|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
John A. Chandler's Cetewayo, a rarity as an entire 8-year-old horse still competitive in graded stakes company, would go over the $1 million mark in earnings with a victory in Saturday's Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf. After arriving at Arlington Park Thursday morning, he'll be favored to do it although he is shouldering the top impost of 118 pounds.
"How may times have you seen that - an 8-year-old that wasn't a gelding still active at this level?" asked trainer Michael Dickinson over the phone Thursday. "He's better now as an 8-year-old than he's ever been in his life. But what is really surprising is that he's such a happy horse. He really enjoys his training and the competition. He is truly an exceptional animal."
By the Ribot stallion His Majesty, Cetewayo is appropriately named for a Zulu king, and ran like royalty this winter when he came from far back to capture the Grade I Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap on the grass by three and a quarter lengths February 16. Cetewayo was drawing off in that South Florida effort, contested at a mile and three-sixteenths, and should like the mile and a half distance of Saturday's turf test.
"He's run well in all of his races this year except that one race in Kentucky," said Dickinson, "and he didn't care for the track that day." The trainer was speaking of the Grade III Elkhorn at Keeneland April 24, when Cetewayo finished third beaten less than three lengths. The bay senior citizen was a good second in Gulfstream's Grade II Pan American Handicap March 23 and captured the $100,000 Greenwood Cup Handicap at Philadelphia Park in his last trip to the post June 8.
Dickinson accomplished one of the greatest single training feats of the past decade when he saddled Prestonwood Farm et al.'s Da Hoss to win the 1996 Grade I Breeders' Cup Mile at Woodbine and repeated that victory two years later when the race was held at Churchill Downs. Da Hoss had only one start between those two Breeders' Cup Mile victories, and yet Dickinson, significantly, considers himself a pupil under Dr. Chandler.
Cetewayo, foaled on Valentine's Day in 1994, was bred by his owner.
"Dr. Chandler is the president of Juddmonte and is one of the most knowledgeable horsemen I have ever known," said Dickinson. "I learn something new from him every day. He is also a great manager. Anyone who can handle both Bobby Frankel and me also knows a great deal about people."
Why not check with trainer Tom Amoss, who will start Larry F. Telle's Red Antics in Saturday's Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf?
After all, Amoss saddled the winners of two out of the last three renewals of Arlington Park's mile and a half grass test, and three out of the last six. Isn't he the master of 12 furlongs over the local lawn?
"If I'm the master with this horse, you'd better put me on Page 1," Amoss said, when asked about Red Antics, who has one victory in 15 trips to the post during his career. Amoss was speaking over the phone from Louisville, where he is in the midst of a battle for leading trainer honors at Churchill Downs in the waning days of that meeting.
"Seriously, I just purchased this horse based on his pedigree," Amoss said. "He shows speed, which is a quality I didn't have with Williams News and Lakeshore Road, but at the same time, his breeding says he'll get a distance of ground."
Amoss was referring respectively to the 2000 Stars and Stripes winner as well as the victor in the previous renewal of the marathon grass test. Both were Amoss trainees.
"Red Antics' sire, Red Bishop, was more of a router," Amoss said, "and you have to have that kind of pedigree in a marathon like this, but to have the best chance in this race, you need the combination of speed and pedigree.
"Of the horses I've had to win this race, Marastani (1994 Stars and Stripes winner) had some tactical speed," Amoss said, "so he probably had the best of the combination I look for."
Red Antics finished third, beaten a length and three-quarters, in his last trip to the post May 30 at Churchill Downs after coming from off the pace at one mile. However, twice this year, once at Gulfstream and once at Keeneland, he made the pace in grass tests going a distance of ground.
Arlington Park television personality Christine Gabriel will be on horseback for some of her between-race commentary for Thursday's America's Birthday program.
Gabriel, whose former career as a pony girl was highlighted when she ponied 1981 Belmont Stakes winner Summing to the post, has been the television personality at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval since 1995.
Last season, she performed on horseback in her present capacity at Arlington Park on the day that Shane Sellers won his first race back after being sidelined with a serious injury, getting an exclusive on-horseback interview as he pulled up following the win.
On Saturday, between noon and 12:30 in the Starting Gate Theatre, Christine Gabriel, analyst Mike Costanzo, Daily Racing Form handicapper Marcus Hersh and Daily Herald handicapper Joe Kristufek will host a Breeders' Cup Future Bet seminar at Arlington Park. The seminar will be telecast in-house and throughout Arlington Park's simulcast network. Four $50 wager vouchers will be awarded to guests at the seminar that register at The Starting Gate and are present at the end of the seminar. The Breeders' Cup Future Bet starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. It offers future wagers on the Grade I Breeders Cup Classic, Grade I Breeders' Cup Distaff and the Grade I Breeders' Cup Sprint, all to be held at Arlington Park October 26 as part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Programs for the Breeders' Cup Future Bet are available at all program stands at Arlington Park, and are also available at Arlington Park's five Trackside OTBs.
Actress Anne Archer will present the trophy to the winner of Saturday's Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf. Ms. Archer will be coming to the track with some of the cast and crew of the movie "Uncle Nino," presently being filmed in Chicago.
Friday's band at the Miller Lite Party In The Park at Arlington Park will be "A Kangeroo Court," an alternative rock band.
Friday's band at Trackside Arlington Park's Party On The Patio beginning at 7 p.m. will be the rock band "Power Play."
Carlos Silva had a riding double Wednesday to move within six victories of the 3,000 career win milestone.
Starlex Farm's Private Son, a Stars and Stripes contestant, worked three-eighths in :36 3/5 Thursday.
Orion Stables' Hourparentspride established season-high straight and show prices of $114.60 and $16.80 following his tally in Wednesday's fifth race.
Sixty-one years ago today, on July 4 1941, the record Arlington Park crowd of 50,638 was established when Steel Heels upset Equifox in the Stars and Stripes Handicap.
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