|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Ron L. Brandenburg's Tic N Tin, who tallied by a nose in last Saturday's $84,400 White Oak Handicap, returns eight days later to head a field of eight in Sunday's Arlington Park feature attraction, the $42,000 Dr. Fager Handicap at seven furlongs.
The extended sprint for 3-year-olds and upward offers additional purse incentives to Illinois-registered foals that finish in the top three positions.
In the White Oak, one of six stakes races that made up Arlington Park's contribution to Illinois' Prairie State Festival, Tic N Tin made or forced the pace throughout and held on willingly in the final furlong to withstand a late challenge at the wire.
"Seven furlongs is stretching him out a little bit," said owner-trainer Brandenburg about Tic N Tin in the Dr. Fager, "but he came back very good after the White Oak." The 7-year-old entire son of Lac Ouimet will shoulder the starting highweight of 118 pounds in the Dr. Fager, most of which will be made up by jockey Shane Laviolette.
Prior to his winning effort in the White Oak Handicap, Tic N Tin prompted the pace briefly in the $75,000 Glassy Dip on the grass at Hawthorne June 1 but tired to finish seventh. Based in Southern Illinois, Tic N Tin won back-to-back allowance sprints at Fairmount Park earlier in the spring.
Next in the weights and sure to provide strong competition for Tic N Tin is Cresran LLC's Chindi, an 8-year-old who has already visited the winner's circle twice this season. In his most recent effort and seasonal bow at Arlington June 7, the gray gelding closed to be third beaten a length and three-quarters in an allowance race at three-quarters.
Chindi's racing style has always been one-dimensional. He is void of early foot and traditionally trails his competition early before making a bold late run. With his almost-white coloring he is easily identifiable throughout and is usually going fastest at the end. Whether or not he gets to the wire first depends upon the legitimacy of the pace in front of him.
Before his local bow, Chindi came from far back to win an allowance race at Prairie Meadows by a length and a half on May 11. He won in similar company at Oaklawn Park in March but captured numerous stakes at Hot Springs in his younger years. The altered son of El Prado is assigned 116 pounds in the Dr. Fager and has Chris Emigh named to handle the reins.
Named to oppose the top two in the Dr. Fager are: A.A.C. Stable's Secret Romeo, 116, Terry Houghton; Alan Drey's Miners Gamble, 114, Frank Lovato Jr.; Stonecrest Farm's Proven Cure, 114, Randy Meier; Owen Hulse's Silver Zipper, 113, Rene Douglas; Tom Tomillo Jr. & Emilio Geloso's Talknow, 113, Enrique Pacheco; and Humberto Gracia's Spectacular Cat, 109, Eddie Perez astride.
With a riding double on Thursday, jockey Chris Emigh quietly moved into a tie for second in the Arlington Park jockey standings with 17 winners, five off the pace of leading rider and defending jockey champion Rene Douglas.
"You always hope to get off to a good start during any new season," said Emigh when congratulated on his quick local beginning, "so I'm pleased. I can't complain."
Since arriving in Chicago from Louisiana late in the 1996 season at the suggestion of fellow rider Robby Albarado, Emigh has enjoyed consistent success, and was fifth in the standings at Arlington Park for the 2001 season. Is a run at leading rider honors this summer a possibility?
"You never know," Emigh said. "I'm not real worried about it. The important thing is to keep your momentum going. It's all about being on the right horses at the right time, and then at the end tally it up and see who has the most wins. As long as I can keep my momentum going that's all I can do, and fortunately my momentum is going good right now."
In Emigh's case, his impressive early totals have been achieved by scoring more riding doubles than any other jockey during the current meeting. The 31-year-old native of Portsmouth, Virginia, posted two-win days June 8, 14, and 19, had a riding triple on June 23, and his latest double Thursday.
Emigh's Sunday triple was accomplished with Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Hole in the Glass in the second, Nancy A. Vanier's Good Better Best in the sixth and Carmen Rorick's Saquache in the eighth race of the day. However, it was in the sixth race that Emigh's skills were most apparent when Good Better Best suddenly veered out entering the lane. Drifting near the outside fence in the stretch, the horse continued willingly despite the lost ground and came again in the late stages to be narrowly best at the wire.
"The horse's left rein broke mid-way on the turn," Emigh said of Good Better Best's unusual voyage. "He fell back and I grabbed the bridle by his head and he got around the turn all right. Then I realized I had a lot of horse left even though I was 15 feet from the outside fence. At that point I figured that it was a little risky, but if I was going to get hurt I might as well get paid for it so I kept after him and he got up at the wire."
This weekend Emigh rides William P. Stiritz & Brian F. Zander's supplementary nomination Robin Zee in Saturday's Grade II Arlington Classic, and Chindi in Sunday's Dr. Fager.
"I don't really know too much about Robin Zee," Emigh said. "I haven't been on him before. I just hope he wins. As for Chindi, he didn't have much of a pace in front of him last time. If he gets that on Sunday, I know he'll be running at the end of it."
Saturday's Grade II Arlington Classic will be televised live nationally as part of the "NTRA Summer Racing Tour on CBS" presented by Long John Silver's from 4-5 p.m. Central time. Also on the telecast will be the Grade II Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap from Monmouth Park and the Grade I Mother Goose Stakes from Belmont Park. The three races can be bet as the NTRA Summer Pick Three, a $2 minimum wager (with $1 partial wheels available) which will be hubbed through the Monmouth Park tote system.
Gary Seibel will be the Arlington correspondent during the CBS telecast.
Trainer Wayne Catalano who was the leading trainer at Arlington in 2000 before finishing a close second last season, will be the guest of Christine Gabriel and John G. Dooley during Saturday's "Breakfast at Arlington" program from 7-9 a.m. Trainer Wally Dollase, who will saddle both Jarvis Conway & Jess Miller Trust et al.'s Doc Holiday and Richard L. Duchossois' Stonemason in the Arlington Classic later that afternoon, is also a confirmed guest on Saturday's program.
A second "Breakfast at Arlington" program will be held Sunday from 7-9 a.m., once again hosted by Christine Gabriel and John G. Dooley.
Jockey Carlos Silva recorded the 2,991st win of his career Thursday aboard Greg Besinger's Boone's Creek and is now nine wins away from the coveted 3,000-win milestone.
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