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ARLINGTON NOTES

Arlington Park Stakes advance


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PRAIRIE STATE FESTIVAL NOMINATIONS RELEASED

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 14, 2003) -- Ninety different horses have been nominated to the six stakes races that comprise the June 21 Prairie State Festival including four horses that have been cross-nominated to multiple stakes races.

The six $75,000 races that make up the Prairie State Festival are:

  • The Purple Violet Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile
  • The Springfield Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile
  • The Isaac Murphy Handicap for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs
  • The White Oak Handicap for 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs
  • The Lincoln Heritage Handicap for fillies & mares 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf
  • The Cardinal Handicap for 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf

In addition to the aforementioned stakes races, the fourth annual Prairie State Festival Day will feature activities for the whole family including pony rides, a petting zoo and live music by The Fairlanes in the Park area.

Most prominent among the 90 state-bred horses nominated to the Prairie State Festival is reigning Illinois Horse of the Year Team Block's Mystery Giver, who is expected to defend his title in the Cardinal Handicap. Trained by Chris Block, the top conditioner in the history of the Prairie State Festival with five victories, Mystery Giver returns to his home turf after finishing fifth in a pair of graded stakes races on the national scene. Earlier this year, the 5-year-old Dynaformer gelding won the $150,000 Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup Handicap for the second straight year.

Others nominated to the Cardinal include graded stakes victors: Irish Acres Farm's Colorful Tour, who won the Grade III Essex and Grade III Razorback handicaps at Oaklawn Park; Patricia Miessler & Cliff Raber's Fan Club's Mister, hero in the Grade II American Derby over this course in 2001; and Carolyn Friedberg's Minor Wisdom, who won the Grade III Hawthorne Derby in 1999.

Belpedio, Lloyd & Cherrywood Racing Stable II's Ellie's Rose is nominated to defend her title in the Lincoln Heritage Handicap. The Michele Boyce-trained daughter of Gold Ruler finished sixth in her seasonal bow, the $40,000 Reluctant Guest Handicap against open company distaffers here last month.

Two-time defending champion Ron L. Brandenburg's Tic N Tin is notable among list of 13 sprinters nominated to the White Oak Handicap. The venerable 8-year-old gelding is in search of his first win of the year and may have to face the likes of Ben Dover Stable's Take Achance On Me, runner-up in the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.

Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Summer Mis heads 11 fillies and mares nominated to the Isaac Murphy Handicap though she is not likely to contest the issue as she is slated to run in the Grade II $175,000 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap on June 14.

Others nominated to the Isaac Murphy include Gaudreau & Gillen's Come September, defending champion; David Hulfachor's Rain Boots, winner of the 2001 renewal; and William Stiritz' Win Won, heroine in the $40,000 Your Ladyship Handicap on May 31.

Pacella, Schwed & Rizza's Wiggins, champion Illinois 2-year-old in 2002, is one of 16 sophomores nominated to the Springfield Stakes. The son of Cartwright is one for two this year with his victory coming in an allowance race at Hawthorne Race Course in April.

Others nominated to the Springfield include Asiel Stable's Shandy, winner of the Hi Oak Silver Handicap in May; R'n R Breeders II's Roy's Trigger, who won the $100,000 Jim Edgar Futurity at Hawthorne last fall; and Loretta J. Clark's My Beau Mister Joe, who took the $100,000 Land of Lincoln Stakes at Hawthorne in April.

Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Julie Prize, a half sister to Summer Mis and Illinois 2-year-old filly champion last year, heads the list of 19 3-year-old fillies nominated to the Purple Violet Stakes. The daughter of El Prado is three for three this year including victories in the $100,000 Peach Of It Handicap at Hawthorne and the $40,000 Native Pet Handicap here.

Other nominated to the Purple Violet include J. C. Racing Stable's Gumbo Love, winner of the $100,000 Violet Stakes at Hawthorne in April; and Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s My Sweet Heart, a half sister to 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness hero War Emblem.

Arlington Park opened its 104-day 2003 meet on Friday, May 9 and will race 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 McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. For further information on Arlington Park, visit www.arlingtonpark.com.

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