|Arlington Park Barn Notes 05/10/03
In today's notes:
Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Julie's Prize will go to the post with the top impost of 121 pounds and the favorite's mantle in Sunday's Mother's Day main racing attraction at Arlington Park. The daughter of El Prado heads a field of six 3-year-old fillies in the $40,000 Native Pet Handicap at seven-eighths of a mile.
But it is the mother of Julie's Prize, the mare Julie Mis, who deserves top billing on Arlington's traditional Mother's Day program, when all Moms in attendance at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred will receive a complementary Rio Rose in recognition of their familial role just for passing through the gates.
Eleven months ago, it was another daughter of Julie Mis, Summer Mis, who occupied centerstage at Arlington when she won the $86,750 Purple Violet Stakes on Prairie State Festival Day by four lengths. That June 22, 2002 performance against Illinois-breds was so impressive that trainer Tony Mitchell gave her shot in Arlington's Grade III Singapore Plate August 10 against some of the top distaff sophomores in the nation. The Singapore Plate had been won the previous year by Eclipse Award champion Caressing, and the 2002 running went to Lost At Sea, also highly regarded at that stage of the season.
Summer Mis performed admirably against Lost At Sea, gaining command approaching the lane before weakening to finish fifth after being knocked around repeatedly when challenged.
Now, on Mother's Day, Summer Mis' younger sister will take up the baton in the Native Pet Handicap.
"Julie's Prize deserves to be the highweight Sunday," said trainer Tony Mitchell, who also conditions Summer Mis. "I just ran Julie's Prize against older horses at Hawthorne in a prep for this year's Purple Violet (June 21) called the Peach Of It Handicap and she just got up to win by neck. She was off slowly and far back the first part of it and still got up to win. She really showed some true grit in that race to win it the way she did."
The Peach Of It was the third win in a row for Julie's Prize, who was first under the wire at Arlington last September 22 against maidens as a 2-year-old but subsequently disqualified and placed fourth. Because of that disqualification, in something of a racing rarity, Julie's Prize was still eligible for the maiden ranks when she won the $111,000 Illinois Breeders' Debutante against winners Dec. 14 at Hawthorne.
Five rivals are named to oppose Julie's Prize in Sunday's Native Pet. They are M. Y. Stables Inc.'s Moon Shine Time, Ron L. Brandenburg & Rich Marawski's She's Fantastic, J. C. Racing Stable's Gumbo Love, Steve Holland & Crown's Way Farm's Book the Devil and Richard F. Rudolph's Cashmere Miss.
What's on the agenda at Arlington for older sister Summer Mis, a daughter of 1990 Preakness winner Summer Squall?
"We're going to point her for some turf races this summer," said Mitchell. "She's doing very well and I'm really looking forward to running her here at Arlington again."
But on Mother's Day, it is only fitting to recognize Julie Mis, who carried both her daughters long before they reached their present prominence. She deserves a Rio Rose of her own.
Jockey Curt Bourque, a longtime Arlington Park favorite returning to the local oval on a regular basis for the first time since 1997, and more recent Illinois circuit regular reinsman Tommy Molina each posted two wins on Friday's first day of racing at Arlington in 2003 to share the early lead in the Arlington jockey standings.
"It's nice to be back," said Bourque, after riding Frank C. Calabrese's Arctic Sand to a narrow tally in the first race at Arlington in 2003. Arctic Sand is trained by Wayne Catalano. Calabrese and Catalano are the respective defending owner and trainer champions at Arlington, but Bourque, although prominent for many years locally, is returning from an extended area absence.
"Chicago is my kind of town once again," said Bourque, "and, the Good Lord willing, I'm not going anywhere."
Bourque scored his second win of the afternoon in the featured eighth race Friday aboard Peter Campas, Crown's Way Farm & Founder's Group's Out of My Way.
Arlington regular Tommy Molina won the fifth race Friday aboard Three Diamonds Stable's Megoman and returned to the winner's circle following the seventh astride Ruman Stable's Rose N Angelina.
Friday's first "Party In The Park" in 2003 drew an enthusiastic sun-drenched crowd of Thoroughbred racing fans as well as music lovers to enjoy the Arlington races as well as the rock band "Voices" and the newly improved Park area.
Dave McNaughton, his wife Ruth and their children, who live in downtown Chicago, have been "Party In The Park" regulars for several years but were quick to praise the changes in the Park this season while typifying the reactions of those around them.
"I like the fact that they've put the band where they have this year," said McNaughton. "Not everyone that comes out here wants to listen to the band, and I also like the way they've made the wagering areas so much more accessible."
The Park area will be featured again for Family Day this Sunday on Mother's Day.
Friday's final race on the first day of racing in 2003 at Arlington Park was a victory for the more senior members of Arlington's racing family. Under the guidance of Hall of Fame reinsman Earlie Fires, Arlington's all-time leading rider, Mrs. & Michael Brickman's My Romeo, was the impressive winner after being saddled by longtime Arlington Park conditioner Spanky Broussard. Fires rode his first winner here in 1965, while Broussard saddled his first winner locally in 1970, giving the winning tandem more than 70 years of winning efforts at the local oval between them.
Sunday will be the second of 15 American Airlines Summer Sweepstakes. Fans can enter for a chance to win two round-trip tickets anywhere in the continental United States where American Airlines flies.
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