|Arlington Park Barn Notes
In today's notes:
Stronach Stables Inc.'s Macho Uno, winner of the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile two years ago and a projected participant in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic October 26 at Arlington Park, galloped twice around the local oval Thursday morning in advance of Sunday's Grade II Washington Park Handicap here.
Trainer Joe Orseno is using Sunday's Washington Park 'Cap here to give Macho Uno a prep race over the local surface in advance of the Classic. That mile and a quarter affair, the richest Thoroughbred race contested in North America, comes to Arlington Park for the first time in its 19-year history as part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on that last Saturday in October.
"This close to Sunday's race, there's not much to do," said Orseno's assistant Russell Dederian Thursday morning at Arlington. "He had his final work here Monday, so in the next couple of days we'll just 'hobby horse' him around the track a couple of times. Joe will fly back here Saturday night to saddle him for Sunday's Washington Park 'Cap."
Macho Uno will be the starting highweight at 119 pounds in Sunday's mile and three-sixteenths event. The Eclipse Award champion in 2000 has been compromised by injuries since then but has shown flashes of his brilliance each of the last two seasons.
In 2001, the colt by 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull was forced to miss a Triple Crown campaign but rebounded later in the year to win the Grade III Pennsylvania Derby last September.
Earlier this year, June 1 at Suffolk Downs, Macho Uno showed his natural talent once again when he tallied by a length and three quarters in the Grade II Massachusetts Handicap and was a good third in the Grade II Suburban at Belmont Park July 6.
Following a fourth-place finish in Saratoga's Grade I Whitney Handicap August 24, Macho Uno was sent to Stronach's Adena Springs Farm in Canada for a brief vacation.
Probable starters against Macho Uno in Sunday's Washington Park 'Cap include Joseph V. Vitello's Tenpins, slated to carry 116 pounds Sunday. Tenpins was the winner of the Grade III William D. Schaefer Handicap at Pimlico May 18 and was most recently third in the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 15.
Also likely Sunday is William L. Clifton Jr.'s Pleasant Breeze, second in the Grade I Gulfstream Park Handicap last year. That 7-year-old is assigned 115 pounds. In his last trip to the post August 30 in a conditioned allowance race at Saratoga, Pleasant Breeze drew off for an impressive three and a half-length tally.
Another probable Washington Park candidate is Glen Hill Farm's Bonus Pack, assigned 115 pounds based on a five and three-quarter-length tally in the Grade III Dominion Day Handicap at Woodbine July 1.
Possible Washington Park contestants include Rick Lindsay's Saquache, who could be scratched out of Friday's featured $42,000 Play Fellow Handicap in favor of his lighter 114 pound impost Sunday, and Willmott Stable's Deferred Comp, assigned a feathery 111 Sunday.
Sunday's Grade II Washington Park Handicap, as well as the $150,000 Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile offered as a second stakes on the Arlington Park program, will be televised 'live' on NBC beginning at 3:30 p.m. Central time.
The Sea O'Erin, at eight furlongs over the local lawn, will serve as Arlington's final prep for the Grade I Breeders' Cup Mile October 26.
Sondra D. Bender's Buenos Dias, winner of the $50,000 Lure Stakes at Pimlico September 7, is expected to shoulder the starting top impost of 117 pounds in Sunday's Sea O'Erin.
Stonerside Stable LLC & Gold Spur Stable's Capsized, who captured the Grade III Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga at last asking August 24, is also likely to accept his 116-pound assignment in the Sea O'Erin.
Also slated to carry 116 pounds and expected for Sunday's Sea O'Erin is Team Block's Mystery Giver, winner of the $90,450 Cardinal Handicap here June 22.
Diamond C Stable's Pisces, beaten two lengths when second in the Grade III Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap at Calder in his last start September 2, was third beaten only a length in Arlington's Grade III Stars & Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf July 6. Pisces is another presumed Sea O'Erin starter at 116 pounds.
Mrs. & Michael P. Brickman's Smilin' Slew is an expected starter in the Sea O'Erin at 115 pounds. He was second by a neck in the $42,000 Golden Pheasant Handicap September 8.
Coast To Coast Racing Stable's Mercenary, in the Sea O'Erin with 114 pounds, is projected to accept that assignment. Mercenary was fifth in the Grade III Hanshin Cup last time on July 20 behind recent Grade I Vosburgh Handicap winner Bonapaw.
Keith Plaisance's Rahy's Secret, sixth in the Grade II American Derby July 21 at Arlington, and second by a neck in the $60,000 Awad Handicap here August 10, gets in the Sea O'Erin with 113 pounds and is expected to accept that light weight.
John Castro's Al's Dearly Bred is considered a possible starter in the Sea O'Erin.
Along with a two-stakes day Saturday here, Arlington Park is billing the upcoming weekend as "Preview Weekend at the Park" in advance of the Breeders' Cup races.
Saturday's featured Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity will be shown on a tape-delayed basis Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Central time on CNBC. The local Futurity and the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie respectively serve as preps for the Grade I Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Grade I Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Any horse who wins both Saturday's Arlington-Washington Futurity and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile four weeks later will earn an additional $250,000 bonus as part of the Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge.
Carmen Rorick's Saquache is assigned top impost of 122 pounds to head the field in Friday's $42,000 Play Fellow Handicap, but may be scratched in lieu of a start in Sunday's Grade II Washington Park Handicap here.
However, a pound below Saquache in Friday's feature at 121 is Ron L. Brandenburg's Tic N Tin, third in the $100,000 Arlington Sprint August 24 but the winner of the $84,400 White Oak Handicap here June 22.
Others named to Friday's one-mile feature include H. Gordon, M. Stiegal, Laz Chapman LLC's Fact Not Fiction; Mike Zawitaj & David R. Reid's Paddy's Spy; George F. Frey Jr.'s Big Daddy Longlegs; Steve Sawatske's Ivan Jay Perry; George Todaro & Jerry Hollendorfer's Chinkapin; and Richard F. Rudolph's San Pedro.
This Friday, September 27, will be the last 3 p.m. Friday post time of the 2002 season. The remaining Friday racing programs will observe the normal 1 p.m. post time.
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