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ARLINGTON NOTES

Arlington Park Stakes advance


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Stakes Advance: Arlington-Washington Lassie (Grade III)

JUVENILE FILLY HOPEFULS EYE LUCRATIVE LASSIE AS LAST LOCAL PREP

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 26, 2002) -- Thirteen 2-year-old fillies, many with an eye on a possible start in the Grade I Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies next month, passed the entry box Thursday morning for Saturday's Grade III $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie at Arlington Park.

The one-turn one-mile Arlington-Washington Lassie is traditionally the main event for 2-year-old fillies on the Chicago Thoroughbred racing scene, but this year the Lassie becomes the final major local prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, to be contested at a mile and an eighth here Oct. 26. On that last Saturday in October the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Arlington Park for the first time in their 19-year history.

Saturday's Lassie, held on the same day as the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity, is part of Arlington Park's "Preview Weekend at the Park," a grouping of four stakes races over the coming weekend held four weeks in advance of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

Sunday's portion of "Preview Weekend at the Park" consists of the Grade II $400,000 Washington Park Handicap and the $150,000 added Sea O' Erin Breeders' Cup Mile.

Nelson Bunker Hunt's Souris, undefeated in two trips to the post, may be a slight favorite in the Arlington-Washington Lassie. The daughter of Defrere was a two-length victress in the $75,000 Top Flight Stakes, the local prep for the Lassie, on Aug. 31 after breaking her maiden here earlier that month. Corey Lanerie, who was aboard for her maiden score, reunites with the Steve Asmussen-trained filly.

Sure to be vying for support at the mutuel windows is Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Ashraaf. A daughter of Deputy Minister, Ashraaf was shipped earlier this month from trainer Eoin Harty's Southern California base to his Arlington operation where she broke her maiden with a 10-length triumph at the Lassie distance of one mile. Frank Lovato Jr. has the mount.

Trainer Bernie Flint has sent three fillies to contest the Lassie: Tracy Farmer's Wildcat Annie, a two-time winner in Kentucky; Robert D. Nash's Golden Dayjur, second to her aforementioned stablemate at Turfway Park last time out; and Ed Wright, Miles Childers & L. T. B. Inc.'s Daylight Robbery, winner of her last two in the Blue Grass State. Robby Albarado has the riding assignment for Wildcat Annie while Eddie Martin Jr. is slated for the tack astride Golden Dayjur. Elvis Trujillo gets the call aboard Daylight Robbery.

Edward Marshall's Bolaro comes to Arlington after capturing the $40,000 Miss Ohio Stakes, an Ohio-bred restricted race at Thistledown, in her last start. The Alan Sobol-trained daughter of Sandpit will be ridden by Luis A. Gonzalez. Incidentally, last year's Lassie winner, Joanies Bella, was an Ohio bred.

Another stakes winner to try the Lassie is J. Rester & J. Treece's Sea Bloom, who captured the $100,000 La Senorita Stakes on the turf at Retama Park. The daughter of Sea Hero had previously finished second on the main track in the $100,000 Silver Springs Breeders' Cup at Lone Star Park. E.J. Perrodin rides the Sam David Jr.-trained miss.

Others in the field include: Walts-David Stables LLC's Glacial Victoire (Jesse Campbell), a recent allowance race winner here; Harley Stepp's Classic Moment (Chris Emigh), who broke her maiden in front-running fashion on Sept. 1; and K. K. Jayaraman & V. Devi Jayaraman's Explosive Beauty (Mark Guidry).

Also, Preston Stable LLC's Parting (Rene Douglas), thrice stakes-placed in Texas and Louisiana; The Woodbridge Farm's Moonlight Sonata (Shane Laviolette), still a maiden but runner-up in the $100,000 Pepsi Bassinet Stakes at River Downs Aug. 31; and Richard, Bertram & Elaine Klein's Competitive Edge (Pat Day), claimed for $80,000 two starts back and third at Ellis Park in her lone race for her current owners.

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