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ARLINGTON NOTES

Arlington Park Barn Notes

Contact: Graham Ross (847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
GRoss@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

SATURDAY'S WHITE OAK HANDICAP HIGHLIGHTS GRAY POWER TEAM

Long time Arlington Park conditioner Jim Eckrosh, thought to be the oldest active living Thoroughbred trainer in the United States at the age of 92, is preparing to start 7-year-old Magic Doe, elderly by Thoroughbred standards, in Saturday's $75,000 White Oak Handicap for 3-year-olds and upward at Arlington Park.

Completing a threesome of senior citizens is Magic Doe's owner: 83-year-old William Cortesi. Rounding out the Magic Doe team will be jockey Randy Meier, who at 47 years of age is a seasoned veteran himself as a competitive athlete.

Magic Doe, who won the $100,000 Chicagoland Handicap March 30 at Sportsman's Park, has been assigned the co-highweight of 120 pounds in the White Oak Handicap. The six-furlong sprint is one of six stakes races -- all restricted to Illinois-breds -- which makes up Saturday's Prairie State Festival at Arlington Park.

"He's doing good," said Eckrosh Wednesday, when asked about Magic Doe's status on Saturday. "He feels good and he's acting good. I don't care who goes in there against him - he'll be the horse to beat."

The Prairie State Festival is part of a celebration of tourism that showcases Illinois attractions and offers visitors the opportunity to discover statewide destinations.

Also as part of the Prairie State Festival, Arlington will again host the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation Annual Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale at 6:30 p.m. following Saturday's races.

Eckrosh, who started his professional career as a pool hustler and was matched up with the legendary Willie Hoppe as a youth, first came to Arlington Park as a trainer in 1937. More than 60 years ago, he was part of the record Chicago crowd of more than 50,000 who attended the races at Arlington on July 4, 1941.

SALES BREEZES, TURF WORKS MAKE UP ARLINGTON PARK'S MONDAY

Hip No. 61, an Illinois-bred 2-year-old colt named Super Sky, stepped on the track at 10:30 a.m. Monday as the first of more than 60 youngsters to breeze under tack in a preview performance prior to Saturday evening's I.T.B.O.F. Sale at Arlington Park.

The gray colt by Eastern Echo out of the Blue Ensign mare Supah Star breezed an eighth of a mile in 11 seconds flat.

Almost all of the 63 horses catalogued in Saturday's Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation 2002 Annual Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age appeared under tack Monday morning -- some in serious breezes and some out for gallops.

One of the most impressive outings was a breeze of :10 3/5 posted by Three Punch Louie, an almost-white juvenile son of 1996 Preakness winner Louis Quatorze out of the Two Punch mare Two Punch Lil. Three Punch Louie is a Kentucky-bred.

Prior to the appearance of horses entered in Saturday's I.T.B.O.F. Sale late Monday morning, an abbreviated schedule of training hours was held. Conducted during training hours were three turf works posted by horses preparing for Saturday's $75,000 Cardinal Handicap at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass.

Patricia Miessler & Cliff Raber's Fan Club's Mister, winner of the Grade II American Handicap at Arlington last season and highweighted in the Cardinal Handicap at 120 pounds, breezed five furlongs in 1:03 3/5 over the lawn with the "dogs" up.

Also completing turf works over the course rated "good" on Monday was Team Block's Mystery Giver, who toured a half-mile in :49 3/5. Accomplishing that same four-panel distance in :51 3/5 was Howard E. Nelson & Dan Johns' Treat Me Doc.

The Cardinal Handicap is one of six stakes races -- all restricted to Illinois-breds -- which make up Saturday's Prairie State Festival at Arlington Park.

The Prairie State Festival is part of a celebration of tourism that showcases Illinois attractions and offers visitors the opportunity to discover statewide destinations.

JOCKEY LAVIOLETTE ONE PROUD PAPA AFTER LOCAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Jockey Shane Laviolette, who won back-to-back jockey championships at Hawthorne Race Course during the fall and spring, added another local championship Sunday at Arlington Park. The New Orleans native bested 10 human rivals in a sprint of 100 yards down the stretch at the local oval. The exhibition was part of the local Father's Day festivities.

Arlington's Father's Day program attracted the largest attendance of any Thoroughbred track in the nation Sunday when 24,695 fans passed through the turnstiles here.

Included on the Father's Day program was the human dash in which five jockeys matched strides with six fathers among the guests on hand. The fathers that raced were selected by random drawing from names entered by their children shortly after the families entered the facility.

After getting away poorly in the sprint, jockey Laviolette closed with a bold late rush, narrowly besting local dad Bob Williams of Geneva, Illinois, in the final strides before the wire.

"It was fun," said Laviolette, whose own family was on hand to witness his triumph. "I didn't expect to win. You never know who you're running against from the fans that were entered. On top of that, I got off slowly. But then I got going late and I could see that big guy on the fence was getting tired. It was all great fun. I never ran track when I was in school but I did play football for awhile. I was always the smallest kid on the field and I got creamed a lot."

Laviolette's son Easton, 3, and daughter Eyrelin, 2, were on hand to witness their father's triumph, as was his wife Debbie.

Laviolette was tied for fourth in the Arlington Park standings with six wins through Sunday's program.

BITS & BRIDLES

  Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI") (Nasdaq: CHDN) raised a total of $101,000 to benefit the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation ("TRF"), a non-profit racehorse rescue and retirement organization, during CDI's inaugural "Out to Pasture Party" on Friday, June 14. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the care and feeding of horses retired to -- or being rehabilitated at -- TRF farms.

  Eighteen years ago, on June 19, 1984, jockey Eusebio "Eddie" Razo Jr. earned his first Arlington winner astride Esther Filipowski's La Lucy's Angel for trainer Denise Filipowski.

  Jockey Randy Meier and trainer Mike Stidham celebrated riding and training doubles respectively on Sunday's program.

- END -

 

 


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