|Arlington Park Barn Notes 05/17/03
In today's notes:
My Sweet Heart, a 3-year-old half-sister to 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem, won the first start of her career Friday at Arlington Park when she captured the final event on the twilight racing program by a half-length.
Owned by Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc., who also owned War Emblem through his Illinois Derby victory last season before selling him prior to the Triple Crown, My Sweet Heart is by You and I, and is the last foal out of the Lord At War mare Sweetest Lady, who also dropped War Emblem following a mating with Our Emblem the previous season. Both horses were bred by Charles Nuckols Jr. and Sons in Kentucky.
My Sweet Heart commenced her rally midway down the backstretch in Friday's one mile race, challenged for command entering the lane and was then kept to pressure to withstand stablemate Old Dixie Home at the wire.
War Emblem also won the first start of his career, which came at Arlington on Oct. 4, 2001, in the fall of his 2-year-old season.
Following Friday's race, trainer Bobby Springer was asked to compare the two siblings, both of which began their careers under his shedrow.
"You can't (compare them)," Springer said. "War Emblem liked training and did it well. She didn't know what she was doing until about a month ago, when she finally began to figure it out. We didn't force her. Once she began to pick it up, we went on with her."
Jockey Zoe Cadman, winning her first Arlington Park race in 2003 aboard My Sweet Heart, echoed Springer's feelings.
"She got a lot better than she was last year," said Cadman, who won Arlington's Rising Star Award in 2000. "I knew the distance today wasn't going to be a problem. She really still doesn't know what to do, but I think she's going to figure it out."
William Pacella, Ronald T. Schwed & Joe Rizza et al.'s Wiggins, who finished second by three-quarters of a length in the $75,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes last Sept. 7, heads a field of six in Sunday's $40,000 Hi Oak Silver Handicap at Arlington Park.
The Hi Oak Silver, restricted to Illinois registered, conceived and/or foaled 3-year-olds, will be contested at seven furlongs. The extended sprint is a prep race for the $75,000 Springfield Stakes on June 21. That one-mile sophomore test is one of six stakes restricted to Illinois-breds offered at Arlington that day as part of the Prairie State Festival Day activities at Arlington when the local oval helps celebrate the heritage of the State of Illinois.
Wiggins comes into Sunday's featured race off an eight and a quarter length score in an allowance race at Hawthorne April 14. That five-furlong dash was Wiggins' first start as a sophomore.
Following his runner-up finish in last fall's Spectacular Bid here, a prep for the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity, Wiggins was taken out of open company and sent to Fairmount Park, where he won the restricted Marluel's Troy by five and a quarter lengths October 1 at the Southern Illinois oval.
Wiggins will shoulder the top impost of 121 pounds in the Hi Oak Silver, most of which will be made up by jockey Eusebio Razo Jr.
"He's been doing great," said trainer Tony Granitz Saturday morning, shortly after feed time in his Barn 9C headquarters. "I just fed him a peppermint so he's happy. I'm excited for his future and looking forward to this race. This will be his first time at this distance."
Opposing Wiggins are Asiel Stable's Shandy, 118, Carlos Silva up; Lothenbach Stables Inc.'s Link to Ordway, 117, Carlos Montalvo; Loretta J. Clark's My Beau Mister Joe, 118, Larry Sterling Jr.; R'n R Breeders II's Roy's Trigger, 120, Chris Emigh; and Nick Simov's Pico D J Alex, 114, Cruz Contreras.
Arlington Park Chaplain Luis Peralta, local leader of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA), now in its third season at Arlington, will hold an introductory "Meet and Greet" session during training hours on Saturday, May 24 from 7 to 10 a.m. in the Hearth Bar area on the apron level of the Clubhouse. The morning will be used to familiarize members of the Arlington family with events planned this year to raise money for the organization and its many programs.
The RTCA, founded more than 30 years ago, was organized by concerned Christians to help the men and women at the racetrack and their families, many of whom had no religious community or leader to turn to in times of crisis. Over the years it has received enthusiastic support from racetrack management and horsemen's associations, but the RTCA remains a non-profit organization that depends on charitable contributions for its many services.
Fund-raising events already scheduled by Chaplain Luis during the 2003 Arlington Park season are a Car Wash on June 14, and a White Horse (Rummage) Sale on Aug. 4. Volunteers will be needed for both of those events.
Also planned for publication and sale at the Gift Shop during the current meeting is a Race Track Celebrity Cookbook featuring favorite recipes of Arlington's jockeys and trainers.
Concise, non-denominational Sunday services lasting between 30 and 45 minutes will be conducted by the RTCA in the Starting Gate Theater area beginning Sunday, June 8 at 8:30 a.m., featuring occasional guest pastors.
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