|Arlington Park Barn Notes 05/25/03
In today's notes:
Dancing With Me, an improving 4-year-old filly owned by Ted Taylor, surprised Thoroughbred racing fans with a $67.20 win payoff for a $2 wager at Arlington Park Saturday. However, trainer Rebecca Maker, a developing star on her own, expected the chestnut daughter of Mt. Livermore to run well if she got the chance.
When Barr Three LLC's Kate the Great was scratched from the body of Saturday's featured Reluctant Guest Handicap, Dancing With Me drew in off the also eligible list.
"I was so happy to draw in," said Ms. Maker Sunday morning as she assured that Dancing With Me came out of Saturday's effort in good order. "We went about our business preparing her as if she was going to run and I prayed that something good would happen. When they told me Saturday morning that she had gotten in the race we were ready.
"I expected her to run well," said Maker, who was recording the first stakes victory of her career. "She carried quite a bit of weight in her last race (a winning effort at Churchill Apr. 27). It was good to get in lighter Saturday (113). It worked out well for us. I was especially pleased to win that race for Ted Taylor. He is an attorney from Birmingham, Alabama, and was the first owner to send me horses on my own. He has shown me complete support. I've got four horses here for him."
Maker, 30, an attractive blonde from rural Michigan, began her career as an assistant to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas but has also worked for Dallas Stewart and Todd Pletcher before striking out on her own a little over a year ago.
"I grew up around show horses," she said, "switched to race horses while I was in college and was hooked right away. When I started on my own a year ago last April most of the horses I got were 'project' horses or horses that were going to take some time to develop and needed a year or so to come around the right way. I've waited patiently with them, and now they are starting to shine. We finished third (beaten a neck and a nose at 12-1) in the seventh race at Churchill Saturday with a horse named Captain Nicholas.
"We'll see how Dancing With Me comes out of her race yesterday and make plans from there," said Maker. "Running her back here at a mile on the grass would be my first choice."
Interestingly enough, the Maker-trained General Lee, owned by Dogwood Stable, draws into Sunday's ninth race of the day, also to be run over the Arlington turf course.
Two years ago veteran Chicago horseman Gene Cilio won two stakes races on Prairie State Festival Day at Arlington Park.
Saturday Cilio began to organize another assault for the 2003 Festival, which will offer six stakes races restricted to Illinois-breds here on June 21.
R'n R Breeders' Act of War captured Saturday's sixth race in preparation for the $75,000 Cardinal Handicap at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass that day, and Pete Stamas, Marovich Ent. LLC & Crown's Way Farm's Soccory finished second by a neck in the Reluctant Guest 'Cap, a prelude to her start in the $75,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap for fillies and mares on the turf.
"Both horses came out of their races yesterday very well," said Cilio Sunday morning, eagerly anticipating the Prairie State Festival once again. "I'm also pointing Roy's Trigger toward the Springfield (for 3-year-olds), Gracility toward the Isaac Murphy (a sprint for fillies and mares) and a couple of 3-year-old fillies for the Purple Violet."
Quality racing and the excitement of a $1 million guaranteed Pick 6 wager helps CDSN celebrate Memorial Day weekend.
In Chicago, 11 older horses go to the post in the $48,300 Mister Gus Stakes over Arlington Park's world famous grass course on Monday, while in Louisville, 2-year-olds take center stage in the Grade III Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes at Churchill Downs. In South Florida, the Grade III Memorial Day Handicap is offered at Calder Race Course.
However, in Southern California, Hollywood Park offers the first $1 million guaranteed Pick 6 of the summer season as well as its Memorial Day Festival including such races as the Grade I Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap for turf-favoring fillies and mares, the Grade I Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile on the grass, and the Grade II Lazaro D. Barrera Memorial Stakes.
Leading jockey Curt Bourque had a riding double Saturday to move two in front in the jockey standings. The Louisiana-born reinsman took the sixth aboard Clay, Farmer & WinStar Farm's Thunderstorm for trainer Elliott Walden and the seventh on Act of War for Cilio.
Apprentice jockey Cruz Contreras also had two wins on Saturday's program, both in nine-furlong races where horsemen were able to take the most advantage of his seven-pound weight allowance. Contreras won the third with Par Racing Stable's Hide and Peek for trainer Jerry Gryczewski and the fourth with Doyle D. Hayt's Crows for conditioner Jimmy DiVito.
Veteran reinsman Shane Laviolette was the third jockey to record a riding double here Saturday, winning the fifth with Terrence M. Brown's Distinctive Mr. B for David Hinsley and the nightcap with Wayne Wiarda's Donald Do Right for Carl Bigelow.
CDSN racing fans wanting a tune-up for Monday's $1 million dollar guaranteed Pick 6 at Hollywood Park could explore the Churchill Downs Pick 6 Sunday, which offers a carryover of $133,002 going into the day's action which begins with the fifth race at the Twin Spires oval.
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