|Arlington Park Barn Notes 07/3/03
In today's notes:
Trainer Laura de Seroux first saw Ballingarry, favorite for Saturday's Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf, eight months ago. Their introduction took place at Arlington Park on the Tuesday of Breeders' Cup week, shortly after Emmanuel de Seroux, Laura's husband, purchased Ballingarry for Chicago native Sidney L. Port, on behalf of the Port Trust, Naify & San Gabriel Investments.
Irish-bred Ballingarry had shipped from Ireland to win the Grade I Canadian International at Woodbine earlier in the fall for trainer Aidan O'Brien, returned to Europe, and then crossed the Atlantic again for his Breeders' Cup run in the silks of his new owners and new trainer.
De Seroux dismisses Ballingarry's seventh-place run in the Grade I John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf last fall, but likes him Saturday in the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf.
"All the shipping just proved too much for him last year," said de Seroux Thursday morning, speaking steps away from Ballingarry's stall in the Arlington Park Stakes Barn, "but I didn't have the advantage to see where I was with the horse at the time. After the Breeders' Cup, I took him back to California and decided to just walk him for a while. I have a bug rider working for me and I told everyone that this horse would do nothing but walk until he felt good enough to buck the bug rider off his back. I wasn't there to see it, but one day the bug rider just went flying. As soon as the horse did that, I put him back in training.
"This is a different horse than the one that was here last year," said de Seroux. "Like most sons of Sadler's Wells, he is a late developer. He is a bigger horse than he was last fall, and I think he's really just coming into his own.
"There are two things that made me decide to bring this horse back to Arlington for the Stars and Stripes," said de Seroux. "I wanted to bring the horse to Chicago to give Mr. Port a chance to see him run at home, and this is the perfect race for him on the calendar. The mile and a half is his best distance. We'll see how he does here, and maybe we'll take him to the (Grade I) Sword Dancer (Aug. 9) for his next start. I'm sure Mr. Port would enjoy a trip to Saratoga."
On Target Racing's Williams News won the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf three years ago, and returns for another run in the mile and a half grass test Saturday for trainer Al Stall Jr., who has conditioned the horse during his two most recent starts.
"He's doing fine," said Stall, speaking over the phone from Churchill Downs Thursday morning. "He worked at Churchill Tuesday on the grass, and shipped up to Arlington Wednesday.
"He has clearly lost a step," said Stall, when asked to evaluate 8-year-old Williams News' chances for a repeat win in the Stars and Stripes, "but he is a specialist at the distance, and at this point in his career we take things one step at a time.
"However, you have to throw his last race out," said Stall, speaking of the Grade III Louisville Handicap May 31. "Very rarely can you say that a horse lost all chance at the start in a mile and a half race, but I can say that about that day. He fell flat on his face and was absolutely eliminated, and he tore his foot up in the process. I watched the race in a state of shock."
Steve Sawatske's Ivan Jay Perry, who finished fourth in the Prairie State Festival's Cardinal Handicap June 21 but was placed third following a disqualification, is now set to go in Saturday's Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf.
"We're taking a shot," said trainer Harvey Vanier, speaking outside his tackroom in Arlington's Barn 15. "He's moving up a little bit, but there's nothing else in the book for him, and he's a big, long-striding horse. We'll see how he does."
Vanier was also able to update the status of Nancy A. Vanier & Lyda Williamson's Beret, who won her third straight race by three-quarters of a length Wednesday when going a mile on the turf. Vanier, incidentally, saddled Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Bee My Honey to finish second in the same race.
"I wish they had split it," said Vanier. "We'd have had one in each end and might have won both of 'em. Beret is no slouch. We think she's stakes quality. Time will tell. In the meantime, we're pointing her toward the (Grade III) Modesty (July 26)."
On Wednesday, veteran jockey Eddie Razo Jr. became the first jockey of the current Arlington Park season to post back-to-back riding triples.
After scoring a "hat trick" Sunday, Razo repeated with another triple Wednesday, winning the third race with Jim Edgar's Fighting Fever for trainer Tom Dorris, the fourth with Petschek and Arrigo's Call Me Loverboy for conditioner Dan Arrigo, and the sixth astride Nykaza, Spayer, Hughey and Diamond Racing Inc.'s Go For Puddin for trainer Leo Gabriel Jr.
Arlington Park guests on the Fourth of July may shake hands with a jockey dressed in silks as they pass through the gates for Arlington's America's Birthday program. Jockeys Ray Sibille and Marlon St. Julien will stand outside the gates to greet fans as they enter Arlington shortly before Friday's 3 p.m. first post time.
Apprentice jockey Tim Thornton had the first riding double of his career Wednesday, winning the fifth with Grace Turnbow's Red River Aggie for trainer Ron Goodridge and the finale on David Campbell's Saturday Sin for conditioner Christine Janks.
Starlex Stable's Private Son breezed three-eighths in :36 3/5 Thursday for trainer Sally Schu in advance of a start in Saturday's Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf.
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