|Arlington Park Barn Notes
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In today's notes:
One day after her impressive two-length tally in Saturday's $75,000 Top Flight Stakes at Arlington Park, Nelson Bunker Hunt's Souris was doing "super," according to an assistant at trainer Steve Asmussen's local barn.
"She came back super and she's doing very well today," said Billy Lopes on Sunday morning. Lopes is an assistant to Asmussen, who was en route by air on a return trip to Chicago.
In the Top Flight, final local stakes prep for the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie on September 28, Souris pressed the pace, took command in upper stretch and gradually increased the margin the rest of the way.
"You had to be impressed with the way she ran," said Lopes. "She did everything that was asked of her."
Was the upcoming Arlington-Washington Lassie on the upcoming schedule for the daughter of Defrere?
"That's a question for Steve," said Lopes. "I think he'll be here later today. But we were very pleased with her performance and she's certainly in good shape today."
Jerry Hollendorfer & Marta Racing Ventures's Christmas Time, who experienced defeat for the first time in three career starts when second in Saturday's Top Flight Stakes, came out of the race in good order and will be pointed for the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie on September 28.
"She came out of it fine," said assistant trainer Andy Wilson of the Jerry Hollendorfer barn when asked about Christmas Time on Sunday morning. "She ran her race. We were not disappointed with the way she ran."
Wilson was asked if Christmas Time was on a schedule that would allow her to make amends for that defeat in the Lassie, Arlington's traditional main event for 2-year-old fillies.
"I believe that's what we're shooting for," said Wilson. "That's also what Rene (jockey Douglas) said we should go for. All along, we've been saying 'the longer the better' whenever we've talked about her."
The Lassie, which is carded at one mile around one turn here, is itself a prep this year for the upcoming Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. That mile and an eighth test is part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships which come to Arlington Park for the first time in history on October 26.
Emilio Geloso & Thomas Tomillo Jr.'s Talknow, who won the $42,000 Dr. Fager Handicap here June 30 for his sixth win of the year, added a seventh at Philadelphia Park on Saturday by drawing off for a three and a quarter-length tally in the $47,000 Claiming Crown Express Stakes.
Trainer Tom Tomillo, father of the co-owner and a veteran conditioner on the Chicago circuit, journeyed to the City of Brotherly Love to saddle Talknow Saturday, and decided to take a couple of days off following the success of his summertime goal.
Tomillo was en route by automobile to his son's home in Connecticut on Sunday when reached on his cell phone.
"I'd been pointing for this race ever since Talknow began to get good last spring and it looked like he could win it," said Tomillo, a multiple winner of leading trainer honors at Sportsman's Park and Hawthorne. Tomillo is currently in a battle for third place in the Arlington Park standings. "He ran good yesterday and he came back good.
"My son Tommy has a home in Connecticut just a couple of hundred miles from Philadelphia Park," said Tomillo, "so I'm taking a couple of days to visit him there."
The younger Tomillo, who claimed Talknow on his own without consulting his father, is former claims clerk at Arlington.
Godolphin's Marienbard, ridden by World Series champion Frankie Dettori, captured the sixth leg of the 2002 World Series of Racing -- the Group I Grosser Preis von Baden -- on Sunday at Iffezheim Racecourse in Baden-Baden, Germany.
Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey had held the lead in the WSRC jockey standings since August 17, when he guided Juddmonte Farms Inc.'s Beat Hollow to an exciting tally by a head in the 20th running of the Grade I Arlington Million here. The traditional signature race of the Arlington Park season served as the fifth leg of the 2002 WSRC.
With his score astride Marienbard, Dettori regains the lead after losing it briefly to Bailey two weeks ago.
Samum, ridden by Andreas Suborics, winning rider aboard 2001 Arlington Million champion Silvano, was well placed early but lacked the needed late response. Samum had won the 2000 Grosser Preis.
The next race in the WSRC is the Group I Ireland the Food Island Champion Stakes at Leopardstown this coming Saturday.
The WSRC, a 14-race series contested on four continents, returns to Arlington Park October 26 for the Grade I John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf and the Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic as part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. It will be the first time in history that any single racecourse will host three legs of the WSRC in the same year.
Dr. Daniel F. Leary, father of Arlington Park director of communications Dan Leary, died Sunday night in New Jersey.
A wake and visitation will be held Wednesday at Vander Plaat Memorial Home in Paramus, N.J. (201) 843-3100, with the funeral scheduled for Thursday.
The highest daily double payoff of the season was recorded in Saturday's last two races. Jere R. Smith Sr. & Norwood Ltd.'s Cyber Stock, who paid a $116.60 straight mutuel in the ninth, combined with Martyn Burke's Esyoueffcee ($5 win price) in the 10th race to light the board with a $789.40 payoff. The smallest daily double payoff of the season ($5.40) was recorded Thursday.
Forty-six years ago Tuesday, on Sept. 3, 1956, Swaps ended his racing career with a victory in the Washington Park Handicap and was subsequently named Horse of the Year.
Jockey Larry Sterling Jr. went over the $1 million mark in purse earnings at the meeting on Saturday at Arlington Park.
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