|Arlington Park Barn Notes 8/21/03
In today's notes:
Peter Cappas, Founders Group & Crown's Way Farm's Out of My Way breezed three-eighths in :37 4/5 Thursday morning at Arlington Park in a final tune-up for Saturday's $100,000 Arlington Sprint at six furlongs.
"He's doing well," said trainer Gene Cilio of the Illinois-bred, whose last effort was at one mile. "It will be no problem for him to drop back to three-quarters."
In that last trip to the post in the $45,000 Play Fellow Handicap July 27, Out of My Way drew off early in that eight-furlong affair restricted to Illinois-breds, began to shorten stride in the late stages and was caught in the final jump to finish second by a nose.
"The jockey opened up too much," said Cilio when speaking of that most recent outing, "and he just got nailed at the wire. On Saturday, I would prefer that he lay just off the pace. The race came up tough, but for $100,000, you expect that. He's ready."
In his previous outing June 21, Out of My Way came from off the pace in the $84,150 White Oak Handicap to tally by three and a half lengths. Before that, the altered son of Jolie's Halo captured the $40,000 Zen Handicap here June 1 by a neck at seven-eighths, and won an allowance race here on opening day May 9 by four lengths. In both those outings Out of My Way was allowed to settle before challenging for command in the final furlong.
There have been six renewals of the Arlington Sprint to date, and trainer Paul McGee has won half of them.
Admittedly, McGee saddled the same horse to win those three runnings, and it's also true that David P. Holloway Racing Inc.'s Bet On Sunshine dead-heated with Kenneth Spraggins & Joseph Lombardo's Hunk of Class in the 1997 Sprint, but neither of those addendums diminish McGee's domination of Arlington's main event for speedsters run on an annual basis.
Now McGee is firing again Saturday, sending Amerman Racing LLC's Deer Lake to contest the seventh running of the Arlington Sprint.
"He's been a nice horse all along," said McGee, speaking over the phone from his Louisville headquarters, "and his best effort ought to put him right there at the wire. If he runs the same race back he ran last time, I give him an excellent chance."
McGee was speaking of Deer Lake's performance in allowance company here at six furlongs on July 25, when the 4-year-old colt broke in full stride to make all the pace and held sway late for a two-length tally. The son of the sprint sire Meadowlake was returning from a five and a half-month layoff that day, after finishing fourth in Gulfstream's Grade III Deputy Minister Handicap in February.
"We took a chip out of his ankle after that race," said McGee in reference to the South Florida outing. "Obviously, it affected his performance.
"Deer Lake has always been a classy individual," McGee said. "He likes to strike a pose, and he's relatively gentle for a stud horse, fairly laid back. He really acts more like an old gelding than a stud."
One of Deer Lake's good outings came last October 4 at Arlington over a sloppy track, and McGee was asked if he would be rooting for a sloppy surface.
"I don't think a sloppy track would hurt him," McGee said. "It would be a matter of looking at the others in the race and seeing how they did over that kind of going."
Friday's band for Miller Lite Party In The Park will be the Kevin Purcell & Nightburners band, an alternative rock band.
Saturday's final Corona Summer Party band will be the Kimi Hayes Band.
Leading rider Rene Douglas and trainer Hugh Robertson combined for a jockey-trainer double Wednesday, winning the fourth aboard One More Moondance for that owner-trainer and the ninth for If Nine Was Six for that same owner-trainer.
Apprentice jockey Cruz Contreras and conditioner Denette L. Hicks also combined for a riding-training double, winning the sixth with Gus Goldsmith's Layn the Smackdown and the seventh with Timely Talk for that same owner.
Kudos to Dominick Falcone and Erica Hallmann for their recent Aspire Awards earned for going above and beyond normal expectations as Arlington employees.
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