into the Arlington Matron. In her last start, the 4-year-old bay filly rallied from off the pace to win the $50,000 Mariah's Storm Handicap at the Matron distance August 11. Previously, the Paul McGee-trained miss tallied at a mile in conditioned allowance company. Earlier this year, she captured the $50,000 Likely Exchance Stakes at Turfway Park. Ray Sibille has the mount.

With Ability returns to Chicago for the second time this year after capturing the Grade III $300,000 Sixty Sails Handicap at Sportsman's Park in April in her first foray to the Windy City. Following the Sixty Sails, the Mark Hennig pupil was sent to Churchill Downs where she finished second to Spain after making the pace for nearly a mile in the Grade II Fleur De Lis Handicap in June. In her most recent trip to the post, the 4-year-old daughter of A. P. Indy faded to seventh in the Grade I Go For Wand Handicap at Saratoga. Robby Albarado has been named to handle the reins.

Slated to face the highweighted duo are: James Tafel LLC's Lakenheath (115 pounds, Chris Emigh); Cam Allard's Extend (114, Frank Lovato Jr.); Eugene Ford's Your Out (114, Rene Douglas); and My Jo Lee Stable's Curious Conundrum (111, C. H. Marquez Jr.).

Your Out comes into the Matron off a second-place finish in the Grade III $600,000 Delaware Handicap where she was beaten only a neck by Summer Colony, who went on to capture the Grade I Personal Ensign Handicap in her next start. Prior to the Delaware Handicap, the H. Graham Motion-trained daughter of Allen's Prospect won a pair of stakes races at that Mid-Atlantic oval, the $55,000 Summer King and the $100,000 Obeah.

Lakenheath returns to her home base after finishing second to Minister's Baby in the Grade III $200,000 Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park in her last start. Prior to that Kentucky race, the daughter of Colonial Affair trained by Gene Cilio was an easy 11-length victress in a third-level allowance race over this oval and she also finished second to With Ability in Sportsman's Sixty Sails in the spring.

Shipping from Canada for the Matron is Extend. The daughter of Unbridled's Song was a front-running winner in her last start, the $100,000 Belle Mahone Stakes at Woodbine August 3. She also took the $125,000 Ontario Matron Handicap at that Toronto area racetrack. In between those two races she was fifth in the Grade II $300,000 Molly Pitcher Handicap at Monmouth. Extend is trained by Roger Attfield, who won this race in 1994 with Hey Hazel.

Completing the field for the Matron is Curious Conundrum. The Eugene Brajczewski Jr.-trained daughter of Harlan was second in the $60,000 Reluctant Guest Stakes on the Arlington Park turf course in her last start August 16 and previously captured a third-level allowance race, also on the lawn, on July 19.

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