|Arlington Park Barn Notes 06/4/03
In today's notes:
Out of My Way, the 6-year-old gelding who won Sunday's $40,000 Zen Handicap for owners Pete Cappas, Founders Group & Crown's Way, returned from that neck tally in good order and will now be pointed for the $75,000-added White Oak Handicap as part of Arlington Park's upcoming Prairie State Festival June 21.
A total of six stakes races restricted to horses registered in the Illinois program will be contested at Arlington that day as part of Illinois' celebration of its heritage, and Cilio, who won two of those stakes on Prairie State Festival Day two years ago, is planning another multi-faceted assault that afternoon.
"I have Act of War for the Cardinal," said Cilio of the R'n R Breeders' color bearer, "Soccory for the Lincoln Heritage, Roy's Trigger for the Springfield, and Gracility for the Isaac Murphy. I'll point both Invader and Octagon for the Purple Violet."
Act of War, a length and three-quarters the best in an allowance race at nine furlongs on the main track May 24, returns to the grass for the $75,000-added Cardinal Handicap, run at a mile and a sixteenth. Soccory, owned by Pete Stamas, Marovich Ent. LLC & Crown's Way Farm, was second by a neck in the grassy Reluctant Guest Handicap that same afternoon. She will remain on the lawn for the $75,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth.
R'n R Breeders II's Roy's Trigger, pointing for the $75,000 Springfield Stakes at one mile, was fourth in the $40,000 Hi Oak Silver Handicap at Arlington May 18.
The $75,000-added Isaac Murphy Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs is the target for Crown's Way Farm's Gracility, second by a length and a quarter in Saturday's $40,000 Your Ladyship Handicap. The Purple Violet Stakes, for 3-year-old fillies at one mile, is the goal for both Crown's Way Farm's Octagon, a four and a half-length victress last Friday, as well as Pete Stamas & Crown's Way Farm's Invader, fourth in the finale on the Memorial Day program.
"I'd say the Purple Violet is my weakest division," said Cilio. "That filly of Tony Mitchell's (Richard Otto Enterprises' Julie's Prize) looks to be a standout in there. But all the others should be right there in their respective races. They're all doing well."
Cilio, of course, is also off to a fast start at Arlington. He won two races last Friday on his 74th birthday, equaling a feat he also accomplished when celebrating B-Day 73.
"It's been a real good meeting so far," said Cilio, "especially since three or four of my best horses are on the shelf right now."
Two days after defending Arlington Park jockey champion Rene Douglas pulled even with Curt Bourque, the early leader this year, Bourque drew away again with a riding triple on Sunday's program to keep the current leading jockey race kindled as the most exciting contest in recent seasons.
Bourque won the fifth race aboard Frank C. Calabrese's Law Review for leading trainer Wayne Catalano, returned in the seventh astride Calabrese's Valiant Anna for the defending trainer champion to give that owner-trainer combination a double for the day, and made his own afternoon a "hat trick" with a third tally on Out of My Way for Cilio.
Conditioner David Hinsley recorded a training double in the Daily Double Sunday, saddling Richard Perkins Afleet Loyd in the opener with Carlos Marquez Jr. in the irons and coming right back take the second race of the day with Terrence Brown & Russell Lawson's Go On Forever with Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires aboard.
Fires -- Arlington Park' all-time leading reinsman who is off to a fast start himself with eight wins at the meeting -- completed his own riding double with a score aboard Asiel Stable's Native Trinket in the third race for conditioner Richard Hazelton, Arlington's all-time leading trainer.
The first 2,000 fans of Funny Cide attending Arlington Park Saturday to watch that gelding's bid for the Triple Crown via simulcast can receive a free poster of their hero winning this year's Kentucky Derby. Funny Cide, who drew post position #4 for Saturday's Belmont Stakes, has been installed as the even-money choice for the mile and a half Grade I event from New York.
On Sunday's Pepsi Family Day in the Park area at Arlington Park, break out the Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts for a Luau-themed afternoon. Kids can learn how to hula with on-stage instruction from professional dancers, and the entire family will enjoy the Royal Polynesian Revue perform dances from the islands of Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji dressed in traditional costumes from those exotic locales.
Friday's band at the Miller Lite Party In The Park will be British Export, an award-winning Beatles tribute band.
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