|Arlington Park Barn Notes 07/18/03
In today's notes:
Legendary Irish trainer Dermot Weld arrived in Chicago from The Emerald Isle Thursday night in time to breeze the European-campaigned Evolving Tactics, owned by Moyglare Stud, over Arlington Park's grass course Friday morning in preparation for Sunday's Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's.
Weld, Ireland's all-time leading conditioner who has well documented past success in Arlington's American Derby, supervised the Irish-bred Evolving Tactics' three-eighths move, accomplished in :40 4/5 with the "dogs" up.
Last year Weld brought Moyglare's Jazz Beat across the Atlantic to finish second in the American Derby, middle jewel of Arlington's Mid-America Triple. Following that runner-up finish, Weld returned Jazz Beat to Ireland, but brought him back to Chicago four weeks later to finish second once again in the Grade I Secretariat, final leg of the Mid-America Triple.
Three years ago, Weld shipped Highland Farms et al.'s Pine Dance from Ireland to win the American Derby. Pine Dance made the pace in the 2000 Secretariat, but tired from those efforts to finish eighth.
Evolving Tactics last went to the post in the listed Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot June 19 and finished third beaten less than three lengths despite a troubled trip. Before that the entire son of Machiavellian was ninth in the Group I Irish Two Thousand Guineas at The Curragh May 24.
Most recently underlining Weld's intercontinental shipping success was a score by Joseph Higgins' Dimitrova in the $750,000 American Oaks at Hollywood Park two weeks ago. That daughter of Swain had finished third beaten only three-quarters of a length in the Group I Irish One Thousand Guineas May 24.
European-based jockey Patrick Smullen, who will ride Evolving Tactics in Sunday's $250,000 American Derby, is due to arrive in Chicago Saturday evening.
Nelson Bunker Hunt's Souris, winner of Arlington's Top Flight Stakes last year and third in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie, returns to Arlington Park as a sophomore to vie for favoritism with Tom Fedro, Darrell & Sadie Brommer's Keeping the Gold, a winner of her last three straight, in Saturday's $52,400 Top Corsage Stakes.
The one-mile test for 3-year-old fillies -- one of two supporting features on the program headlined by the Grade II Washington Park Handicap -- has attracted six entrants, and if the field remains intact, the race will return a $31,440 share of the purse to the owners of the winner.
Souris, trained by Steve Asmussen, was second in a seven-furlong allowance race at Churchill Downs in her last trip to the post on July 4. Before that, the daughter of Defrere was the runner-up in the $150,000 Stonerside Stakes at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie May 24, and won the $75,000 Wishing Well Stakes at Delta Downs earlier in the year.
Keeping the Gold, who made or forced the pace in the $86,450 Purple Violet Stakes in her most recent appearance June 21 on her way to a one-length tally, had easily graduated from "non-winners of one other than" company with a seven and a half-length score June 1. Both those wins by the Chris Block trainee came at Arlington Park.
Souris carries 121 pounds in the Top Corsage, including leading rider Rene Douglas, while Keeping the Gold shoulders 123, most of which will be made up by second leading rider Eddie Razo.
Facing those two fillies are Stevestan Stables' Shot Gun Favorite, 119, Pat Day up; Superior Thoroughbreds' Elusive Road, 115, Frank Lovato Jr. aboard; Carolyn Lanhem's Hey Rita, 117, Larry Sterling Jr. in the irons; and Iron Horse Racing LLC's Semifinal, 115, Craig Perret astride.
Australian-born conditioner Murray Johnson, who will saddle Stonecrest Farm's favored Perfect Drift in Saturday's featured $400,000 Washington Park Handicap, richest race of the season to date, will also send Stonecrest's Proven Cure to the post three races earlier in the Arlington Park's $45,000 Smile Handicap.
Others in the Smile, a five-furlong grass test, are the Alan Drey-owned coupling of Bold Pilot and Miners Gamble, Grace Turnbow's Man o'Rhythm, Anthony Carolan & M C Stable's Mighty Beau, Fly Racing LLC's Skeet, Ernie T. Poulos Racing Stable Inc.'s Rach Three, Terrence M. Brown's Distinctive Mr. B and Thunderhead Farm's Sand Ridge.
Joey M. Camardo's Shed Some Light, an 11-year-old gelding, won Thursday's second race for the 20th win of his career during the 100th start of his career. Shed Some Light was ridden by E. T. Baird and trained by Camardo, who also trained the runner-up J. B.'s Ghost, owned by Dino Dizeo and Dan Jelinek for an all-Camardo exacta.
Jockey Eddie Razo, second in the current Arlington Park jockey standings, had a riding double Thursday, winning the sixth race aboard Virginia Inman's Distinguishable for trainer Charlie Livesay, and the eighth astride Ajedrez, an Argentine-bred import owned by Frank C. Calabrese and trained by Wayne Catalano.
The Calabrese/Catalano tandem also posted a Thursday double with a score in the seventh with Golden Glacken, ridden by leading rider Rene Douglas.
Saturday's Corona Summer Party band will be "Rico."
Sunday's Junior Jockey Club theme will feature an equine dentist.
Sunday's Pepsi Family Day theme is "Get Excited About Science."
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