|Arlington Park Barn Notes 8/28/03
In today's notes:
An Illinois-bred is set to match strides with an Irish-bred when R'n R Breeders' Act of War meets Gary A. Tanaka's Riddlesdown as well as four others in Saturday's $45,000 Mac Diarmida Handicap at a mile and a half over Arlington Park's world famous turf course.
An additional seventh contestant -- Ron Shenofsky's Hurricane Merle -- has been entered with the "main track only" condition should the 12-furlong feature come off the grass.
In his last start, Act of War, the Illinois-bred, finished fifth but beaten less than two lengths for all of it in the Grade III Arlington Handicap on Million Preview Day, July 26. That mile and a quarter turf test was the final local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million that followed three weeks later. In his previous effort the 5-year-old son of Lord At War captured the $86,150 Cardinal Handicap on June 21, a race restricted to Illinois-breds as part of Arlington's Prairie State Festival Day program.
Riddlesdown, the Irish-bred, has been away from the races since Feb. 16, when he finished fourth in the Grade I Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap over the lawn at that South Florida oval. In that mile and three-eighths affair Riddlesdown made the pace before weakening in the lane. Previously, however, the 6-year-old chestnut had won Gulfstream's Grade III Mac Diarmida Handicap by a length and a half when using those same front-running tactics at that same distance on the Hallandale Beach grass course.
The two turf specialists share the top impost of 118 pounds in Arlington's Mac Diarmida with veteran Ray Sibille named astride Riddlesdown for Irish-born conditioner Niall O'Callaghan while jockey Curt Bourque gets the mount on Act of War for Chicago, Illinois-born trainer Gene Cilio.
The four facing those two in the body of Saturday's headliner are Dare To Dream Stable #6 LLC's Captain Nicholas, 116, Frank Lovato Jr. astride for conditioner Becky Maker; Horizon Stable's Sharbayan, 117, Carlos Marquez Jr. aboard for trainer Wally Dollase; Padua Stable's Full Mandate, 114, Corey Lanerie up for Steve Asmussen; and Earle I. Mack & Gregory J. Fox's Roxinho, 117, Eddie Razo riding for Jamie Fox.
Condolences are in order for veteran trainer Dennis Ebert on the loss of his longtime patron Alan Drey, 79, who died last Friday after an extended illness.
Mr. Drey was born in New York but raised in Winnetka and graduated from New Trier High School in 1942. He began racing and breeding Thoroughbred horses about 20 years ago, and was associated with Ebert for the last decade.
"We had a lot of success together," said Ebert, "and raced such good stakes winner as Seattle Morn and Gold Memory during our association. We thought of each other as friends, and it is in that capacity that I will really miss him."
The dispersal of Mr. Drey's horses has already begun, with an additional group of mares and foals to be sold in October at the OBS October sale.
This Friday, Aug. 29, will be the last 3 p.m. post time of the 2003 Arlington Park season. Additional Friday first post times during the current meeting that closes Sept. 27 will be at 2:30 p.m.
Also on Friday, Period 2 of the Breeders' Cup Future Bet begins at 12 Noon (Central Time) and concludes Labor Day Monday at 8 p.m. (Central Time). Future bets on the Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge; the Grade I John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf; the Grade I Breeders' Cup Distaff, presented by Nextel; and the Grade I Breeders' Cup Sprint will be accepted. The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships will be run at Santa Anita Park on October 25 this year.
Highlighting the Labor Day racing program at Arlington Park this Monday, Sept. 1, will be an Arlington Park Umbrella Giveaway to the first 5,000 paid admissions.
Also during Monday's Labor Day racing program at Arlington Park, two former Chicago Bears players will be signing autographs for the public. Tom Thayer and Roland Harper will sign autographs from 3-4 p.m. Monday at the foot of Arlington's Grand Staircase, after having lunch in the Million Room with 20 people selected from a WBBM radio promotion contest hosted by Jeff Joniak. Details on the lunch are available at www.wbbm780.com.
Leading Arlington Park owner Frank C. Calabrese and leading Arlington Park trainer Wayne Catalano shared two wins Wednesday when Catalano saddled Everwhat to win the third race under jockey E. T. Baird and came back to the winner's circle after the fifth with Valiant Anna with jockey Corey Lanerie aboard.
Leading Arlington Park jockey Rene Douglas had a riding double Wednesday, concluding the program with a win on West Point Thoroughbreds' Ethan Man in the eighth for trainer Pat Byrne and also on Lawrence Karp's Echo Jo in the finale for trainer Joe Kasperski Jr.
Jockey Eddie Razo, second leading rider at Arlington Park this season, also rode two winners, taking the opener with Freeway Ticket Partnership's Tricky Truth for trainer Richard Scherer and the fourth with Richard H. Glander's Anapest for trainer David Hinsley.
- END -