|Arlington Park Stakes advance
EVOLVING TACTICS INVADES FROM IRELAND FOR AMERICAN DERBY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 18, 2003) -- Dermot Weld, Ireland's all-time leading conditioner, shipped Highland Farms, et al.'s Pine Dance to win the 2000 American Derby and sent Moyglare Stud Ltd.'s Jazz Beat to run second in the 2002 renewal of the race. This year, Weld sends Moyglare's Evolving Tactics over from The Emerald Isle to headline this year's running of the $250,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's.
The Grade II American Derby is the second leg of Arlington Park's Mid-America Triple for 3-year-olds that began with the Grade II $175,000 Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve and won by J. J. Pletcher and Barry Simon's Lismore Knight, at a mile and a sixteenth on June 28. The turf series concludes with the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at a mile and a quarter on Aug. 16 during the International Festival of Racing.
A son of Machiavellian, Evolving Tactics makes his North American debut after finishing third in the listed Hampton Court Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting on June 19. In that mile and a quarter race, he raced mid-pack early and ran into a little road trouble with less than two furlongs to run but stayed on well to nail down third money. Previously he faded to ninth after tracking leaders in the Group I Irish Two Thousand Guineas at The Curragh. Patrick Smullen will make the cross Atlantic journey to pilot Evolving Tactics in the American Derby.
His main competition is likely to come from the English-bred Californian, who races in the colors of Stephen Taub, Neil Papiano & Noctis Stable. The Kristin Mulhall-trained son of Zafonic ships in from his California homebase but his two North American starts have both been in Kentucky. Last time out, Californian finished eighth in the Grade III Crown Royal American Turf at Churchill Downs on May 2. Prior to that race, he was a 3¼-length victor in the $111,000 Forerunner at Keeneland. Kent Desormeaux has been named to ride.
Set to face the top pair are: Marshall & Jackie Trautwein's Bim's Baby Bun, Eusebio Razo Jr. in the irons; Dolphus Morrison's Rapid Proof, Calvin Borel up; Everest Stables' Gato Gato Gato, Chris Emigh in the saddle; and Glen C. Warren's G. W.'s Skippie, Rene Douglas aboard.
Of these, Scottago and Rapid Proof finished a nose apart in fourth- and fifth-place respectively, in the Arlington Classic. The former, a Hugh Robertson-trained son of Lear Fan is a winner over this course, capturing a one-mile allowance race here on May 23. The latter, by Fast Play, is winless this year but has fared well in stakes competition. The Hal Wiggins-trained colt was second to Californian in the Forerunner, finished ahead of that rival in the American Turf and ran third behind Senor Swinger in the Grade III Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs.
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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