|Arlington Park Barn Notes
In today's notes:
And at such a price! Not for my own mother, such a deal!
Barr H. Inman's Delicatessa, dismissed as a longshot in early projections and sure to be overlooked in the wagering, will be making her grass debut in Saturday's Grade III Pucker Up Stakes for sophomore distaffers at a mile and an eighth over the local lawn.
She just graduated from "non-winners of one other than" company in her last start, and her only previous stakes competition was in an event restricted to state-breds, but Delicatessa's heritage indicates a preference for turf and she might be worthy of consideration in Saturday's main event at Arlington Park.
Delicatessa is by Dare And Go, a horse known primarily for bringing Cigar's 16-race win streak to an end in the 1996 Pacific Classic on the dirt at Del Mar. But earlier in his career here at Arlington, Dare And Go ran on grass in the 1994 Secretariat and finished second by a head to Vaudeville after racing wide. Dare And Go, whose previous start had come in June that year at Longchamp, was closing ground fast at the wire.
However, Delicatessa is also out of a Czaravich mare. Czaravich is known primarily for winning the Jerome, Withers, Met Mile and Carter Handicap in New York, but he was also third in the grassy Man o' War in 1979, and he was sired by Czar Alexander, who had won that same Grade I event in 1968.
Despite her absence of turf form, Delicatessa was introduced to that surface with a three-eighths breeze on Wednesday, which she accomplished in :39 4/5 with the "dogs" up.
"We got a little practice into her," said trainer Charlie Livesay Thursday following Delicatessa's introductory grass move. "She seemed to handle it all right. She switched leads at the right time and all that.
"I waited as long as I could to find the right time to try her on the grass," said Livesay. "The competition may be a little tough (Saturday) but I think she can handle it. At least I hope so. In any rate, I love her and I think she's in good shape going into the race."
When winning her last trip to the post on August 8, Delicatessa successfully accomplished the nine-furlong distance at first asking, coming from off the pace to be narrowly best at the wire. She has also finished in the money in her last eight starts.
Arlington Park Throughbred racing fans get an added bonus Saturday when Joseph Graffeo's Two Item Limit comes from her East Coast headquarters to head the field in the co-featured $42,000 Unique Type Handicap.
Two Item Limit, an Illinois-bred 4-year-old filly voted Illinois Horse of the Year in each of the last two seasons, has never raced in Illinois. Those two titles, garnished with Illinois 2-year-old filly honors in 2000 and Illinois 3-year-old filly laurels last year, have been based on her accomplishments at the national level of competition.
Last year, for instance, Two Item Limit was third in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Distaff at Belmont Park, beaten only a length and a quarter for all the money.
This year, on October 26, the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Arlington Park, and Two Item Limit remains a possibility for a return engagement in the Distaff pending her performance in Saturday's Unique Type.
"Saturday's race should serve two purposes," said trainer Stephen L. DiMauro, who arrived from his New York headquarters Thursday night to saddle Two Item Limit this weekend. The filly had vanned in to Arlington Park Wednesday morning.
"First, we wanted to find a spot for her that she could win and get her confidence back," said DiMauro. "Second, if she runs as well as she should in that spot, and gets her confidence back, she'll have a race over the track that will set her up for the Breeders' Cup."
Two Item Limit needs a confidence builder. After finishing a good third to Summer Colony in the Grade III Delaware Handicap, beaten two and a half lengths for all of it, Two Item Limit ran an uncharacteristic fifth, beaten more than 25 lengths, to that same rival in the Grade I Personal Ensign in her last start. What happened in that August 25 race at Saratoga?
"She just ran a bad race," said DiMauro. "I'm not blaming anybody, but I think that track was a little on the loose side that day, and she just didn't handle it.
"Richie (jockey Migliore), who knows the horse, told me she just didn't feel right, and he didn't ask her after that," said DiMauro. "That was exactly what I would have wanted him to do in a situation like that. Her hind end was real sensitive after the race. She ran a race like that in the (Grade I) Mother Goose when she was a 3-year-old, when she seemed to lose her hind end and all her action. She finished ninth that day.
"Anyway, she seems fine now," said DiMauro. "She trained this morning (Friday), and she went fine. I just wanted to show her the track here. She shipped well and I expect her to run well.
"I hope I'm doing the right thing," said DiMauro. "We performed laser therapy on her and she has responded to it. When she started to come around, it had me looking for a race for her to get her confidence back and this one (restricted to Illinois-breds) seemed like a good spot. So here we are."
Two Item Limit will shoulder the top impost of 124 pounds in the Unique Type, including leading rider and defending Arlington jockey champion Rene Douglas.
Opponents Saturday include Joseph Marovich LLC & Crown's Way Farm's Shemya, 115; Robert & Lauren Hoffman & Jerry L. Picklin's Gonandunit, 112; George D. Michalson's Magic Motel, 116; Cutshall Racing LLC's Buba's Caper, 115; and Emerald Ridge Farm's Something Wicked, 113.
Jason Levin's "Racing to the Breeders' Cup," a nationally syndicated weekly horseracing radio show, has been airing weekly since August 10.
Each week, Levin spotlights Breeders' Cup hopefuls in action across the country and recaps the previous weekend's action.
"Racing to the Breeders' Cup" can be heard in Chicago on WCSN (820 AM) (Sporting News Radio) on Fridays at 6:50 p.m.
Today is the last "Miller Lite Party in the Park" Friday of the 2002 season at Arlington Park.
Tomorrow is the final "American Airlines Saturday Sweepstakes" of the local session.
The final 3 p.m. Friday post time of the Arlington Park 2002 season will be September 27.
Jockeys Eddie Razo Jr. and Robby Albarado both had riding doubles on Thursday.
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