|Arlington Park Barn Notes 06/8/03
In today's notes:
Apt to Be, owned by Arlington Park chairman Richard L. Duchossois, came out of his two and three-quarter-length victory in Saturday's $46,800 Dr. Fager Stakes in good order, trainer Chris Block reported Sunday morning.
"I'm going to nominate him to the (Grade III) Hanshin Cup (June 29)," said Block, "but he's a 6-year-old now so I'll wait and see how he comes up to the race and how tough the race comes up. The race is in 22 days, and that's just about right, and he loves to run a mile out of the chute here, so that's good, but I don't want to overmatch him. If the race comes up too tough I'll take a pass, but if he's training well and I feel he could be competitive, I might run him."
Block, who won two of the six Prairie State Festival races two years ago at Arlington Park, was asked what he had in mind for the upcoming series of $75,000-added stakes races restricted to Illinois-bred foals run on June 21.
"It looks like I'm going to try the Cardinal with Mystery Giver," Block said, speaking of the Cardinal Handicap at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass for 3-year-olds and up registered in the Illinois program. "I thought about the Sea o'Erin (Breeders' Cup Mile June 15) for him, but I think I'm going to take a pass on that. He likes a little bit more ground, and he's coming off a mile and a half race and I don't really like to cut him back all the way to one mile. Also, I didn't work him today (Sunday) because of the track condition. He'll get a couple of more breezes and if everything goes well we'll try him in the Cardinal."
Mystery Giver, owned by Team Block, won the 2002 edition of the Cardinal, a race Block also won in 2001 with Lin Grisham & Team Block's Reno Rumble.
"I'm just trying to find an allowance race for Reno Rumble," said Block of the 9-year-old gelding who was scratched out of the Mister Gus Memorial Day weekend and a claiming race mid-week after it was taken off the turf.
"We'll nominate Keeping the Gold to the Purple Violet," said Block, speaking of Tom Fedro, Darrell & Sadie Brommer's 3-year-old filly who won by seven and a half-lengths June 1, "but she'll have another breeze between now and then before we decide.
"He's Hammered ran kind of evenly the other day," said Block, speaking of the sophomore gelding owned by Fedro and the Brommers who finished second beaten three lengths in Thursday's finale, "but he's a possibility for the Springfield. He'll also get another breeze before we decide on that."
Sunday morning chapel services, a three-year-old dream of Arlington Park Chaplain Luis Peralta and the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, came to fruition Sunday morning in Arlington's Starting Gate Theatre.
The inaugural service, which lasted about 30 minutes, attracted more than two dozen members of the Arlington family and will be conducted every Sunday at 8:30 a.m. for Arlington employees, backstretch workers and racing fans.
"These services have been a dream of mine since I first came to Arlington three years ago," said Peralta, "and hopefully we will quickly outgrow the Starting Gate Theatre and have to find a larger place in which to conduct these services."
Assisting Peralta at Sunday's service was Kent Steiner of the Harvest Bible Chapel, musician Nancy Spitters, who founded the Hispanic Outreach program at that Bible Chapel off Rohlwing Road in Palatine, and Peralta's assistant Dennis Nelson.
Arlington television personality Christine Gabriel, an active contributor to the Race Track Chaplaincy at Arlington since its local inception in 2001, made introductory remarks just prior to Sunday's service.
This Saturday, the local Chaplaincy will hold a car wash from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Trackside Arlington Park, with proceeds to benefit the Race Track Chaplaincy of America. The car wash, which will have a rain date of June 28, is looking for volunteers 14 years old and upward.
Jockey Alfredo Juarez Jr., X-rayed following a spill aboard Lon Wiggins Racing Stable Inc.'s Naskramoon in Saturday's fifth race, was taken off his mounts Sunday but is expected to fulfill his riding engagements Wednesday.
Dream Walkin Farm's Cactus Ridge, winner of Saturday's sixth race, is the nom-de-course of Toby Covel. The popular country and western singer is more recognized by his middle name (and stage name) Toby Keith. Bret Calhoun is the trainer of Cactus Ridge, but the Oklahoma-born crooner had Thoroughbreds for many years with conditioner Kenny Smith. Veteran Randy Meier rode Cactus Ridge.
Sir Joe Kelly, owned by a partnership of Gordon, Gonzalez & Knapp and trained by Gust Zissides, surprised with a $71.40 straight mutuel in Saturday's seventh race. Namesake Joe Kelly, Arlington's recently retired bugler, was in attendance and participated in winner's circle ceremonies. Jockey Eddie Perez was up on Sir Joe Kelly.
Jockey E. T. Baird had a riding double Saturday, winning the fifth with David Ruffolo's Color by d'Or, who was saddled by Michele Boyce, and the eighth aboard Randall Russell's Lens Last Astro for that owner-trainer.
Barn of the Month for May was awarded to trainer Mary Zimmerman and will be presented Wednesday right after the first race of the afternoon.
Late nominations to the Grade II Arlington Classic, first leg of the Mid-America Triple, are due Wednesday.
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