|Arlington Park Barn Notes 9/18/03
In today's notes:
On Kentucky Derby Day last spring at Churchill Downs, Larry Bleifeldt & Edward Weaver's Salty Farma ran against Juddmonte Farms Inc.'s Heat Haze at one mile on the grass and was beaten about six lengths.
Heat Haze has gone onward and upward since that win in the Grade III Citgo Distaff Turf Mile, capping her summer with a win in Arlington Park's Grade I Beverly D. Stakes Aug. 16 on Arlington Million Day during the 2003 International Festival of Racing.
Salty Farma has gone nowhere, disappointing as the choice in Arlington's $40,000 Reluctant Guest Handicap May 24, and then again in the Grade III Arlington Matron Handicap Sept. 1 on a muddy main track. What happened?
"She has a foot problem," said trainer Dave Kassen Thursday, two days in advance of Salty Farma's start in Saturday's $45,000-added Flawlessly Stakes. This weekend's Arlington Park highlight is for fillies and mares and will be run at eight furlongs over the Arlington lawn.
"The foot problem has reoccurred numerous times," Kassen said, "and I expect that's what was bothering her when she ran here last spring. We gave her the summer off, but since she's returned to training, she's been doing very well and is feeling real good right now.
"As for her race in the Matron," Kassen said, "I pretty much throw it out. She didn't seem to handle the mud at all that day."
When she's right, the daughter of Salt Lake out of a Farma Way mare can dominate. Last winter at the Fair Grounds, Salty Farma drew off for an eight and a quarter-length score in an allowance race at the mile distance on Jan. 25, and later journeyed to Delta Downs Mar. 22 to win by two and a half. Although both those races were on the main track, Salty Farma is three for 10 in lifetime turf starts, consistent with her total career win of average of seven wins from 20 starts.
"She ought to fit pretty good in that spot on Saturday," Kassen concluded.
Steven Crist, chairman and publisher of Daily Racing Form, will be at Arlington Park Saturday and available to sign copies of his new book which will be on sale on site.
Crist, a longtime turfwriter who was the horseracing columnist for the New York Times long before beginning his stint as a publisher, wrote two horseracing books in previous years before the release of "Betting on Myself: Adventures of a Horseplayer and Publisher" a little over a month ago. This memoir takes readers through his personal journey into journalism, gambling, politics and high finance.
"Whether he is planning the pick six, running the Daily Racing Form, or chiding the industry's leaders, Steve Crist has a passionate love of the game," wrote Andrew Beyer, Washington Post columnist and noted national handicapping guru. "'Betting on Myself' is a wonderful memoir."
Crist's Saturday book signing at Arlington Park will be preceded by a handicapping seminar from Noon-1 p.m. in Arlington's Starting Gate Theatre. Daily Racing Form's Marcus Hersh, that publication's Arlington correspondent, will join Crist for the handicapping seminar.
The autograph session, with the book on sale, will be held from 1-2 p.m. in the Starting Gate Theatre immediately following the seminar.
Have you ever parked your car on a sunny day with the windows open, gone about your business indoors, and returned to find a sudden rainstorm had left its interior drenched?
That was the weather scenario one August afternoon at Arlington Park this summer, when many guests of the northwest suburban oval arrived before post time. However, when they returned to their cars fearing the worst after a sudden storm, they were relieved to find their car windows taped with plastic and their automobile upholstery still dry.
Arlington guests' guardian angels that day were Arlington employees Jim Greenwald and Martin Leyva, two dedicated, caring persons long known for their attention to detail in the various aspects of their jobs. The two men, independently and in different locations, took it upon themselves to tape up the windows of the open automobiles.
Jimmy "G," as Greenwald is known throughout Arlington, is the television department's roving cameraman responsible for those imaginative up-close-and-personal shots that appear throughout every race day on Arlington's closed circuit television.
Leyva, less visible to the public but equally conscientious, is a longtime member of Arlington's housekeeping department.
The two men were presented with Arlington Aspire Awards for August.
- END -