|Arlington Park Barn Notes 05/24/03
In today's notes:
Gene Hoffman's Reno Rumble, winner of the Prairie State Festival's Cardinal Handicap two years ago, returns to Arlington Park for the first time since closing day last fall when he faces 10 rivals in the $45,000-added Mister Gus Stakes, the featured one-mile grass event on Monday's Memorial Day program at the suburban Chicago oval.
Now a 9-year-old, Reno Rumble could use Monday's test as a prep for this year's $75,000-added Cardinal 'Cap at a mile and sixteenth on the turf June 21 as a possible goal following Monday's run.
If all 11 go to the post in Memorial Day's Mister Gus, the eight-furlong test for 3-year-olds and up will have a gross value of $48,300, with a $28,980 share of that sum going to the owners of the winner.
Reno Rumble, sixth in last year's $90,450 Cardinal Handicap, also finished third in the 2000 renewal as a 6-year-old. Bred by David P. Block and Patricia M. Block, parents of trainer Chris Block, the popular gray gelding has made only one start in 2003, finishing a well-beaten ninth in an allowance race at Tampa Bay Downs April 15. Before that, on Oct. 27 last year at Arlington, the son of Vigors finished fourth beaten only a length and a quarter for all of it in a one-mile turf test over a "yielding" local lawn. Jockey Marlon St. Julien will make up most of the 118 pounds assigned.
Cherrywood Racing Stable II's Major Omansky, beaten one length for the win when third in the Grade III Robert F. Carey Memorial in his last trip to the post Nov. 2 at Hawthorne, may be the one to beat Monday. Another Illinois-bred, the 7-year-old altered son of Major Luck made the pace in Arlington's $42,000 Explosive Darling Handicap in his previous outing Oct. 19 before finishing second by a nose at the wire. Arlington's all-time leading rider, Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires, will handle the reins on Major Omansky, who is also in at 118 pounds.
Kentucky-bred Holy Conflict, owned by the J. S. Cubed Stable, also merits consideration in the Mister Gus. The 6-year-old gelding by Lord At War was third in a nine-furlong allowance race at Keeneland in his last start over a yielding course on April 17. Previously the chestnut won a one-mile turf test in New Orleans March 31. Frank Lovato Jr. is named in the irons on Holy Conflict, who shoulders 122 pounds Monday. Gene Cilio is the trainer.
Completing the field are Arthur I. Appleton's Flamin' Jolie, 120; Michael W. & Judy Crowe's Attack the Books, 120; Hurt, Hoppe & Milchoefer's Big Daddy Longlegs, 122; Steve Sawatske's Ivan Jay Perry, 120; Grace Turnbow's Man O'Rhythm, 120; John Castro's Al's Dearly Bred, 120; Paul Cumberland's Scooter Roach, 118; and Kimberlie Molinaro's Meadowminer, 118.
Great CDSN racing action continues Sunday with Hollywood Park's Grade III Will Rogers Stakes for 3-year-olds on turf. Probable favorite Singletary has two wins and two places in four starts on the grass and has developed into one of the top 3-year-old turf horses on the circuit and may be a Mid-America Triple participant later in the summer at Arlington Park.
On Monday, Hollywood Park's Memorial Day Festival kicks off with a $1 million guaranteed Pick 6 wager and includes the Grade I Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares at nine furlongs on the turf, the Grade I Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at one mile on the grass, and the Grade II Lazaro D. Barrera Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Other Monday CDSN stakes races include the Grade III Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs and the Grade III Memorial Day Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at Calder Race Course.
Veteran reinsman Eusebio Razo Jr. rode three winners at Arlington Park Friday, becoming the third jockey to accomplish that feat during the young Arlington season.
Defending Arlington jockey champion Rene Douglas and 2003 challenger Curt Bourque, currently tied atop the Arlington standings through Friday's races, each had riding triples May 10 on the second day of the season.
Razo, a 37-year-old native of Mexico City and perennially on the cusp of the top 10 in the Arlington standings, won Friday's fifth race with Francisco Parra's Lucky Charleen, came right back to the winner's circle with Millard R. Seldin Revocable Trust & the Estate of Hoss Inman's Iceplosion after the sixth, and completed his "hat trick" with Pearson, Hughey, Kempler & Diamond Racing Inc.'s My Extolled Honor in the eighth event of the twilight racing program.
"I knew when I came to the track I had a chance to have a pretty good day Friday," said Razo during training hours Saturday morning. "The meet is going about the way we thought it would at the beginning. We work a lot of horses for a lot of people in the mornings and that keeps us pretty busy, but that work pays off for us. Hopefully, we'll be able to keep it going."
Razo's engagements are being handled by veteran Arlington agent Lindy McDaniel.
"My father (trainer Eusebio Razo Sr.) likes to put his horses where they can win, so I knew that filly (Lucky Charleen) had a decent shot," Razo said. "That horse of (trainer) Charlie Livesay's (Iceplosion) is a pretty nice horse who was flying at the end when he lost to Coach Jimi Lee two starts back, and (trainer) Leo Gabriel's horse (My Extolled Honor) was closer than I thought he'd be when the speed horse tucked back and then my horse just kept going."
Jockey Carlos Marquez Jr. had a riding double on Friday to stay alone in third position in the Arlington Park jockey standings. The 35-year-old native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, won the seventh race on Jer-Mar Stables LLC's Scottago for trainer Hugh Robertson and the finale astride Hurricane Merle for owner-trainer Ron Shenofsky.
Defending Arlington champion Rene Douglas also rode two winners Friday, taking the third with Clinton & Susan Atkins first time starter Paper Moon for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and returned immediately after the fourth with DBK Racing Stable's King Sweep for conditioner Jerry Calvin.
Pamela Miessler & Cliff Raber's Fan Club's Mister, hero of the 2001 American Derby, middle leg of the Mid-America Triple at Arlington, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 Saturday.
The Grade II Arlington Classic, first leg of that series, will be run five weeks from today on June 28.
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