|Arlington Park Barn Notes
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In today's notes:
Kenneth Taylor's Xtra Heat, who beat the boys Saturday at Keeneland in the Grade III Phoenix Breeders' Cup Sprint, arrived on the Arlington Park grounds Sunday in anticipation of a start in the Grade I NAPA Breeders' Cup Sprint here October 26.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, often called the Super Bowl of Thoroughbred Racing, come to Chicago for the first time in their 19-year history on that last Saturday in October, now less than three weeks away.
Xtra Heat, a 4-year-old filly, stamped herself as a primary candidate for the upcoming Breeders' Cup Sprint when she captured Saturday's 150th running of the Phoenix by three lengths, becoming only the fourth female in history to accomplish that feat. The Phoenix is the oldest stakes race currently run in the United States.
Xtra Heat left Keeneland about 8:30 a.m. Sunday by van and arrived at Arlington Park about 1:30 p.m., according to groom Javier Cruz, a native of Somora, Mexico, who traveled with her. Also on the van under Cruz's care was Bent Oak Farm's Dr. Phil, a nominee to Saturday's featured event, the $75,000 Manila Stakes.
"She cooled out well and ate up well Saturday night," said Cruz of Xtra Heat's post race activities following the Phoenix. "She will probably have three days off and may go to the track here Wednesday. That's her usual schedule.
"Dr. Phil went to the track this morning," Cruz said of Saturday's Manila nominee, who was third in the $50,000 World Appeal at the Meadowlands in his last start September 27.
Xtra Heat and Dr. Phil are both conditioned by John E. Salzman, who is also now in Chicago to supervise further preparations of both horses.
A troika of 2-year-old colts are included among an eight-horse contingent of Patrick Biancone trainees due at Arlington Park Monday afternoon in advance of the Grade I Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile to be contested here October 26.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Chicago for the first time in their 19-year history on that last Saturday in October, one day before the local Thoroughbred racing season ends on October 27.
Fabien Ouaki & Biancone's Whywhywhy, who captured the Grade I Futurity at Belmont Park by a length and three-quarters on September 15, and Michael Tabor's Zavata, third in the Grade I Hopeful at Saratoga August 31, top the flight manifest of the Biancone group due in Chicago early Monday afternoon.
Should Whywhywhy win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, he would earn an additional $250,000 as a bonus award under the conditions of the Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge.
Also scheduled on the plane is Tabor's Brancusi, sixth in the Grade I Champagne at Belmont last Saturday, and Tabor & Edward P. Evans' Stellar, fourth in Saratoga's Grade I Spinaway August 30. The trainer is scheduled to fly with the horses.
Already on the grounds at Arlington making arrangements in advance of the flight is Biancone assistant trainer Yan Durepaire, 29, a native of Chantilly who has been with Biancone for about a year and a half. Durepaire, who was an assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Dick Mandella prior to joining his fellow Frenchman, is the son of a longtime assistant to the late Francois Boutin.
The Group I Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere, one of the premier Thoroughbred races of worldwide competition, enjoyed increased business at Arlington Park Sunday morning for the third straight year when simulcast live to North America from Longchamp Racecourse in France along with supporting races on the French program.
Although handle on the Arc alone was $88,029 on Sunday, down slightly from $91,097 last year, the total commingled handle including the supporting races was $197,355 here Sunday morning, up from $154,621 in 2001.
Two years ago, handle on the Arc at Arlington was $46,379, while the total commingled handle in 2000 was $108,734.
The Arc de Triomphe is the ninth leg of the World Series Racing Championship (WSRC), a 14-race series contested on four continents. The Grade I Arlington Million, traditionally the signature race of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season, was the fifth leg of the WSRC when contested here August 17. This year, the series will return 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.
James Tafel LLC's Lakenheath, heroine of the Grade III Arlington Matron Handicap here September 2, flashed brief speed in Sunday's Grade I Overbrook Spinster Stakes at Keeneland Sunday before tiring to finish a well-beaten seventh.
"We scoped her after the race and she seemed fine," said trainer Gene Cilio back at Arlington Park Monday morning during training hours. "However, when we withdrew the scope from her lungs you could feel some sand on it. She ran a race like that once before at Hawthorne for no apparent reason, but Hawthorne also is a track with a lot of sand in it. She certainly didn't run that hard Sunday, but she was almost hyperventilating when she first came back.
"She seemed fine, however, shortly after the race, so I guess we'll just give her some time off and bring her back in New Orleans sometime this winter."
Jockey Frank Lovato Jr. had a riding double Sunday at Arlington Park by winning both halves of the daily double. Lovato scored with Pin Oak Stable's Mt Waverly in the opener and Noreen Carpenito's Chris's Turn in the second.
Jockey Jerry LaSala also rode two winners Sunday, capturing the sixth with Carmy Cat Racing Stable's Grandpa Red and the eighth with Sidney L. Port Trust's O Lo.
Apprentice jockey Gabriel Suarez won the first Arlington Park race of his career on Sunday aboard Orion Stables' I'm Registered in the third race.
Arlington Park will host a Blood Drive Saturday for employees from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the LifeSourse Mobile Coach in the parking lot.
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