|Arlington Park Barn Notes 05/30/03
In today's notes:
Team Block's Big Bold Sweep, who came from just off the pace to capture Thursday's finale by two lengths, returned in obvious distress for about 10 minutes after his winning effort but quickly recovered thanks to a team effort by caring horsemen.
"He's okay," said trainer Chris Block of Big Bold Sweep Friday morning during training hours. "It took us a little while to get his heart rate back to normal but everything turned out all right. He's a little tired this morning, but other than that he's completely recovered."
A contingent of volunteers splashed Big Bold Sweep with buckets of water to keep him mobile during the immediate moments after the race, and eventually the Illinois-bred was able to walk back to Block's barn under his own power.
Among those joining trainer Chris Block in ministering to the 3-year-old gelding were veteran jockey Chris Emigh, aboard Big Bold Sweep for his winning effort, Arlington outrider Michael "Shane" Von Schriltz, and Arlington valet Cipriano Contreras.
"I was really impressed with the way all three of them helped out," said Block, "and I'm very grateful to them. That was very nice. They all showed a lot of class. Chris even came back to the barn later that night to make sure the horse was okay."
A "Beginner's Day" program for Arlington Park guests new to the sport of Thoroughbred racing begins its second season this Saturday with an expanded all-day format.
CBS2's Howard Sudberry and Arlington Park television personality Christine Gabriel will host a formal seminar from 12:30 to 1 p.m. in the Starting Gate Theatre, but Daily Herald handicapper Joe Kristufek will be available throughout the afternoon to assist those with questions who are looking for additional information on the sport.
Among the highlights of Saturday's Beginner's Day will be a chance (following a drawing for 10 people selected) for guests to have their picture taken as part of the winner's circle ceremonies after the second race of the day.
Paddock tours will also be held after the fourth and possibly the fifth race of the day, and a trip to the rail to learn how to read the tote board will also be part of the activities.
Kristufek will handicap most of the afternoon's races while horses for that particular race are in the paddock. Lessons will also be offered on how to use the self-service terminals (SSTs) at Arlington, and staffers will be available throughout the afternoon to answer specific questions.
The Dan Poprawski family of Cicero had an opportunity for a rare Thoroughbred/Harness Racing Daily Double Thursday at Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course.
Both horses, owned entirely or partially by members of the Poprawski family, finished fourth in their respective encounters, so while neither visited the winner's circle, they both earned a paycheck.
The Thoroughbred Idarado, owned by Dax Poprawski in partnership with Joanne Miller, finished fourth in Arlington's second race Thursday afternoon, while his father Dan Poprawski's Free Mack came home fourth in Hawthorne's 10th race Thursday night.
Veteran reinsman Rene Douglas, Arlington Park's defending jockey champion for the last two years, had a riding triple on Thursday's program to move one win behind current leading jockey Curt Bourque, who was winless Thursday afternoon. Douglas's first win came in the third race aboad Vanessa Ernspiker's Chi Town Slew for trainer Garry Simms. The Panamanian-born rider returned to the winner's circle astride Sweet Baby Jane, owned by WinStar Farm LLC and conditioned by Elliott Walden, and concluded his "hat trick" in the seventh for trainer Frank Kirby with Triple R Racing & Hondo Ranch Inc.'s Color Me Sad.
A racing reminder: CDSN offers an "All-Stakes" Pick 3 Saturday beginning with Calder's $50,000 Royal Glint Stakes at 4:25 p.m. CDT, continuing with Churchill's $100,000 Louisville Handicap at 4:32 p.m., and concluding with Arlington's $75,000 Real Delight Stakes at Arlington Park seven minutes later.
Another racing reminder: The first "Breakfast at Arlington" program of the 2003 season takes place from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Arlington television personality Christine Gabriel and Arlington announcer John G. Dooley co-host the program once again this year. New Arlington Park president Cliff Goodrich, veteran Arlington reinsman Larry Sterling Jr. and new Arlington trainer Rebecca Maker are slated as guests.
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