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ARLINGTON NOTES

Arlington Park Stakes advance


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ILLINOIS' BEST HORSES STAR IN FOURTH ANNUAL PRAIRIE STATE FESTIVAL

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 19, 2003) -- Fifty-nine of the best Illinois-registered Thoroughbreds in training will do battle in six $75,000-added stakes races that comprise the fourth annual Prairie State Festival Saturday at Arlington Park.

In addition to the six thrilling stakes races restricted to Illinois-bred and/or foaled horses, 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.

The six stakes 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

The Cardinal, carded as the ninth of 10 races on Saturday, attracted the deepest, most talented group, with a field of 10 heading postward including reigning Illinois Horse of the Year Mystery Giver and three graded stakes victors.

Team Block's Mystery Giver returns to his home base to defend his title in the Cardinal after running fifth in a pair of graded events: the Grade II Explosive Bid Handicap at the Fair Grounds in March and the Grade III Elkhorn at Keeneland in April. Earlier this year, the son of Dynaformer won the $150,000 Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup for the second straight year. The Chris Block-trained 5-year-old will carry high weight of 124 pounds in the Cardinal.

Prominent among those slated to face Mystery Giver are three graded stakes winners: Irish Acres Farms' Colorful Tour, Patricia Miessler & Cliff Raber's Fan Club's Mister and Paul Cumberland's Scooter Roach.

Colorful Tour, a 4-year-old Tour d'Or colt, won the Grade III Essex and Grade III Razorback handicaps in March and April, respectively. Last time out, the Noel Hickey trainee finished second in the $50,000 Precisionist Stakes at Prairie Meadows.

Fan Club's Mister captured the Grade II American Derby over this course in 2001 while Scooter Roach was the adjudged winner of the Grade III Hawthorne Derby one year ago.

Others in the Cardinal are: Cherrywood Racing Stable II's Major Omansky; Steve Sawatske's Ivan Jay Perry; R'n R Breeders' Act Of War; BJB Stable's Runaway Victor; Peter Stamas & Crown's Way Farm's Coping; and Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Our Last Novel.

Richard Otto Stable Inc.'s Summer Mis, fourth in the Grade III Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap last Saturday, returns on a week's rest to face eight state-bred rivals in the Isaac Murphy Handicap. The Tony Mitchell-trained daughter of Summer Squall won the Purple Violet during last year's Prairie State Festival.

Among those she'll face in the Isaac Murphy are William Stiritz' Win Won, heroine of the $40,000 Your Ladyship Handicap here May 31; L. J. Gaudreau & Larry Gillen's Come September, the race's defending champion; and David Hulfachor's Rain Boots, who won this race in 2001.

Also: Ben Barnow's Seven Brides, Crown's Way Farm's Gracility, Bank & Katz Stable's Galatea Cat, Richard A. Englander's Miss Spragg, and Lois McCrosky's Spanish Tunnel.

Defending champion Ellie's Rose, who races for the partnership of Gerald & Sam Belpedio, William Lloyd & Cherrywood Racing Stable II, and Soccory, who wears the colors of Peter Stamas, Marovich Enterprises & Crown's Way Farm, share top billing in the Lincoln Heritage Handicap.

Ellie's Rose, who also won the $42,000 Ioya Two Handicap over this course last year, makes her second start of the season after finishing sixth in her seasonal debut against open company distaffers. Soccory, third in this race last year, finished second in the $40,000 Reluctant Guest Handicap in open company in her most recent trip to the post.

Slated to face the top duo in the Lincoln Heritage are: Nancy A. Vanier's Cottage Rose, Carolyn & Harry Disko's I Can Fan Fan; Millicent Fitzgerald & Stephen Lipinski's Slamdancer; Three Good Legs Stable's White O Morn; Barr Three LLC's Kate The Great; Vanier, Shirai & Williamson's Put It On; and Timothy Cook's Rapidrunstheriver.

Two-time defending champion Ron L. Brandenburg's Tic N Tin and co-highweights Asiel Stable's Classic Appeal and Ben Dover Stable's Take Achance On Me head a field of nine sprinters entered in the White Oak Handicap.

Now 8-years-old, Tic N Tin is in search of his first win of the season. The Lac Ouimet gelding ran seventh in the Zen Handicap in his last start. Classic Appeal, third in this race last year and second two years ago, won the $100,000 Chicagoland Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course in April. Take Achance On Me will be making his first start in his native state. Last time out, the son of American Chance ran second in the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint Handicap at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.

The remainder of the field for the White Oak Handicap: Peter Cappas, Founders Group & Crown's Way farm's Out of My Way; Terry Renfrow & Eugene Young's Silver Bid; Samuel Henry, Dominic Marsella & Emerald Ridge Farm's Manitowish; Tom Dipiazza, M. R. Scherer & Nick Lococo's Medlin Road; Joan Borcia's Cart Dancer; and Jim Perrone & Stephen Richek's Mynameischase.

Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Julie's Prize, a half-sister to Summer Mis and Illinois 2-year-old filly champion of 2002, heads 11 sophomore distaffers entered in the Purple Violet Stakes. The daughter of El Prado is a perfect three-for-three this year including scores in the $100,000 Peach Of It Handicap against older horses at Hawthorne in April and the $40,000 Native Pet Handicap over this oval.

Set to oppose Julie's Prize are: Richard F. Rudolph & Michael G. Vranich's Cashmere Miss; Vanessa Ernspiker's Chi Town Slew; J. C. Racing Stable's Gumbo Love; Peter Stamas & Crown's Way Farm's Invader; Tom Fedro, Darrell & Sadie Brommer's Keeping The Gold; Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s My Sweet Heart; Richard Otto Stable Inc.'s Natural Image; and Asiel Stable's Rathleen; Ron L. Brandenburg & Rich Morawski's She's Fantastic; and Jake Sidoti, Charles Thompson & Robert D. Irwin Racing Stable's Silver Dollar Girl.

William Pacella, Ronald T. Schwed & Joe Rizza's Wiggins, champion Illinois 2-year-old of 2002, is one of 11 3-year-olds slated to run in the Springfield Stakes. The son of Cartwright is one of two so far this season.

The rest of the field for the Springfield Stakes: Orion Stable's Big Glori; Tom Fedro, Darrell & Sadie Brommer's He's Hammered; Russell L. Reineman Stables, Inc.'s Home of Stars; Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s King Magic; Frank C. Calabrese's Lord Jones; Loretta J. Clark's My Beau Mister Joe; Mrs. & Michael P. Brickman's My Romeo; R'n R Breeders II Roy's Trigger; Cheery Thoroughbreds LLP's Rufus the Glider; Asiel Stable's Shandy; and William Pacella, Ronald T. Schwed & Joe Rizza's Wiggins.

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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