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ARLINGTON NOTES

Arlington Park Stakes advance


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Stakes Advance: The Pucker Up Stakes (Grade III)

LITTLE TREASURE SEEKS PUCKER UP GOLD

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 12, 2002) -- French-bred filly Little Treasure, who races for the Sidney Port Trust & San Gabriel Investments, invades Arlington Park from her California homebase and will likely be favored among 11 sophomore distaffers entered for Saturday's Grade III $150,000 Pucker Up Stakes at a mile and an eighth on the turf.

A daughter of Night Shift, Little Treasure was victorious in her North American debut last month, capturing the Grade II San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar on August 3. Prior to being sent to the United States, she won four races overseas including the Prix de Bagatelle at Chantilly in France in her final European start in May. Trainer Laura de Seroux has engaged the services of Arlington Park's leading jockey, Rene Douglas, to handle the reins in the Pucker Up.

Another filly with more recent European lines entered in the Pucker Up is Mrs. M. de Chambure's Baldellia. The French-bred daughter of Grape Tree Road won a stakes race against sophomore fillies at Maisons-Laffitte by a half a length on June 7. Last time out, the David Smaga-trained miss was unsuccessful when facing older rivals at Deauville on August 4. Veteran Arlington rider Eusebio Razo Jr. picked up the mount aboard Baldellia.

Florida-based Cellars Shiraz, owned by Robert B. Walker, is in search of her sixth stakes victory of the season in the Pucker Up. The daughter of Kissin Kris took the restricted $50,000 Convenience Stakes at Calder in her last start August 3 after finishing fifth in the $500,000 American Oaks at Hollywood one month earlier. The biggest score of the year for the Bill Cesare trainee came in the Grade III Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream Park in February. Regular rider Cornelius Velasquez makes the trip from the Sunshine State to pilot Cellars Shiraz.

WinStar Farm LLC's Miss Marcia ships in from New York where the daughter of Mr. Greeley finished third in the Grade II Lake Placid Handicap in her most recent start on Aug. 18 at Saratoga. The lightly raced Elliot Walden charge has two wins this year, breaking her maiden over the Gulfstream turf in January and capturing a first-level allowance race at Churchill Downs on June 1. Carey Lanerie has the call.

Others in the field include: Wertheimer Farm's Attico (Frank Lovato Jr.), runner-up in the $60,000 Office Wife Stakes July 28; Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Bee My Honey (Chris Emigh), a victress over this course in June; Barr H. Inman's Delicatessa (Eduardo Perez), winner of a first-level allowance on Aug. 8; and G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s Kathy K D, fourth in the Grade III Regret at Churchill in her most recent start.

Also, Millard R. Seldin's Traci's Wild (Larry Sterling Jr.), fourth in the Grade II Fantasy at Oaklawn and third in the $100,000 Edgewood at Churchill this spring; Ronald K. Kirk's Transition Time (Joe Johnson), whose three-race win skein includes the Office Wife in her last trip to the post; and Thunderhead Farms' Yalta (Don Pettinger), a first-level allowance victress on Aug. 4.

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