|Arlington Park Stakes advance
BRIGHT VALOUR SEEKS THIRD HANSHIN CUP SCORE
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 27, 2003) -- Bright Valour, adjudged winner of the 2000 Hanshin Cup and the outright victor the following year, is prominent among nine horses entered in the 2003 edition of the $100,000 Hanshin Cup at one mile on Sunday at Arlington Park.
Now racing in the colors of Ronnie Lamarque and trained by Louie Roussel III, Bright Valour was owned by Lazy Lane Farm and trained by Frank Brothers when second through the line in the 2000 Hanshin, but he was subsequently moved to the top spot when Yankee Victor was disqualified. In 2001, he rallied from off the pace to earn a three-quarter length tally.
In four starts for his new connections, the 7-year-old horse has two wins and a second, most recently capturing a tough optional claiming allowance race by a nose over this track. Chris Emigh has the mount aboard Bright Valour, who has been assigned 116 pounds for the Hanshin, one pound less than the race's four co-highweights.
Sharing top impost of 117 pounds are Richard L. Duchossois' Apt To Be, Frank Lewkowitz' R. Baggio, Glen Hill Farm's Bonus Pack and Stewart M. Madison & Peter Gaffney's Ask The Lord.
Apt To Be has five victories at the one-mile distance of the Hanshin including a victory over this track in the $46,800 Dr. Fager Stakes on June 7. He has won three of his last four races dating back to an optional claiming allowance race score here last October. Chris Emigh has the mount aboard the Chris Block-trained gelding.
R. Baggio and Bonus Pack invade from Churchill Downs where they ran one-two respectively in an optional claiming allowance race under the Twin Spires. Prior to that victory, the former was eighth when facing tougher company at seven furlongs in the Grade II Churchill Downs Handicap on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard. Greta Kuntzweiler will guide the Eric Kruljac trainee.
Bonus Pack shipped here earlier in the season and ran second, beaten only a neck by Full Mandate in the $100,000 Black Tie Affair Handicap at a mile and an eighth. Before that, the Tom Proctor-trained son of 1993 Belmont Stakes winner Colonial Affair was fifth in the Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap in Florida. Rene Douglas gets the call.
Ask The Lord returns from a 2½-month layoff looks to rebound after finishing fifth in the Grade III Fifth Season Breeders' Cup at Oaklawn Park on Apr. 9. The 6-year-old Lord At War gelding is one for five this year with the lone victory coming in an optional claiming allowance race at the Fair Grounds in this first start of the year. Shane Laviolette, who rode the Al Stall Jr. trainee regularly last year, reunites with Ask The Lord for the Hanshin.
Completing the field for the Hanshin (with jockey and weight assignment are): Jay Em Ess Stable's There's Zealous (Ray Sibille, 115 pounds); the Richard F. Rudolph-owned coupling of San Pedro (Earlie Fires, 115) and Castlewood (E. T. Baird, 114); and Jerrold Schwartz' Stormy Impact (Jesse Campbell, 113).
Arlington Park -- host to the record-breaking 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- runs a 104-day meet in 2003 through Saturday, Sept. 27. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates seven off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Rockford, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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