|Arlington Park Barn Notes
In today's notes:
Cliveden Stud's Fraulein, winner of Woodbine's Grade I E. P. Taylor Stakes September 29, is being retired from racing to begin a new career as a broodmare, her Arlington Park handlers learned Tuesday morning.
The British-bred sophomore filly, campaigned in England and Ireland prior to her only North American start in Canada, was being prepared for a start in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf to be contested October 26 at Arlington Park.
That $1 million mile and a quarter grass affair for distaffers will be one of eight championship races run on that last Saturday in October when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Arlington Park and Chicago for the first time in their 19-year history.
Peter Boothman and Tracy Johnson, assistants to British trainer Edward Dunlop, arrived with Fraulein at Arlington October 5. Boothman, 62, a native of Norton Disney, Lincolnshire, and an assistant to Dunlop for the last eight years, has been taking the filly to the track daily for canters and had tentatively scheduled a more serious work on Tuesday.
"They rang us up at 5 o'clock this morning and pulled the plug on us," said Boothman, a former jockey who was England's champion apprentice in 1958. "The boss had a meeting with the owners and decided to go ahead and retire her on a winning note. The field for the race was coming up very strong, and it looked like there was also the possibility of firm ground."
Boothman had been indicating since their arrival that Fraulein would need soft turf to give her best performance.
"We are disappointed," said Boothman. "We were all ready to go, and she was as ready, too. We knew she was going to be sold when we brought her over here, but we just weren't sure exactly how or when everything would be worked out."
Fraulein, a British-bred, is by the German sire Acatenango out of a Legend of France mare. She retires with career earnings of $547,337, earned from four wins, one second, and two thirds from 11 lifetime starts, all on the turf.
Woodbridge Farm's Moonlight Sonata, length and three-quarter heroine of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie at Arlington Park September 28, is not going to run in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, trainer Bill Helmbrecht said Tuesday.
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies is one of eight championship races that will be contested at Arlington Park October 26 when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Chicago for the first time in their 19-year history.
This year, the Lassie, traditionally the main event for 2-year-old fillies in the fall at Arlington, served as the final local prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, which will be contested at a mile and an eighth for the first time this season.
"We just decided to stay away from 'the big ones' for the time being," said Moonlight Sonata's trainer Bill Helmbrecht, speaking over the phone from Kentucky. "She's training well, and, physically, she'd have no problems with it. However, mentally, I'm not sure she's quite ready for that big a step.
"It was the owner's (William Geist) decision, but I set the stage to let it happen by suggesting she might need a little more time to mature," Helmbrecht said. "I wish I was coming, but this is probably the best thing to do right now. We are going to point for the Green River at Keeneland ($100,000-added mile and a sixteenth on the turf October 24). She has a grass pedigree and that might be a better spot to duck the big ones for awhile."
When winning the Lassie, Moonlight Sonata lit up the tote board with a $122.60 straight payoff; largest win price in the Lassie's 68-year history.
Moonlight Sonata is a daughter of Carson City out of Wheatly Way, which makes her a half sister to Belmont Park's 1999 Grade I Futurity winner Bevo.
In her start before the Lassie, Moonlight Sonata finished second in the $100,000 Pepsi Bassinet at River Downs August 31 behind Fabulous Brush.
Kenneth Taylor's Xtra Heat, who beat the boys October 5 at Keeneland in the Grade III Phoenix Breeders' Cup Sprint, had her regular morning gallop Tuesday during training hours at Arlington Park under exercise rider Tim McCanick.
"She's doing just as well as she has been," said trainer John E. Salzman Sr., as he grazed Xtra Heat outside Barn 18.
Xtra Heat is galloping toward a projected start in the Grade I NAPA Breeders' Cup Sprint October 26 at Arlington Park. That six-furlong dash will be run on that last Saturday in October when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Chicago for the first time in their 19-year history.
Because she ran so recently, Salzman has maintained that Xtra Heat, who finished second in last year's $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Belmont Park, will not breeze again prior to this year's local running.
"That's the plan unless I get nervous a couple of days before the race," Salzman said with a smile Tuesday morning. "As of right now, I think she's ready to go."
Salzman, 57, born in Prince George's County, Maryland, was asked if his family back home had been affected by the recent rash of sniper shootings in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
"Thankfully, no," said Salzman, "but my son used to live right next to where the first shooting occurred, but moved away before any of this happened. It's certainly a terrible thing. I hope they catch whoever is responsible very soon."
This will be the third straight Breeders' Cup appearance for Xtra Heat. Two years ago, the daughter of Dixieland Heat finished 10th in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies behind Carl F. Pollard's Caressing at Churchill Downs.
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