|Arlington Park Barn Notes 06/12/03
In today's notes:
The South African champion mare Ipi Tombe, who was born in Zimbabwe, has a Zulu name that translates to "where are the girls," and if her trainer Elliott Walden has his way she will run "where the girls are" during Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing Aug. 16.
"I don't have a decision right now, but I'm leaning toward the Beverly D.," said Walden Thursday morning while speaking over the phone from Churchill Downs. The Beverly D., Arlington's Grade I race restricted to fillies and mares, is run on the same day as the Grade I Arlington Million, and Ipi Tombe is also nominated to the centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season.
Ipi Tombe captured the Grade I Dubai Duty Free at Nad al Sheba March 29 while racing against males. The 5-year-old mare, now owned by Team Valor, WinStar Farm & Sunmark Partners, was recording her third straight stakes win at Nad al Sheba this year and her seventh straight victory. Last season, Ipi Tombe concluded her 2002 campaign with a win in the Grade I Vodacom Durban July Handicap, South Africa's premier race run at Greyville.
Walden breezed Ipi Tombe five furlongs a week ago over the grass at the Twin Spires oval and the bay accomplished the distance in 1:01 1/5.
"She's doing very well, and has been doing very well since she came to me April 4," said Walden. "Every time she steps on the race track she does well."
Incidentally, since Ipi Tombe's work, Walden has made a brief trip to Ireland, returning from The Emerald Isle Wednesday.
The Irish trip was on behalf of a 3-year-old colt named European, now owned by Team Valor. European was named Wednesday as a late nominee to the Grade II Arlington Classic. The first leg of the Mid-America Triple at Arlington, run June 28, will be followed by the Grade II American Derby July 20, and conclude with the Grade I Secretariat, run on the same afternoon as the Beverly D. and the Million.
Gary A. Tanaka's Ifyouprefersilver, a contestant in Saturday's Grade III Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap, won three straight races -- two of them stakes -- before being beaten 27 lengths when fourth in her last start in Hawthorne's Lady Hallie Handicap March 29.
"She scoped full of mucus after that race and her white cell count was way up," said Hilary Pridham, assistant to Ifyouprefersilver's trainer Mike Stidham. "She must have picked up something on her journey north from New Orleans to Hawthorne because we worked her at the Fair Grounds before she left and she scoped clean after that work.
"Whatever was wrong with her, she was fighting it all through the Keeneland meeting," Pridham said, "but she's in fine fettle now and back on schedule. Now we just have to hope she's good enough on Saturday."
Prior to disappointing at Hawthorne, Ifyouprefersilver sped to victory in the Chou Croute Handicap Feb. 22 at the Fair Grounds by nine and a quarter lengths while drawing off steadily in the stretch run. Before that the daughter of Silver Deputy had been a front-running victress in the Winter Solstice at Sam Houston last December 21. A month previously, she had come from off the pace to win by a neck in an allowance race at Churchill Downs on a sloppy track.
Ifyouprefersilver gets in Saturday's seven-furlong affair, the first graded stakes at Arlington Park this season, with 116 pounds and will be ridden by Frank Lovato Jr.
A T-shirt giveaway to the first 5,000 paid admissions highlights Sunday's Father's Day Program at Arlington Park, but it is also the Junior Jockey Club's Father's Day craft day, giving Junior Jockey Club members the opportunity to make a placemat for their Dads, with all the supplies needed provided by the Junior Jockey Club in the Park Area.
Other activities, besides the Pepsi Family Day regular attractions of pony rides, a petting zoo, face painters and a caricature artist, will include a "live" remote broadcast by The Score (WSCR) in which one lucky fan will win the ultimate sports package of four tickets to the Western Open, four tickets to a Cubs game, four tickets to a White Sox game, four tickets to a Bears pre-season game, four passes to a Chicagoland golf course, and four tickets to the Arlington Million. Hall of Famer Gale Sayers will conduct a one-hour autograph session to be conducted during the live broadcast.
Also US-99, the Chicago Country Radio Station, will be at Arlington Park in the Park area near the band stage and will be distributing four packs of tickets to their signature country music concert, Country Thunder.
Jockey Rene Douglas, defending jockey champion at Arlington Park, is somewhat sore and bruised following a spill in Wednesday's last race but will return to riding shortly, according to his agent Dennis Cooper.
Douglas, who cancelled off his mounts Thursday, suffered his injuries after his mount Andy's Jet, owned and trained by Steve Asmussen, fell shortly after the start of Wednesday's ninth race, throwing Douglas to the ground. Andy's Jet galloped off without apparent injury.
Earlier in the day, Douglas had ridden three winners. He won the second race with Hugh H. Robertson & Regatta Stables' If Six Was Nine for trainer Robertson, came right back in the third with a win aboard Nelson Bunker Hunt's Red Azalea for Asmussen; and completed his triple with a tally astride Thunderhead Farms' Yalta for conditioner Don Von Hemel.
Congratulations to Sharon Calandra of Human Resources, who became the proud grandmother of Brynn McKenna Larson on Wednesday. Brynn was born at 3:33 p.m. at seven pounds, 15 ounces and 21½ inches long. Mother, father, children and grandparents are all doing great.
Friday's band at the Miller Lite Party In The Park will be "The Only Sons."
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