|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Winstar Farm LLC & Thomas F. Van Meter II's Mr. Mellon, who came from far back to be best by a neck in the Grade II Arlington Classic, is among 10 sophomores listed as late nominations to the Grade II American Derby at a mile and three sixteenths July 21.
As the middle leg of Arlington Park's Mid-America Triple, an all-turf series for 3-year-olds, the American Derby is a furlong longer than the Classic but a sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Grade I Secretariat, final event in the Triple.
Mr. Mellon, conditioned by Elliott Walden, was considered a Kentucky Derby candidate last winter before falling behind in his training. The Red Ransom colt made his grass debut when finishing second in the Grade III Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs June 8 before coming to Chicago to annex the Arlington Classic June 29.
In post-race comments following his win in the first leg of the Triple, Walden indicated that Mr. Mellon would skip the second jewel and return for the Secretariat, but following that, the Kentucky horseman made the late nominations deadline to the American Derby last week.
The American Derby is the final local prep for the $400,000 Secretariat, which will be contested August 17 as part of the one-day International Festival of Racing. Also contested on that day will be the 20th anniversary edition of the Grade I Arlington Million and the 13th renewal of the Grade I Beverly D., the sister race to the Million that is restricted to fillies and mares and offers a purse of $700,000.
Robert Schaedle III's Honor Glide, a 3-year-old of 1997, is the only horse to sweep the Mid-America Triple in its present all-turf format. Powhatan Stable's Tom Rolfe and Ogden Phipps' Buckpasser, in 1965 and 1966 respectively, also swept the Triple in the days when it was run over the main course.
Stewart M. Madison's Jeremiah Jack, fourth beaten just over two lengths in this spring's Arlington Classic, is another whose connections made the late nominations payment for the American Derby last week. The Tom Amoss trainee was fifth in the Grade III Rebel at Oaklawn Park last March.
William P. Stiritz & Brian F. Zander's Robin Zee, fifth in the Arlington Classic a neck behind Jeremiah Jack, is another late nominee to the American Derby. The son of Robin des Pins out of a Stage Door Johnny mare has both grass and distance breeding.
Richard L. Ducchosois' Stonemason, seventh in the Arlington Classic, is also a late nomination to the American Derby. After the Classic, trainer Wally Dollase indicated that Stonemason, who was making his first start in the United States that day, had benefited from his local outing. As a 2-year-old Stonemason won the Group III Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown while still racing in Ireland.
Lizabeth Gore's Scooter Roach, ninth in the Classic, is also a late nominee to the American Derby. The Mi Cielo colt was a good second in the Grade III Hawthorne Derby in his previous trip to the post May 11.
Other late nominations to the American Derby include Irish Acres Farm's Afleet Buck, George Brunacini's Grey Beard, Anthony Speelman's Guys And Dolls, Moyglare Stud's Jazz Beat and Claiborne Farm's Patrol.
Trainer Christine Janks teamed up with jockey Carlos H. Marquez Jr. to win three races on Sunday's Arlington Park program.
Janks joined leading conditioner Wayne Catalano as the only trainer to saddle three winners on a single program this season, one month to the day after Catalano accomplished his training triple.
Marquez became the fifth jockey to score a "hat trick" here this season, adding his name to the foursome of Rene Douglas, Elvis Trujillo, Randy Meier and Chris Emigh.
The Janks-Marquez tandem tallied in Sunday's opener with Letto, O'Connor & Wood et al.'s Sir West, came back in the third with James E. Patch's Killycally and concluded their successful afternoon with Arbaway Farm's Tickled in the fifth race of the day.
Janks, a native of Evergreen Park, finished 10th in the Arlington Park trainer standings last season as the leading female conditioner at the local oval with 17 winners from 132 starters.
Marquez rode primarily in Hong Kong last year.
Dan Martin & Jerry Ayres' Joanies Bella, heroine of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie last September, captured Sunday's $50,000 Cincinnatian Stakes at River Downs.
The Cincinnatian was Joanies Bella's second start this year. The daughter of Mercer Mill had finished third in Thistledown's Annie Oakley in her seasonal bow.
Walter L. New's Lone Star Sky, two and a half lengths the best in his career debut at Arlington Park June 13, used that race as a springboard to a stakes record time of 1:09 3/5 when tallying in the Grade III Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs on Sunday.
The win by the Tom Amoss-trainee helped the conditioner tie Dale Romans for leading trainer honors during the spring meeting at the Twin Spires oval. Both saddled 22 winners.
"Beating a horse of the caliber of (runner-up) Posse is a terrific thing," said Amoss. "He's one of the best in the Midwest. I feel that our horse has the caliber to go on and he proved it today. We're going to sit down and talk about the future of this horse, but we would like to be in Chicago (for the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile October 26).
"He doesn't have any speed," Amoss said following his Arlington debut. "He did something I hadn't seen any other horse do - he won from the outside at that short of a distance."
Congratulations to nonagenarian trainer Jim Eckrosh, whose 93rd birthday today will be celebrated in winner's circle ceremonies following the fifth race.
Trainer Paul McGee celebrates his 40th birthday today.
Trainer Niall O'Callaghan is considering the $100,000 Round Table July 27 as the next start for Moore, Farish, Justice & Saylor's A. P. Five Hundred. The son of A. P. Indy broke his maiden at Churchill Downs June 19.
1997 Arlington Million winner Marlin sired his first stakes winner when Brereton C. Jones' Bells for Marlin won the $50,000 Twin Lights Stakes at Monmouth Park Saturday.
Arlington Park's Junior Jockey Club will offer a walking tour to the Arlington Park starting gate Sunday, giving members a chance to meet the starter and his assistants.
The gates for Saturday's Fiesta In The Park at Arlington Park will open at 10:30 a.m.
Today is the first day of the "Summer Festival of Racing" at Arlington Park.
Beginning today, Arlington Park offers new simulcast signals from Ellis Park and Vallejo as their seasons get under way.
Friday's band at Miller Lite Party In The Park is "Kato The Houseboy" - a rock band.
Friday's band at Trackside Arlington Park's "Party On The Patio" beginning at 7 p.m. is Cadillac Dave & The Red Hots.
- END -