|Arlington Park Barn Notes 8/9/03
In today's notes:
How unfortunate was Paolini's trip in last year's Arlington Million when the Mrs. Carde Ostermann-Richter color bearer finished sixth, beaten less than a length for all of it?
"I was making a good run coming into the straight," said a very disappointed jockey Andreas Suborics, moments after the 2002 renewal of Arlington's Grade I centerpiece event. "But the field was so packed I had no place to run. (Another horse) came over on me and I had no place to run the last two furlongs. I couldn't move. I got within a length of the winner and had no place to go. I couldn't jump over them. I still had a lot of horse."
However, the German-bred Paolini has returned from his European base to Arlington Park, arriving Friday to compete in Arlington Million XXI, now a week away on Aug. 16. Once again, Bianca Sieling, the native of Bremen who is exercise rider and groom for Paolini, traveled with the son of Lando. Sieling came to Chicago with Paolini last year and with the 2001 Arlington Million winner Silvano two years ago.
"We could see how he was traveling behind the winner," said Sieling, recalling last year's Million. "The jockey had his hands full and nearly clipped heels with the winner, and there is a picture of the finish that shows how he was sitting almost straight up in the saddle."
Paolini, who was forced very wide outside the field to finish eighth in his last trip to the post in the Group I Prince of Wales's Stakes June 18 at Royal Ascot, had a better trip in his start before that in the Group I Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong at Sha Tin April 27. That day he finished a close third beaten less than two lengths despite being rank early.
"He's a horse that has a mind of his own," said Sieling, who probably knows Paolini's contrary personality better than anyone. "He likes to do things his way."
Eduardo Pedroza, who has been aboard Paolini in both his starts this year, has been engaged once again for the Arlington Million and will arrive with trainer Andreas Wohler on Monday in time to supervise an easy once-around-the-oval exercise that day.
Mrs. Susan McCarthy's Kaieteur, who arrived at Arlington Friday following an international equine charter from Amsterdam to O'Hare International Airport, is primed for an engagement in the Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 16.
In his most recent trip to the post July 5, Kaieteur was settled in mid-pack in Great Britain's Group I Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, commenced a rally with a quarter of a mile to run and was up to gain the third position while beaten just over two lengths by the winner.
"He's better when he runs on the pace," said Wendy McNally, the assistant to trainer Brian Meehan who traveled with Kaieteur this trip and came to Arlington Park last year with the Meehan-conditioned Freefourinternet. "The jockey who rode Kaieteur that day (in the Coral-Eclipse) had never ridden him before. I'm not sure he could have beaten the winner, but he might have finished closer than he did and made a very good run.
"This is an improving horse," said McNally, "and he has been getting better in each race he has run this year. However, his best race was last year, when he won Germany's Group I Bayerisches Zuchtrennen in Munich on a left-handed course, which he will have again in the Arlington Million."
McNally, who was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after returning to Europe following the 2002 Arlington Million, was away from her beloved horses for more than six months while undergoing chemotherapy treatments with an experimental drug called Mylotarg, and is quick to endorse its merits.
"Actually, I've been feeling quite well," said McNally, a native of Sussex who has been back at work about three months with the leukemia now in remission. "Bringing this horse here to Arlington for this race has been my goal. I consider him to be part of my therapy. It may seem strange to put a horse ahead of husband and family, but this horse is special. It may seem like a fairy tale for me to come here to try and win this race with him, but racing is full of fairy tales, isn't it?"
Honor in War, winner of the Grade III Arlington Handicap, final Chicago prep for the Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 16, breezed a half-mile in :54 2/5 over the Arlington Park turf course Saturday morning with veteran Illinois reinsman Ray Sibille in the irons.
The four-furlong move over a course rated "yielding" was in preparation for Honor in War's upcoming engagement in Arlington Million XXI and was accomplished with the "dogs" up well out from the rail.
"He did good," said Randy Martin, Honor in War's assistant trainer in charge of the day-to-day operations of conditioner Paul McGee's Chicago string. "We didn't ask him for much. We just wanted to stretch his legs and get a useful work into him. The 'dogs' were way out from the rail and he seems to have come out of the work just fine."
Honor in War, who won the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day, May 3, will be attempting to accomplish the same Turf Classic-Million double that Juddmonte Farms' Beat Hollow fulfilled last season. The 4-year-old colt is a Kentucky-bred son of the top turf sire Lord At War and is owned by 3rd Turn Racing Stable LLC, a group of Louisville natives headed by former NFL offensive lineman Will Wolford.
"He went fantastic," said jockey Sibille shortly after the move. "He's a good as he can be right now, and he's never been beaten over this course."
Honor in War's jockey for the Arlington Million had not been decided as of Saturday morning. David Flores, who rode him in the Arlington Handicap, has been engaged to ride Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Sulamani in the Million.
Paul Tonderum's Sharky's Review heads a field of nine fillies and mares in Sunday's $45,000 Tosmah Handicap at Arlington Park.
The 5-year-old mare, fourth in the $125,000 Iowa Distaff Breeders' Cup Stakes in her last start July 11 at Prairie Meadows, will shoulder the starting top weight of 117 pounds in Sunday's nine-furlong feature and be ridden by Carlos Silva.
Jockey Corey Lanerie, the most recent arrival in this season's Arlington Park jockey colony, had a riding double Friday, winning the third race aboard Paul A. Lichtefeld & Jack D. Stewart's Captain's Daughter for trainer Hal Wiggins, and coming back in the seventh astride Frank C. Calabrese's Ziada for conditioner Wayne Catalano.
Jockey Curt Bourque also rode two winners on Friday's Arlington program, taking the sixth race with Dare To Dream Stable #8 LLC's Western Rampage for trainer Rebecca Maker and the ninth aboard Dan C. Muckler & Jack Wolfner's Ballado's Baby for conditioner Jere R. Smith Sr.
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