|Arlington Park Barn Notes 06/26/03
In today's notes:
Nine evenly matched older horses are entered for Sunday's Grade III Hanshin Cup at Arlington Park, and Richard F. Rudolph, a pleasantly optimistic man by nature, might be one to figure he has twice as good a chance to win because he owns two of them.
The Spanky Broussard-trained coupling of Castlewood, a 6-year-old altered son of Runaway Groom, and San Pedro, a 5-year-old entire son of Leo Castelli, both run in Rudolph's colors, and although the St. Louis-based accountant cannot be at Arlington Sunday, he is looking forward to coming later in the season. Castlewood breezed three-eighths in :37 3/5 Friday.
"I've owned Thoroughbreds for about 10 years on my own," said Rudolph, "and Castlewood and San Pedro are probably as good as I've ever had. When I started as an owner, I owned a number of claiming horses with Lou O'Brien that we raced on the Southern Illinois circuit, but I wanted to upgrade and have horses that were good enough to race in allowance races in Chicago. Fortunately, I've been able to do that.
"Castlewood is a funny old horse," said Rudolph, speaking of the bay who has won his last three in a row. "He seems to be getting better all the time. He might not be good enough to be in the Hanshin, but we also thought that a couple of years ago and he finished third.
"San Pedro may be the best horse I've ever had," Rudolph said. "He's won open stakes in New Orleans, and he's run in the (Grade II) New Orleans Handicap."
How did Rudolph, 63, born in Denver, get involved in owning Thoroughbreds?
"I got interested when I was in college," Rudolph said. "I was going to play golf with some of my friends one Saturday back in 1961, but it rained and we stayed home and watched the Kentucky Derby. Carry Back won it that year, and I said to myself, 'I'm going to be in that business one day.'
"I haven't ever had a horse good enough to run in the Kentucky Derby, but I have reached that first goal," said Rudolph, "and we like to breed the horses we run. I enjoy the racing, and my wife Nancy enjoys the breeding, and she does a good job of it."
Team Valor's European, one of two Irish-bred, Irish-campaigned sophomores set to go in Saturday's Grade II Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, schooled in Arlington Park's paddock Thursday prior to the sixth race of the afternoon, and the undefeated 3-year-old never turned a hair.
The handsome, stocky chestnut, who arrived in the United States Sunday after an Atlantic crossing by air from Amsterdam, remained relaxed throughout the schooling session, as he has since coming to his new home at Arlington Park just in time for the first heat wave of this Chicago summer.
"Nothing seems to bother him," said Shannon Ritter when asked if the heat had had an adverse affect on European's temperament, "and he hasn't missed a beat in the feed tub, either."
Ritter, a former jockey, has been an assistant to European's new trainer Elliott Walden for most of the last decade and is in charge of the day-to-day operations of Walden's Arlington string.
Saturday's Arlington Classic is the first segment of the Mid-America Triple, with all three legs held at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval. The mile and a sixteenth turf test will be followed by the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, at a mile and three-sixteenths July 20. The series concludes with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes August 16 as part of Arlington's International Festival of Racing on that day.
The $400,000 Secretariat, the Arlington Million and the $700,000 Beverly D., Illinois' only three Grade I races conducted annually, are the showcase events that highlight the one-day International Festival.
Ross Gilbert's Irish-bred Good Day Too, who arrived from a campaign in his native land to contest Saturday's Grade II Arlington Classic, may be a formidable challenger if he has brought his inheritance with him.
Good Day Too is a son of Danetime, currently in second position among the leading second crop sires in Europe. Danetime is a son of Danehill.
Two other sons of Danehill, Danehill Dancer and Desert King, are currently first and second respectively among the leading third crop sires in Europe.
Arlington Park introduces the 'Corona Summer Party' beginning this Saturday, where Arlington guests can enjoy live Caribbean music, sun, Corona and a festive party atmosphere in the Park area.
Saturday's band is "rhumbuzzz," featuring new Arlington Park bugler Bonny Brown, the leader of the band.
Other bands scheduled are the "Tom Carey Band" on July 5, "Sidewinders" on July 19, "Rico" on July 26, and "The Twenty" on August 2.
The Corona Summer Party continues on most Saturdays in July, and includes the chance to win a pair of tickets and transportation from Arlington Park to the August 23 Jimmy Buffett Concert at the Tweeter Center.
Jockeys Curt Bourque and Eddie Razo, and trainer Tony Mitchell will be the featured guests on Saturday's "Breakfast At Arlington" program, which runs from 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Arlington television personality Christine Gabriel and Arlington announcer John G. Dooley serve as co-hosts on the program once again.
Bourque, a close second in the jockey's standings through Thursday, had a riding double Thursday at Arlington to move within three wins of defending champion Rene Douglas. Bourque's wins came in the sixth aboard Miles Childers & L.T.B. Inc.'s Law Review for trainer Bernie Flint and in the finale astride Stop That Dancer, owned by Sidney L. Port Trust and trained by Mickey Goldfine.
Razo, fourth in the jockey's standings through Thursday, rode a "hat trick" last Sunday and had a riding double last Saturday during Prairie State Festival Day at Arlington.
Mitchell saddled Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Summer Mis to win the $84,550 Isaac Murphy Handicap on Prairie State Festival Day, and also trained Otto's Julie's Prize to finish second in the $86,450 Purple Violet.
Jockey Marlon St. Julien had a riding double Thursday, winning the opener on Bruno J. Preski's Easy to Please for trainer Tom Swearingen and the fifth aboard Pat Greco & Vince Bernardi's Ravalli Girl for trainer Jere R. Smith Sr.
Sunday's Pepsi Family Day theme is "On The Farm," featuring performances by "Those Funny Little People," who sing and dance to popular country tunes in a family-oriented mini-musical production including comedy and audience participation.
Sunday's Junior Jockey Club event features a starting gate tour.
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