|Arlington Park Barn Notes 07/6/03
In today's notes:
Port Trust, Naify & San Gabriel Investments' Ballingarry, the game half-length winner of Saturday's Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf at Arlington, left the local oval at 6:10 Sunday morning for a return flight from Chicago to California.
Ballingarry, an Irish-bred who won the Grade I Canadian International last fall, cooled out well at Arlington's Stakes Barn Saturday evening, according to trainer Laura de Seroux.
"He looks great," said de Seroux, when reached at the barn more than an hour after the completion of the Stars and Stripes. "He doesn't look like he's had a hard race at all. He scoped clean and he's eating right now. In fact, at the moment he's playing with his hay and loving it.
"This whole trip has been great," said de Seroux. "I love coming here."
Ballingarry, who finished seventh in the Grade I John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf at Arlington Park last October 26 on Breeders' Cup Day, achieved a good measure of redemption for majority owner Sidney L. Port, a native Chicagoan.
"In retrospect, I should never have run him in the Breeders' Cup," said de Seroux. "After two trips across the Atlantic, he was suffering from a jet lag effect. He just didn't run his race in the Breeders' Cup."
Although Ballingarry is nominated to the Grade I Arlington Million August 16, run at a mile and a quarter, de Seroux is pointing the Irish-bred grass specialist toward Saratoga's Grade I Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap August 9, contested at the mile and a half distance.
"A mile and a half is his best distance," de Seroux said, "and the race fits into our schedule perfectly. Also, as much as Mr. Port enjoys winning a race in his hometown, I'm sure he would also enjoy the chance for a trip to Saratoga."
Trainer Laura de Seroux is most noted as the conditioner of Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Azeri, the filly who was named 2002 Horse of the Year following her win in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Distaff at Arlington Park on Breeders' Cup Day last October.
While at Arlington Park late last week to prepare Port Trust, Naify & San Gabriel Investments' Ballingarry for his successful assault on the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf, de Seroux spoke somewhat regretfully of missing the Grade I San Juan Capisitrano Invitational Handicap with that Irish-bred colt.
Past renewals of the San Juan Capistrano were mentioned, including the 1969 running won by Petrone that involved the front-running filly Pink Pigeon making the early pace when facing male rivals.
"A filly running against the boys," de Seroux said, repeating the scenario. "It just doesn't work."
After being named Arlington Park's Jockey of the Month for June, veteran reinsman Eusebio Razo Jr. celebrated Saturday by riding four winners, becoming only the second jockey this season to accomplish that feat at Arlington.
Razo won the fourth race aboard Christopher West & John Mentz's Backseat Romance for trainer Pat Cuccurullo, came right back in the fifth with William K. and Suzanne Warren Jr.'s El Ruller for Tom Amoss, right back in the sixth (for an all-Razo Pick 3) with Barr H. Inman's Sheridan Lake and conditioner Charlie Livesay, and once more in the ninth astride Eusebio Razo's El Malicia for his owner-trainer father.
Razo, 37, is having the best session of his career at Arlington. The native of Mexico City has ridden 33 winners through Saturday's program, after having a respectable 39-win season at the local oval in 2002.
Razo began his riding career in his native country at 14, and won his first race in the United States in 1983.
"I'm riding the same way as I always have," said Razo of his recent hot streak. "It's just that the horses are running better."
"One of the reasons he's doing so well is because he works so hard in the mornings," said Razo's agent Lindy McDaniel.
"Eddie is a hard worker," said Razo's wife Doreen, who operates the Good Luck Farm in Long Grove, Illinois, where she educates young Thoroughbreds. "He's always around to help me. He's liable to come home after the races and jump on the John Deere and start mowing or help out with any other chores at the farm. He's multi-talented."
Razo was in third position in the jockey standing through Saturday, three behind Curt Bourque who is holding down the second spot, and 16 behind defending jockey champion and current leader Rene Douglas.
Barn of the Month for June at Arlington Park has been awarded to trainer Michele Boyce who will receive her honor in winner's circle ceremonies Wednesday.
Groom of the Week is Steve Cholity of trainer Eddie Cole's barn. Cholity will be given his award in paddock ceremonies Sunday.
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