|Arlington Park Barn Notes 9/7/03
In today's notes:
Skymarc Farms' Plume Rouge, bred in Great Britain but campaigned until now in Ireland, has come to America to invade Arlington Park for the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes on Saturday.
The 69th running of the $175,000 Pucker Up is Arlington's traditional fixture for grass favoring 3-year-old fillies, and will be contested at a mile and an eighth over Arlington's world famous turf course.
Plume Rouge arrived at Arlington Saturday night following a flight from Ireland's Shannon International Airport to Amsterdam, where she boarded an equine charter that arrived at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. She was subsequently vanned to Arlington.
Accompanying the daughter of Pivotal out of the Lear Fan mare Classic Fan was Padraig Purcell, head traveling lad for Skymarc, and Irish apprentice jockey Brian Hughes, who will exercise Plume Rouge this week at Arlington once she clears quarantine.
Plume Rouge comes to Chicago off of an impressive winning performance at Tipperary, where she tallied in a listed stakes on Aug. 21 by two lengths.
"That was a very good race for her," said Purcell. "The filly she beat that day is named Perfect Touch, and was just touched up (finished a close second at the wire) in a Group III the other day, so we are very encouraged by our filly's performance.
"In her race at Leopardstown July 16, Plume Rouge was fourth beaten five lengths by Powerscurt, who is a top notch filly back home. In two other starts this summer, one at Leopardstown and one at The Curragh, she went 'in season' on us, so we discount those races," Purcell said.
"However, last spring our filly ran a good fifth in the (Group I) 1000 Irish Guineas (May 25), Purcell said. "Dermot Weld's filly (Dimitrova) finished third in that race, and she did very well when she came over here. Our filly has run some decent races.
"The plan is for us to pick up some more black type (in the Pucker Up) here," Purcell said. "She will then stay in this country and be transferred to the barn of Christophe Clement, but she will still be owned by Lady Reilly (Skymarc).
"She is a light framed filly so she doesn't need much training," Purcell concluded. "She's 100 per cent right now. Her regular rider Declan Macdonagh will come over from Ireland to ride her Saturday."
Hilary Pridham and Three Kings Stable's I'm a Majek Girl, heroine of Friday's $47,700 Top Flight Stakes, suffered a fractured knee in that winning effort and left Arlington Sunday morning for the Rood and Riddle Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky, where she will undergo surgery shortly.
I'm a Majek Girl was the projected early favorite in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie on Sept. 27, closing day of the 2003 Arlington season, until the discovery of her injury about an hour after Friday's Top Flight.
"She ran perfect, and she walked back to the barn perfect," said trainer Mike Stidham during training hours Sunday, "but about a half-hour after the race she began to limp. We took X-rays as soon as we realized something was wrong, and they showed the fractured knee.
"As far as whether the injury is career ending -- we just don't know yet -- and we won't know until after the surgery," said Stidham. "The X-rays don't show everything. They'll go in there and put a screw in her knee then they'll see more about the extent of the injury.
"This is very tough," said Stidham. "I've never had a 2-year-old that impressed me as much as she did. The way she won that race Friday was awesome. We were really looking forward to the Lassie and other big things beyond that. This is a tough game."
Arlington Park's all-time leading reinsman and Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires rode three winners Saturday, taking the fourth with Barrister Hall Stable's Wild Jim for trainer Patrick Daly, the $40,000 Let's Do Lunch Handicap with Carolyn & Harry Disko's I Can Fan Fan for trainer Mark Cristel, and the finale aboard Steve Erban, Julie Daulton & Randy Hillson's Iffah for conditioner Roy Houghton.
Trainer Patrick Daly saddled two winners on the Saturday program, winning the seventh with K. K. Jayaraman & V. Devi Jayaraman's Tricky Storm, with Eddie Razo Jr. up, in addition to his score with Wild Jim.
Jockey Corey Lanerie posted a riding double Saturday, capturing the featured $46,950 Spectacular Bid Stakes with Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Korbyn Gold for trainer Steve Asmussen and the opener on Tom Boy Stable's Price of Honour for conditioner Tom Amoss.
Apprentice jockey Tim Thornton, who began his career at Arlington Park this summer, has transferred his tack to Turfway Park.
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