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ARLINGTON NOTES

Arlington Park Barn Notes 05/22/03


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In today's notes:

SATURDAY'S RELUCTANT GUEST A PRAIRIE STATE FESTIVAL PREVIEW

Ellie's Rose, heroine of the $87,150 Lincoln Heritage Handicap last year during Arlington Park's Prairie State Festival, makes her seasonal bow Saturday in Arlington's featured $40,000 Reluctant Guest Handicap, a one-mile turf test for fillies and mares with Illinois incentives four weeks prior to the 2003 Prairie State Festival.

Owned by Gerry & Sam Belpedio, William Lloyd & Cherrywood Racing Stable II, Ellie's Rose will carry 117 pounds Saturday, including jockey Larry Sterling Jr. Michele Boyce is the trainer of the 6-year-old mare, who is expected to defend her Lincoln Heritage crown.

The Lincoln Heritage, one of six stakes races June 21 restricted to horses in the Illinois program, is Arlington's contribution to the Prairie State Festival as the State of Illinois celebrates its heritage. That race is for Illinois-bred fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf.

Wertheimer Farm's Attico will shoulder the top impost of 119 pounds as well as the favorite's mantle in Saturday's Reluctant Guest, but is a Kentucky-bred filly not eligible to the upcoming Prairie State Festival races. The 4-year-old daughter of Atticus won the $40,000 Nicole Stakes by a half-length at Hawthorne May 3 in a gutsy performance over a yielding turf course and captured the $45,000 Hatoof Stakes on the Arlington grass last October 23.

Salty Farma, another Kentucky-bred not eligible to the Lincoln Heritage, is expected to provide strong competition for Attico and Ellie's Rose in Saturday's Reluctant Guest. Her last trip to the post came when she ran eighth in the Grade III Citgo Distaff Turf Mile on Kentucky Derby Day, May 3, and she finds an easier spot here. In her previous effort the Salt Lake mare was second in Keeneland's Doubledogdare Stakes April 16.

Facing those three Saturday are Nancy A. Vanier's Cottage Rose, 115; Carolyn & Harry Disko's I Can Fan Fan, 115; River Ridge Ranch's Sound of Gold, 114; Barr Three LLC's Kate the Great, 114; and Peter Stamas, Marovich Ent. LLC & Crown's Way Farm's Soccory, 116.

Others named are Martin Abt, Greg Derybowski & Hat Trick Racing Stable's Barney's Mistress, 114; WinStar Farm LLC's Voodoo Lady, 115; Gary E. Lucas & Linda Woods' One Fine Shweetie, 113; and Dan J. Agnew's Kabylia, 115. Ted Taylor's Dancing With Me, 113; and Wayne Bessler's Playitagain Leo, 113; are on the also-eligible list for Saturday's feature.

ARLINGTON PARK'S MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND GOES THRU MONDAY

The first of two Monday racing programs during Arlington Park's 2003 meeting occurs this weekend as Chicago's suburban oval celebrates the Memorial Day holiday with four straight days of Thoroughbred racing as well as exciting festivities to introduce the summer season.

A twilight racing program on Friday, with a special post time of 3 p.m. kicks off Memorial Day weekend at Arlington, giving Arlington guests a chance to soak up the Miller Lite Party In The Park atmosphere where the band Biff and the Waybacks will entertain the fans with the classic rock musical sounds of summer.

On Saturday, when Arlington's first race reverts to its regular 1:30 p.m. time slot, the Reluctant Guest Handicap showcases a live nine-race program at Arlington, and full-card simulcast racing from top tracks around the nation is also offered, featuring such races as the Grade II Peter Pan Stakes from Belmont Park, the Grade III Early Times Mint Julep Handicap from Churchill Downs and the Grade III Red Bank Handicap from Monmouth Park.

Later Saturday afternoon from California the Grade I Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap from Hollywood Park and the Grade III Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap from Bay Meadows will be simulcast to Arlington.

Sunday is Pepsi Family Day presented by the Daily Herald at Arlington, and in addition to the usual activities involving pony rides, a petting zoo and face painters, "The John Schurek Circus Show" is scheduled as the highlight. That event combines the star's unique blend of comedy juggling, object manipulation, unicycle riding, fire tossing and stilt walking into an amazing spectacle designed to entertain both children and adults as part of the Family Day festivities. Show times are 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Also on Sunday, the first of 16 Junior Jockey Club Activities -- a "Meet The Jockey Colony" program -- will take place in the band tent of the Park Area from 12 to 1 p.m.

On Memorial Day Monday, the first 5,000 paid admissions will receive a Pepsi Tote Bag, with coupons attached to the programs of paid admission guests. Also on Monday, pony rides, a petting zoo and face painters will be offered once again in the Park Area.

On the Park band stage Monday, WXRT will be on site with the blues band Dave Specter & the Bluebirds playing between the races beginning at 1:30 p.m.

All members of the Armed Services will receive a free admission for themselves and their families by presenting their military identification on Memorial Day at the track, and as part of the Arlington Park ceremonies, the Black Sheep Squadron, a military Color Guard, will present the Colors during a midday ceremony.

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