|Arlington Park Barn Notes 07/16/03
In today's notes:
Robert B. & Beverly J. Lewis's Race for Glory, making the first start of his career Sunday, showed the potential to fulfill the destiny of his name when recording a facile six-length tally at Arlington Park.
Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Race for Glory dashed the five furlong distance in :57.87, fastest time of the meeting at the distance when winning his career debut.
"He's been telling us (in morning works) that he was everything he was cracked up to be and he didn't let us down," said an ebullient Greg Falk, assistant to Lukas and in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Arlington Park string. "He had two horses pressing him in the outside the whole way, but he stayed relaxed and then just pricked his ears and drew away.
"I think this is just the tip of the iceberg," said Falk of the son of Cape Town out of the Slew's Royalty mare Charming Gal. "He's a nice horse."
Arlington Park's small but select field in Saturday's Grade II Washington Park Handicap received an additional boost of quality with the addition of Susan & John Moore's Iron Deputy, two and a half-length winner of Belmont's Grade II Brooklyn Handicap at last asking June 14.
In the Brooklyn, run at a mile and an eighth, Iron Deputy led every step of the way, which would seemingly make him a formidable rival for Stronach Stables, Inc.'s Phantom Light, the Canadian invader who also prefers the front end.
Prior to the Brooklyn, Iron Deputy won by an allowance race by 11¼ lengths May 4 at Aqueduct when leading in all but the first strides, and because Adele Dilschneider & Claiborne Farm's Flatter, another Washington Park contestant, also appears more comfortable on the front end, a legitimate speed duel seems set for Saturday's headliner.
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, the starting highweight Washington Park contestant who came from off the pace to capture to capture Churchill's Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap June 14, might have the perfect running style for the Washington Park 'Cap, which with its $400,000 purse will be the richest race offered to date during Arlington's present season.
However, Perfect Drift must shoulder 120 pounds Saturday and carry the package over the mile and three-sixteenths distance, while in with 115 pounds is Patricia Pavlish's Aeneas, who has that same late-running style and is likely to be somewhat overlooked in the wagering.
Tom Fedro, Darrell & Sadie Brommer's Keeping the Gold will attempt to extend her victory skein to four in the $50,000 Top Corsage Stakes, Saturday's supporting feature at Arlington Park, but Ross S. Gilbert's Good Day Too, an Irish import who finished third in the Grade II Arlington Classic, will not start in Sunday's Grade II American Derby at the Northwest suburban Chicago oval.
These were two of several updates from Arlington trainer Chris Block's barn Wednesday morning.
"She's definitely stepping up here in open company," said Block, when speaking of Keeping the Gold, who captured the Prairie State Festival's Purple Violet Stakes June 21 when racing in a stakes restricted to Illinois-breds. "However, she's been training well and this seems like the most logical next step for her."
Less positive was Block's update on Good Day Too, the European campaigned sophomore who came to the United States for his first American start last month and finished third in the Arlington Classic, first leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple.
"He has some developed some ankle trouble," said Block, when speaking of the European import who originally was supposed to run in Sunday's Grade II American Derby, second leg of the Triple. "It's not career threatening, but he needs some time off and will probably come back next year."
Also, Team Block's Mystery Giver, Illinois Horse of the Year in 2002, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 Sunday morning and will be pointed for the Grade II Arlington Handicap July 26, Block advised.
Defending Arlington jockey champion Rene Douglas had a riding double Sunday, winning the opener aboard Gary & Beth Leverton's Wild About Rachel for trainer Frank Kirby before coming back with his win on Race for Glory.
Veteran reinsman Eddie Razo also posted a double Sunday, winning the fourth on Gordon W. & Sharon Bredeson's Steersman for Moises Yanez and returning to the winner's circle in the fifth astride the Sally Schu-trained Warbib, owned by Starlex Farm.
Groom of the Week is Maribel Martinez of the Joel Berndt Stable.
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