|Arlington Park Barn Notes 9/12/03
In today's notes:
Four weeks ago, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens' fall in this summer's Grade I Arlington Million made headlines all over the world.
Since then, conditioner Michael Bell -- British-born and Newmarket-based -- rang up Stevens' representation half a world away in Southern California to secure the jockey/movie actor's services aboard Gary Tanaka's Hoh Buzzard in Saturday's Grade III Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington Park. The connection was made.
Stevens' Saturday afternoon ride at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval will be his first in Chicago since his spectacular fall from Gainsborough Farms' Storming Home after crossing under the wire first in the Arlington Million Aug. 16, a life endangering experience that fortunately never reached fruition.
However, trainer Bell will be starting a horse at Arlington Park for the first time in two years, since saddling Lord Blyth & Mr. R. P. B. Michaelson's Snowstorm to finish eighth in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes of 2001.
Coincidentally, finishing a half-length in front of Snowstorm in seventh place in that Grade I affair, final leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple, was Newgate Stud's Aldwych, with Gary Stevens aboard.
Two years before that, Stevens journeyed to Bell's native English environs to win the riding title at the York meeting of 1999.
Although Bell, 41, cannot claim a supporting role in the horseracing movie "Seabiscuit," as Stevens can, the trainer can also boast an interesting life. Before beginning his training career in 1989, he was a serving officer in the Life Guards, and as an amateur jockey he won the Duke of Gloucester Steeplechase at the Grand Military Meeting at Sandown Park in 1985. In 1994 he saddled Hoh Magic to win the Group I Prix Morny at Deauville in France, and has enjoyed multiple Group I success in England and Italy as well.
Kathy Elam's Holy Bubbette, facile victress in the $50,000 Dixie Miss Stakes at Louisiana Downs Aug. 23, should rule the choice when she faces 11 rivals, including a coupling, in Saturday's $45,000-added Smart Deb Stakes at Arlington Park.
The dash serves as the supporting feature on the afternoon of the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington, when an internationally campaigned group of grass favoring 3-year-old fillies face off at a mile and an eighth over the Arlington lawn.
The Smart Deb, a six-furlong sprint restricted to 3-year-old fillies on the main track, will have a gross value of $48,600 if the field remains intact, with a $29,160 share of that sum going to the owners of the winner.
In her last trip to the post in the Dixie Miss, also at three quarters, Holy Bubbette pressed the pace, challenged when set down for the drive and drew off steadily to win by eight lengths. Previously, the daughter of 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull used the same tactics to win by eight and a half at Arlington on July 20. Before that, on June 12, the gray filly trained by Tom Amoss won at Churchill Downs by three and a quarter. Both those outings were in the allowance ranks.
Holy Bubbette will share the top impost of 121 pounds in the Smart Deb, most of which will be made up by French-born jockey Brice Blanc.
Capable of providing strong competition for Holy Bubbette in Saturday's co-feature is Doris Tummillo's Star of Atticus. That daughter of 1997 Grade I Oaklawn Handicap winner Atticus was very impressive at Arlington in her last start Aug. 21, when she made the pace throughout in an allowance race at six and a half furlongs.
Bobby Barnett trains Star of Atticus, who gets in light with 115 pounds Saturday and will have Frank Lovato Jr. in the irons.
Opposing those two are the Coast To Coast Racing Fund LLC-owned entry of Rebridled Dreams and Run Sarah Run, 115 and 119 pounds respectively with Chris Emigh named aboard both; K. K. Jayaraman & V. Devi Jayaraman's Fabulous Brush, 115, Shane Laviolette; George Farr's Regal 'N Bold, 121, Earlie Fires; Hugh H. Robertson's If Nine Was Six, 115, Rene Douglas; Gary Tussey's Leaseholders Dream, 115, Carlos Silva; CresRan LLC's Feisty Princess, 119, Carlos H. Marquez Jr.; Ron Shenofsky's You Glitter Girl, 117, Randy Meier; Pop A Top LLC's Finally Here, 121, Eddie Razo Jr.; and Grunwald Racing LLC's Big Score, 115, Tim Doocy.
Defending owner champion Frank C. Calabrese and defending trainer champion Wayne Catalano combined for an owner-trainer double Thursday, winning the second with Glitter Maid with E. T. Baird aboard and the eighth with Oza with Corey Lanerie astride.
Owner Irish Acres Farm, trainer P. Noel Hickey and Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires also combined for two winners Thursday, winning the sixth with Afleet Buck and the finale with No Nice.
Jockey Lanerie also had a riding double Thursday, winning the third with Rio Grande Horse & Ranch Inc.'s Agave for trainer Michael Stidham before coming back with his tally on Oza.
- END -