|Arlington Park Barn Notes 07/2/03
In today's notes:
When Starlex Farm's Private Son breezed five furlongs in 1:01 a week ago on the Arlington Park turf course with the 'dogs' up, trainer Sally Schu went ahead with plans to run him in the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf at mile and a half over Arlington's grass this Saturday.
"I was very pleased," said Schu after the work. "I was thinking of waiting to run him in the (Grade III) Arlington Handicap (at a mile and a quarter July 26), but now I think we're right on target."
Last season, Private Son finished second in the Stars and Stripes beaten only a neck by John Chandler's Cetewayo, a proven 12-furlong grass specialist. However, Sally Schu's trainee is more versatile, and comes into this year's renewal off a winning effort at a mile and an eighth here June 13.
"Working like he did was a big thing in deciding to go in Saturday," said Schu Wednesday morning while speaking in her tack room at Barn 9C. "I usually like to wait a little longer between his starts, but he came out of that work very well and he seems to be really mentally focused right now. It's very exciting having a horse like this, so we're going to enjoy this and see what happens.
"We'll see how he runs Saturday before we decide on the Arlington Handicap or the Arlington Million," Schu said. "The Million is six weeks later, which is a little longer than we usually wait between starts, but the Arlington Handicap is in three weeks and that's a little quicker than we usually like. We'll see how much Saturday's race takes out of him."
In 2002, Private Son ran back in the Arlington Handicap and finished fourth, beaten only a length for all of it. The Kentucky-bred then passed on the Arlington Million in favor of the $60,000 The Bart Stakes the next afternoon and was up in the late stages to win it, despite its speed favoring mile and a sixteenth distance.
Frances J. O'Toole's Dr. Brendler, who ships in to Arlington Park on a Thursday morning flight from the East Coast for an engagement in Saturday's Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf, has been getting good lately, and another solid effort on Saturday could leave trainer Graham Motion with an interesting dilemma.
The 5-year-old Maryland homebred, named for a Chicago-based doctor who is a friend of the owner-breeder, began his recent improvement when going a mile and a half in an allowance race at Keeneland April 5 on a firm turf course.
Dr. Brendler (the horse) continued moving forward when winning the Grade II Citgo Dixie Handicap at Pimlico on Preakness Day, May 17, and was then a good third beaten less than two lengths in the Grade I Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day, June 7. Both of those latter efforts in traditional preps for the Arlington Million were contested on soft ground.
"I thought he ran a very courageous race last time," said Motion, speaking of the Manhattan Handicap. "He likes these marathon races and he likes soft turf, although he can handle firm going. We've finally figured out that he doesn't want to be close to the pace and he's been running well since.
"Unfortunately, by the time we figured all that out, the original nominations to the Arlington Million had closed," Motion said. "In retrospect, I wish we'd nominated him."
What happens if Dr. Brendler turns in another excellent performance in Saturday's Stars and Stripes? Would Dr. Brendler be supplemented to the Arlington Million?
"He'd have to run awfully well on Saturday," said Motion, "but it would be a nice problem to have."
Arlington Park's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular presented by LaSalle Bank on Friday at 9:30 p.m. will have some heavy ordnance.
In addition to 12 inch-and-a-half candles, other material used in the Spectacular will include 900 one-inch shells, 600 inch-and-a-half shells and 200 two-inch shells.
Chicago Bulls player Donyell Marshall attended the races Wednesday at Arlington.
Red Hot jockey Eddie Razo had a riding triple Sunday, winning the fifth on Frank C. Calabrese's My Calabrese for trainer Wayne Catalano, the Grade III Hanshin Cup with Richard L. Duchossois' Apt to Be for trainer Chris Block, and the finale astride Ajedrez for the Calabrese-Catalano tandem.
Calabrese and Catalano also had triples, using jockey Rene Douglas to win the third aboard Beautiful Crazy.
Groom of the Week this week is Laura Furtek of the Ron Goodridge Stable.
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