|Arlington Park Barn Notes 9/25/03
In today's notes:
Heligbrodt Racing Stable's Korbyn Gold, three-length winner of Arlington Park's $46,950 Spectacular Bid Stakes Sept. 6, will try to repeat that effort in Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity, Chicago Thoroughbred racing's main event for 2-year-olds that is conducted on an annual basis.
Korbyn Gold's Saturday Arlington-Washington Futurity run will take place on closing day of the 2003 season at the Northwest suburban Chicago oval, and the Futurity will share top billing with Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie for 2-year-old fillies during the twin-featured finale.
"Korbyn Gold is coming up to the race super," said Billy Lopes, trainer Steve Asmussen's assistant in charge of the day-to-day operations of that conditioner's Arlington string. "He breezed a half-mile in :48 3/5 on Tuesday with Corey Lanerie up, and now he'll just gallop into the race on Saturday."
In the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid, final local prep for the one-turn one-mile Arlington-Washington Futurity, Korbyn Gold, was allowed to settle early, challenged for command inside the furlong grounds and drew off the rest of the way.
"Steve looked at some other options for Korbyn Gold after the Spectacular Bid," said Lopes, "but he's doing so good here at Arlington and we're so sure that he's going to like the added distance we decided to go ahead and keep him here.
"As for our strategy, it certainly would seem that Cactus Ridge is the horse to beat," said Lopes. "It looks like we'll just try to sit off the pace, but when the gates open, that strategy can all change. We'll just go ahead and let Corey ride his race."
Trainer Tony Mitchell entered two fillies -- one a winner and one still a maiden -- in Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie for juvenile members of the distaff set. Which one does he like best?
"Believe it or not, at this point I'm more likely to start the maiden than I am the winner," said Mitchell Thursday morning during training hours at Arlington Park. "When I entered those two (Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Lovely Afternoon and Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Indian Jewel), I was thinking the race was going to come up short, with maybe seven horses, but 11 went in there, so I may scratch Indian Jewel. I'll talk it over with Mr. Reineman's daughter, but if the field remains that size, I'll probably take Indian Jewel out."
Indian Jewel graduated from the maiden ranks at first asking Aug. 15, and Lovely Afternoon, who has made three starts in her career, has yet to reach the winner's circle. However, Mitchell was quick to explain his reasoning.
"Indian Jewel ran good when she broke her maiden," said Mitchell, "but when I ran her back (Sept. 1), she hated every part of the slop she got that day. Whether she's good enough to be in this kind of field off her maiden win, I don't know. We'll wait and see if a lot of the other fillies come out of there.
"Lovely Afternoon, on the other hand, hasn't won yet," said Mitchell, "but she appears to get better every time she runs. She was third in the Top Flight last time, and she also already has a mile race under her belt, so this looks like a good spot to get her some black type."
The $47,700 Top Flight, contested Sept. 5, served as the final local prep for Saturday's 69th renewal of the Lassie, Chicago Thoroughbred racing's main event for 2-year-old fillies that is run on an annual basis.
This year's Lassie shares top billing with the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity, making the closing day of Arlington's 2003 racing season a double-featured affair.
Dare To Dream Stable #4 LLC's Nicole's Dream, currently boasting wins in each of her last two starts, will attempt to extend her victory streak to three when she heads a field of eight named to Friday's feature attraction, the $47,400 Lazer Show Stakes for turf-favoring sprinters that are members of the distaff set.
The race will be run at five furlongs over Arlington Park's world-famous grass course, and will offer a $28,440 share of the purse to the owners of the winner if the field remains as an octet.
Scheduled to face Nicole's Dream are Bernadette Gillespie's Magarita Midnight, Jeffrey Sullivan & Ernie Poulos Racing Stable Inc.'s Paul's Dream, Christiana Stables LLC's Beat Your Feet, Bank & Katz Stable's Galatea Cat, Connie Sucher's Thehoneymoonsover, Carl Moore Management LLC's Cauy, and Lynn Gallatin's Paige's Boo.
Red-hot jockey Carlos H. Marquez Jr. celebrated his third straight multiple-win day Wednesday with a riding double. Marquez, who rode five winners Saturday and two Sunday, visited the winner's circle in Wednesday's opener aboard Frank C. Calabrese's Dancewithadolly for trainer Wayne Catalano and returned after the seventh aboard Team Block's Chilling Effect for conditioner Chris Block.
Veteran Arlington reinsman Chris Emigh also had a riding double Wednesday, winning the sixth astride Carlene Kelley's Popcorn for trainer Justin Johns and the finale aboard Charles Duncker's Probability for trainer Mickey Goldfine.
With three 2003 Arlington Park racing days remaining going into Thursday's program, owner Frank C. Calabrese needs two wins to tie his Arlington owners record for wins established last year, while trainer Wayne Catalano is five wins short of his mark for number of wins in an Arlington season, also established last year.
Friday's final Miller Lite Party in the Park band for 2003 at Arlington Park is "Brother John," a classic rock band.
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