|Arlington Park Barn Notes
In today's notes:
"Godolphin's super Saturday run continues!" said Arlington Park announcer John G. Dooley as Sharp Impact, owned by Godolphin Racing Inc., crossed under the wire a three-quarter length winner of Saturday's $75,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes.
Earlier in the day, Godolphin's Grandera had won the Group I Ireland the Food Island Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and their Imperial Gesture had taken the Grade I Gazelle Handicap at Belmont Park.
"That's the highs and lows of it," said Dave Duggan, an assistant to Sharp Impact's trainer Eoin Harty Sunday morning at the local Godolphin barn. "Last week, we had to retire both Street Cry and Sakhee. We need new superstars to compete with the likes of Aidan O'Brien (international superstar trainer). They (Godolphin) enjoy the competition and the rivalries. I want to find the next Seabiscuit for them -- the kind of horse that will bring 30,000 people out to watch Thoroughbred horse racing. That's what they're shooting for."
Is Sharp Impact a horse for the future? The Spectacular Bid is Arlington's final local prep for the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity on September 28. This year, that one-turn mile race serves as the final local prep for the Grade I Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile to be contested here as part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships October 26.
"Well, we were delighted with his race yesterday," said Duggan, "and everything is fine with him this morning. He has now passed the next test. That was what we wanted to see from him and now he is ready to go on to the next phase.
"I spoke to Eoin this morning," said Duggan, "and both horses (Sharp Impact and Godolphin's Anasheed) are going to be pointed toward the (Arlington's) Futurity. Things are going well."
Anasheed, who broke his maiden here by a length and a half going a mile on the day after the Arlington Million, is a son of 1992 Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic winner A. P. Indy out of the Nureyev mare Flagbird. Flagbird was a multiple stakes winner in both Europe and the United States over a distance of ground, so Anasheed's breeding discourages sprint competition but is ideal for the Juvenile at a mile and an eighth.
"We'll bring Anasheed up to the Futurity on a series of works," said Duggan, when speaking of the Grade III local event to be contested during Arlington's Preview at the Park weekend September 28-29. "He's a very straightforward horse. He trains himself.
"We have no set plans for Sharp Impact," Duggan said of the Spectacular Bid winner's preparation for the Arlington-Washington Futurity. "He'll let us know. That will dictate how he trains. He trains himself. They both do. All I have to do is get out of their way.
"In fact," Duggan said, "if these two horses (Anasheed and Sharp Impact) could talk, they wouldn't need me."
Edward Wiggins & Kenneth R. Spraggins' Wiggins was second to Sharp Impact in Saturday's $75,000 Spectacular Bid, but clearly second best.
"I finally got some sleep last night," said owner-trainer-breeder Spraggins, as he looked over his pride and joy Sunday morning after Saturday's exciting business.
"He ate up good last night, and he's doing real good this morning," said Spraggins, as he attended the juvenile gelding. "I thought we were going to win it at the top of the lane, but he couldn't quite get there. Speed was holding pretty good yesterday."
What are the upcoming plans for Wiggins, after Saturday's encouraging race?
"We're going to point for that 'Washington' race," Spraggins said, speaking of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity at one mile on September 28. "I think he deserves a shot in there. I also think he'll like a distance of ground."
This year, the Arlington-Washington Futurity, traditionally Arlington's main event for 2-year-olds, becomes the final local prep for the Grade I Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile on October 26, when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Champions come to Arlington Park for the first time in their 19-year history.
"We don't need to do too much with him," said Spraggins, concerning the upcoming local Futurity. "We'll probably give him one nice, easy slow work at seven-eighths between now and then. He's pretty much all set for it right now.
'This horse doesn't act like a baby," said Spraggins. "He never gives me any trouble, but he's playful. I could probably turn him loose when I'm working on him but he likes to try and bite the top of my head.
"I got a phone call this morning, asking if he was still for sale," said Spraggins. "He is still for sale, but it would be all right with me if he doesn't sell and I take him up to that next race."
Louie J. Roussel III & Ronnie Lamarque's Zarb's Magic broke in full stride to capture Saturday's fourth race at Arlington Park by two and three-quarter lengths, for the 22nd victory of his career. The 9-year-old gelding has now earned more than $888,000 during his 64 lifetime starts.
Six years ago, when he was on the Triple Crown trail, Zarb's Magic beat the horse that would go on to win the Kentucky Derby. As a sophomore, the chestnut won the Grade II Arkansas Derby, defeating 1996 Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone.
Zarb's Magic ran 13th behind Grindstone in the Run for the Roses, but came back from that defeat to win the $50,000 Louisiana Breeders' Derby in his next trip to the post.
Jockey Frankie Lovato Jr., who won Saturday's eighth race aboard C & R Stable LLC's Storybook Kid, is also an accomplished musician who will play Furlong's lounge at the DoubleTree Hotel on Northwest Highway shortly after Sunday's races end. The DoubleTree is just "furlongs" away from Arlington Park in Palatine.
Jockey Randy Meier had a double on Saturday's program, scoring with Zarb's Magic and coming right back with T. Starr Porter's Battle Tank in the fifth.
Jockey Ray Sibille also had a double, winning the second race with Kenneth Patt's Shesomethinspecial, and returning to win the Spectacular Bid aboard Sharp Impact.
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