|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Forty-five horses -- the vast majority of the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained string slated to campaign at Arlington Park during the season which opens Wednesday -- arrived at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval last Thursday, six days prior to the initial afternoon of an upcoming 107-day meeting concluding October 27.
Hollendorfer, 52, won the leading trainer title at Arlington last summer in his initial full-time campaign on the Chicago circuit. A year earlier, the Northern California-based conditioner saddled the ubiquitous Mula Gula to finish third in the Grade I Arlington Million on the grass and second in the Grade II Washington Park Handicap on the dirt course here.
Hollendorfer regularly commutes from Northern California to various destinations, including to Baltimore May 18 to saddle Peter Abruzzo & Barry Thiriot's U S S Tinosa in the 127th running of the Grade I Preakness, where he finished sixth.
In the meantime, assistant Andy Wilson is once again in charge of the local string on a day-to-day basis, and was aboard the flight from the West Coast to Chicago last week with the 45 horses. U S S Tinosa and several others arrived at Arlington some time earlier.
"The flight was uneventful," said Wilson. "We had no problems at all. Some of the more prominent horses we had on the flight were The Lord's Tune, Gold Ruckus, Manhattan Now, Tricky Trevor, and Anstar."
The Lord's Tune, owned by Peter Abruzzo & George Todaro, won six races at Arlington last summer to help Hollendorfer wrest leading trainer honors from Wayne Catalano. Catalano finished two wins behind Hollendorfer at the conclusion of the season after capturing the Arlington trainer title in 2000. (Final 2001 totals: Hollendorfer 41 winners; Catalano 39.)
Wilson's wife, Laurie, who took a leave of absence from a teaching career last summer to join her husband, has now quit teaching entirely and joined the Hollendorfer barn full-time, arriving in Chicago last Wednesday.
After riding two winners at Churchill Downs on Saturday, 2001 Arlington Park Jockey Champion Rene Douglas arrived in Chicago Sunday and will ride during Wednesday's opening day program at the local oval.
"He's looking forward to being here," said Dennis Cooper, who took Douglas's book last summer and guided him to his championship season. "Rene really enjoyed coming to Arlington last summer. He really likes it here."
Cooper, incidentally, handled the engagements of perennial Chicago standout Mark Guidry prior to hooking up with Douglas last year. Guidry was leading rider at Arlington in 2000 while associated with Cooper, and in that sense, Cooper will be attempting his own third straight championship.
"I hope so," said Cooper. "We certainly are looking forward to riding for a lot of strong outfits. I have Rene lined up for a mount on Mandy's Gold in the stakes on Saturday and Lost At Sea in the Sunday feature."
Mandy's Gold, owned by Steeplechase Farm and trained by Michael Gorham, is one of 18 fillies and mares nominated to Saturday's Grade III Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap at seven furlongs. In her most recent start she won the $75,000 My Juliet Stakes at Philadelphia Park by three and a half-lengths on May 25.
Lost At Sea, owned by John Franks & Peter Abruzzo and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is being pointed for Sunday's $45,000 Flawlessly Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass. She finished third in her last start on May 26 in the $55,000 Bay Meadows Oaks.
Douglas, who makes his home in South Florida and rode successfully at Gulfstream this winter, easily captured the Arlington jockey title last summer after riding 134 winners. His closest pursuer was Robby Albarado, who didn't ride here during much of the season but still made 66 trips to the winner's circle. Veteran reinsman Randy Meier finished third in the standings with 63 winners, enjoying a resurgent Arlington season.
Highlighting the attractions of Wednesday's opening day program at Arlington Park is a giveaway drawing from which two fans will win trips to New York and Belmont Park on Saturday to watch War Emblem's attempt to win the Belmont Stakes.
Should he win the Belmont, War Emblem would become the 12th winner of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, and the first to do it since Affirmed in 1978.
On Wednesday at Arlington, all guests 18 years of age and older will receive an official entry blank for the 2002 Belmont Stakes Sweepstakes. Completed entry forms must be deposited in specially designated boxes located throughout the facility before post time of Wednesday's fourth race.
The names of the two winning contestants will be selected in a random drawing following Arlington's sixth race and announced over the track's public address system. Contestants must be present to win. Each grand prize package includes: two tickets to the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, June 8; airfare for two people from Chicago to New York; and hotel accommodations for two people for two nights (Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8.)
Arlington Park Bugler Joe Kelly will be playing "the Call to the Post" on the Madison Avenue Bridge in Chicago on Monday from 8 to 9 a.m.
Discreet Hero, winner of the Grade III Round Table at Arlington Park last summer, breezed three furlongs in :36 at Arlington Park on Sunday.
Pretty Gale, the 4-year-old half-sister to Triple Crown hopeful War Emblem, breezed five-eighths in 1:03 3/5 on Saturday at Arlington Park.
War Emblem's dam, Sweetest Lady, is an Illinois-bred.
While War Emblem was foaled in Kentucky, Sweetest Lady's last foal, a filly of 2000 named My Sweet Heart by You and I was foaled at Fairberry Farm in Waterloo, Illinois.
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