|Arlington Park Stakes advance
FIGHT FOR ALLY TOPS BLACK TIE AFFAIR HANDICAP
6-Year-Old Gelding Seeks Sixth Straight Score
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 8, 2003) -- Frank C. Calabrese's Fight for Ally has accepted top impost of 117 pounds for Saturday's $100,000 Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington Park. The Black Tie Affair, a mile and an eighth race for 3-year-olds and upward, serves as the first event on Arlington's 29-event $5.575 million stakes schedule for the 2003 meet.
Last year, the Black Tie Affair was run on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships undercard and won by Hero's Tribute who went to capture the Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap in Florida this winter.
A 6-year-old altered son of Fit to Fight, Fight for Ally is in search of his sixth straight win and second consecutive Chicago area stakes score. Last time out, the Wayne Catalano-trained gelding earned a neck victory in the Grade III National Jockey Club at Hawthorne Race Course. Purchased by Calabrese earlier this year, Fight for Ally also won the $40,000 Ides of March Stakes and a fourth-level allowance race in the black and white silks of his new owner. Curt Bourque has been named to handle the reins on Fight for Ally, who will spot his six rivals from one to five pounds.
Next in the weights at 116 pounds is Glen Hill Farm's Bonus Pack. The son of Colonial Affair invades from Florida where he was fifth in the Gulfstream Park Handicap in his most recent effort on March 29 at that South Florida oval. A four-time winner in 2002, Bonus Pack captured the Grade III Dominion Day Handicap at Woodbine in July and ran third in the Grade II Washington Park Handicap in his only local appearance last season. Hall-of-Fame rider Earlie Fires, Arlington's all-time leading jockey, will be in the saddle.
Henry Pabst's Woodmoon rides a two-race win skein into the Black Tie Affair. The 5-year-old son of Woodman took top honors in the $50,000 Flag Down Stakes at Gulfstream in March and captured a conditioned allowance race at Keeneland the following month. The Niall O'Callaghan charge, who will be making first start since that Kentucky victory, will tote 116 pounds including jockey Ray Sibille.
Illinois-bred Baker Road, who races for the partnership of H. Hughey, R. Nykaza, L. & H. Kempler & Diamond Racing Inc., is also in search of his third straight tally. The 6-year-old Rubiano horse, trained by Leo Gabriel Jr., rallied from just off the pace to win the $100,000 Milwaukee Avenue Handicap at Hawthorne against restricted company on Apr. 12 after beating open rivals in an allowance race there three weeks earlier. Eusebio Razo Jr. has the riding assignment aboard Baker Road, who has been assigned 114 pounds for Saturday's headliner.
Willmott Stable's Deferred Comp, assigned 113 pounds, is making his first start since finishing second in the $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes at Turfway Park in March. The Tony Reinstedler-trained son of Ide is one for three this year with the victory coming in a third-level allowance race at Gulfstream in January. Frank Lovato Jr. has the call to ride Deferred Comp.
Completing the field for the Black Tie Affair (with jockey and weight assignments) are: Padua Stables & Fog City Stables' Full Mandate (Rene Douglas, 113 pounds), winner of consecutive allowance races at Fair Grounds in March and Keeneland in April, and the Rick Lindsay-owned and -trained Saquache (Jerry LaSala, 112), second to Baker Road in the Milwaukee Avenue last time out.
Arlington Park will hold its 104-day meet in 2003 from Friday, May 9 through Saturday, Sept. 27. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates six off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. For further information on Arlington Park, visit www.arlingtonpark.com.
- END -