|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
He's a son of 1993 Kentucky Derby and Travers winner Sea Hero, but Jerry Givens & Jack Gullett's Seainsky was dismissed at better than 50-1 when third beaten two lengths in the Grade II Arlington Classic June 29.
"He never got to run until the last eighth of a mile," said Seainsky's trainer Wes Hawley the morning after that first leg of the Mid-America Triple at Arlington Park. "If he hadn't gotten in a little trouble early, he'd have been right there."
Now, on Sunday, Arlington hosts the 88th running of the Grade II American Derby, middle leg of Arlington's Triple and the last local prep for the Grade I Secretariat, final race in that grass series restricted to sophomores. Seainsky is likely to be somewhat overlooked again.
Irish trainer Dermot Weld is shipping Moyglare Stud's Jazz Beat from the Emerald Isle for the American Derby, and Weld won this race two years ago when he shipped Highland Farm et al.'s Pine Dance across the Atlantic.
Conditioner Wally Dollase is coming from Southern California with Horizon Stable's Mananan McLir, fourth beaten three and a half lengths in Hollywood's Grade III Cinema Handicap June 30 and second by a head in Bay Meadows' $55,000 Round Table 'Cap June 9.
Nevertheless, Hawley remains confident concerning Seainsky's chances in the mile and three-sixteenth American Derby, contested at a furlong farther than the Classic. Three Plus U Stable's Inesperado is not coming due to aborted transportation arrangements, and Mansell Stables LLC's Quest Star is also not likely in Sunday's test. William P. Stiritz & Brian F. Zander's Robin Zee is now more probable for Arlington's Round Table next weekend, but Hawley is not concerned with the competition as much as he is with his own charge.
"He's coming into the race good," said the Oklahoma native. "He grabbed a quarter last Friday or Saturday coming off the track after a gallop because he was feeling so good. It was a setback at the time, but he's doing fine now. We'll be all right."
Also likely in the American Derby is Irish Acres Farm's Afleet Buck, who made the pace in the $90,450 Cardinal Handicap here on June 22 before tiring. Still another is Lizabeth Gore's Scooter Roach, a disappointment when he raced wide in the Arlington Classic but the adjudged winner of the Grade III Hawthorne Derby May 11.
Three Kings Stable's Extra Check is still more than likely for the American Derby at this time after an allowance win July 6 here, and R. L. Wilson's Red's Top Gun, third in Gulfstream's Grade III Palm Beach Handicap last winter, is now considered a possibility.
Jockey Gerard Melancon, a 35-year-old native of Rayne, Louisiana, and perennially among the leading riders in the Pelican State, will make one of his infrequent trips to Arlington Park this weekend with mounts in both Saturday's Grade III Hanshin Cup and Sunday's Grade II American Derby.
Melancon will handle the reins on Jimmy and Dennis Richard's Bonapaw, the highweight in the Hanshin, and return aboard Jerry Givens & Jack Gullatt's Seainsky in Sunday's middle leg of the Mid-America Triple.
"He's been the regular rider for Bonapaw all along," said trainer Norman Miller III. "He loves the horse and wants to ride him all the time. He even traveled to Dubai to ride him when we took him there. He won the Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn with him in 2001, as well as the Iowa Sprint Championship at Prairie Meadows a year ago."
Melancon was also the regular rider for Seainsky before missing the mount in the Arlington Classic.
"I had called Gerard to see if he could ride the horse this time," said Seainsky's trainer Wes Hawley, "He said he was coming to ride Bonapaw this weekend anyway, so I checked with those people and we agreed to share the expense of flying him up here. He knows this horse. He's a good friend and a good rider. He could ride anywhere in the country, but he's just one of those (Cajuns) that never wants to leave home."
Melancon was a good third in the standings behind Corey Lanerie and Anthony Lovato at the recently concluded meeting at Lone Star Park, and is now leading at the young Louisiana Downs session.
Irish jockey Michael Doyle won the first Arlington Park race of his blossoming career when he came from far back to capture Wednesday's opener astride Teresa Miller's Money Stretcher.
"It was good to get that first Arlington win behind me," said Doyle, shortly after being unplaced aboard Joseph Marcukaitis' Anthony's Toy in the fourth race of the day. "I'm very grateful for the opportunity."
Doyle, 21, born in Wexford County in Leinster province in the Southeastern portion of Ireland, rode two mounts at Gulfstream Park this winter without success before returning overseas after a four-week stay in this country.
"But I rode 13 winners in England last year," Doyle said, "and I won a scholarship to come and work for Mr. (Carl) Nafzger. I went from strength to strength. He was my original sponsor and things have kind of progressed from there."
William P. Stiritz & Brian F. Zander's Robin Zee, a possible starter in Sunday's Grade II American Derby at a mile and three-sixteenths on the grass, is now also being considered for the $100,000 Round Table at a mile and an eighth on the main course July 27.
"I'm really waiting to see how many go in Sunday's race," said trainer Roger Brueggemann Thursday morning. "He's always had a lot of bad luck being in the wrong place at the wrong time when he's in a large field. Even if there's about eight in the race Sunday, I think I'll wait for the next one, but I might reconsider if it's a really small field.
"He's doing good," said Brueggemann. "I worked him yesterday and he's fine, but the Round Table might be a little bit easier spot. As for whether he's better on grass or dirt, it just doesn't matter. He runs well on both surfaces."
Twenty-two years ago tomorrow, on July 19, 1980, Hawksworth Farm's Spectacular Bid won the mile and an eighth Washington Park Handicap in a track record time of 1:46 1/5. A single race wagering record of $796,670 was established, as was a single day betting record of $3,517,129.
Ernest Williams' Nopaynenogain, who will make his career debut in Friday's ninth race, is a half-brother to Spinning Round, second in the 1994 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap.
- END -