|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Joseph V. Vitello's Tenpins, hero of Sunday's Grade II Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park, came out of that engagement in good order and remains a possibility for the Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic October 26 at the local oval.
The Breeders' Cup Classic -- richest race run in North America with its $4 million purse -- will be run at Arlington Park when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Chicago for the first time in their 19-year history on that last Saturday in October.
Sunday's $400,000 Washington Park Handicap, which Tenpins captured by a neck, was contested at a mile and three-sixteenths. It was designed as the final local prep for 10-furlong Breeders' Cup Classic.
"He came out of the race great," said trainer Don Winfree over the phone from Kentucky Wednesday morning. "Everything is fine."
Asked about future plans for Tenpins, Winfree remained uncommitted.
"I'm going to wait until he goes back to the track," said Winfree, who has given Tenpins a few days off following Sunday's winning effort. "We'd love to come back up there (for the Breeders' Cup Classic), but we're going to do what's best for the horse. He'll point us which way to go. We don't have to make a decision until it's time to nominate. There's no reason to rush into anything."
In Sunday's Washington Park Handicap, Tenpins stalked the early pace, challenged for command entering the lane and outgamed rivals the rest of the way in a hard drive. The Michigan-bred had been away from the races since finishing third in the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 15.
Despite a disappointing fifth-place finish in Sunday's Grade II Washington Park Handicap as the odds-on choice of the Arlington Park fans, Stronach Stables Inc.'s Macho Uno was still under consideration for the Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic as of Wednesday morning.
The $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, to be run at Arlington Park October 26 when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Chicago for the first time in their 19-year history, is the richest race currently run in North America. Sunday's $400,000 Washington Park Handicap was the final local tune-up for that event.
Macho Uno, who won the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile two years ago on his way to Eclipse Award honors in his division, has been compromised by various ailments over the last two years but has shown infrequent flashes of his 2-year-old brilliance.
Although Macho Uno's race Sunday was not an instance of that, trainer Joe Orseno had indicated going into last weekend's affair that it was only designed to be a "prep" for the Classic and that a winning effort was not a necessity.
"Physically, since his race on Sunday he has been fine," said assistant trainer Russell Derderian Wednesday morning as he watched Macho Uno graze outside his stall at Arlington Park. "Apparently he didn't suffer any ill effects, but he hasn't been out there on the racetrack galloping. Sometimes, you don't find anything out until they go back to the track, and we probably won't send him back out there until Friday or Saturday. Then, we'll see how he's acting and Joe (trainer Orseno) and Frank (owner Stronach) will make a decision."
Team Block's Mystery Giver, neck victor in the $150,000 Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile on Sunday, came out of the race well and may run back here on Breeders' Cup Day October 26, but it will not be in the Grade I NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile.
Sunday's Sea O'Erin was designed as the final local prep for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile, but if Mystery Giver makes an appearance on that last Saturday in October, it will be in the inaugural running of the $100,000 Steinlen Handicap.
The Steinlen, for 3-year-olds and upward, will be run at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass as one of the supporting races when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Arlington Park for the first time in their 19-year history.
"He came back real good," said trainer Chris Block Wednesday morning, "but he's the kind of horse who likes a little more time between his races. To come back on Breeders' Cup Day may even be a little too soon for him. If we don't come back at Arlington we'll probably shoot for the Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap at Hawthorne (Grade III, Nov 2)."
Joseph Graffeo's Two Item Limit, four-length victress in the $42,000 Unique Type Handicap at Arlington Park on September 14, breezed a half-mile in :49 4/5 Wednesday morning during training hours at Arlington Park while the racing surface was listed as "muddy."
The move was in preparation for Two Item's Limit's projected start in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Distaff at Arlington Park on October 26, when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Chicago for the first time in their 19-year history.
Breezing under exercise rider Tim McCanick, Two Item Limit posted splits of :12 1/5, :24 2/5 and :36 4/5 on her way to her four-furlong posted clocking. The 4-year old daughter of Twining galloped out five-eighths in 1:05 3/5.
"I thought she did everything that we asked of her," said Two Item Limit's trainer Steve DiMauro, speaking over the phone from his South Florida headquarters. "This was just a nice, easy half. She did everything right. I was pleased. We'll bring her back on October 8 at five-eighths, and we'll ask her to go a little quicker."
The Unique Type, restricted to Illinois-breds, was designed to be a confidence builder for Two Item Limit, who had disappointed in the Grade I Personal Ensign Handicap August 23 at Saratoga when a well-beaten fifth.
Earlier this season, however, Two Item Limit was a good third, beaten two and a half lengths, in the Grade III Delaware Handicap July 21 at Delaware Park and was also third, beaten that same margin, in the Grade I Ogden Phipps Handicap June 22 at Belmont Park.
The Group I Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere, ninth leg in the 2002 World Series Racing Championship (WSRC), will be one of six races from Longchamp Racecourse on the outskirts of Paris, France, that will be simulcast to Arlington Park Sunday morning.
Gates at Arlington Park will open at 7 a.m. Central time Sunday, and a continental style breakfast will be offered. The first of the six races will go to the post at 8 a.m. with the Arc slated for ll:15 a.m.
Arlington Park wishes to express sincere condolences to trainer Richard Hazelton on the death of his wife, Nancy, on Monday after a long illness. Memorial ceremonies were private.
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