|Arlington Park Stakes advance
HONOR IN WAR TOPS GRADE III ARLINGTON HANDICAP
Grade I Stakes Winner Invades For Final Arlington Million Prep
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 23, 2003) -- Grade I stakes winner Honor in War, who races in the colors of 3rd Turn Stables LLC, will accept top impost of 120 pounds when he heads a field of 11 turf specialists entered in Saturday's $250,000 Arlington Handicap at Arlington Park.
The Grade III race, the final local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million which will be run here August 16, is contested at the Million distance of a mile and a quarter over Arlington's world renowned turf course. The Arlington Handicap is one of three six-figure stakes races that comprise the track's Million Preview Day program that also includes the Grade III $150,000 Modesty Handicap for fillies and mares and the $100,000 Round Table Stakes for 3-year-olds.
A 4-year-old Lord At War colt, Honor in War looks to rebound from a sixth-place finish in the Grade I Manhattan Handicap on the Belmont Stakes undercard June 7. That mile and a quarter race was contested over extremely soft going which likely compromised the chances of the Paul McGee trainee. Prior to the New York race, Honor in War scored at odds of nearly 25-1 in the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic over a firm course at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day, May 3. David Flores has the mount aboard Honor in War, who will spot his rivals from two to six pounds in the Arlington Handicap.
Facing Honor in War (with jockey and weight assignment) are: Glen C. Warren's Candid Glen (E. J. Perrodin, 118 pounds); Team Block's Mystery Giver (Robby Albarado, 118); Edouard de Rothschild's Shaanmer (Brice Blanc, 117); Gary A. Tanaka's Tijiyr (Ray Sibille, 117); and Ron Isbell, Jr.'s Gretchen's Star (Eusebio Razo Jr., 115).
Also, R'n R Breeders' Act of War (Curt Bourque, 114); Bushwood Stable's Better Talk Now (Rene Douglas, 114); Ol' Memorial Stable & Dell Ridge Farm's Della Francesca (Larry Melancon, 114); Williams Family Racing LLC's Drewman (C. H. Marquez Jr., 114); and Three Kings Stable's Extra Check (Earlie Fires, 114).
Candid Glen invades from the south where the son of El Gran Senor ran fourth in the $250,000 Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie in June. Earlier this year, the Andrew Leggio Jr.-trained 6-year-old was a neck victor in the Grade II Explosive Bid Handicap at the Fair Grounds when dispatched at odds of more than 84-1.
Mystery Giver, the reigning Illinois Horse of the Year who finished fifth in this race last year despite a troubled trip, won the $150,000 Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup for the second straight year in February. In his last start, the Chris Block-trained son of Dynaformer was second through the line behind Act of War in the $86,150 Cardinal Handicap but was disqualified and placed ninth for interference in the stretch of that mile and a sixteenth turf race.
Lightly raced over recent seasons, Tijiyr is winless since capturing the Explosive Bid Handicap at the Fair Grounds in 2001. His connections, owner Gary Tanaka and trainer Donald J. Burke II, teamed up to win last year's Arlington Handicap with Falcon Flight. Last time out, the 7-year-old son of Primo Dominie ran fifth in a conditioned allowance race at Hollywood Park. In his only other start this year, he was unplaced in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood.
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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