|Arlington Park Barn Notes 9/26/03
In today's notes:
Richard H. Glander's Anapest has a tough assignment in Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie on closing day of the 2003 racing season at Arlington Park, but trainer Dennis Ebert is anxious to see if she is up to it.
"This will be a good test for her," said Ebert of his 2-year-old filly who will be making only the third start of her career. "Ideally, I'd have liked to have gotten an allowance race under her belt, but I didn't want to confuse her by backing her up to three-quarters when she's made her first two starts at one mile."
In the first start of her career on July 24, the daughter of Storm Boot out of a Strike the Gold mare was always well placed but lacked the needed response when set down for the drive and finished third, beaten four and a half lengths for all of it.
"She was fit that day, she just ran a little green," said Ebert. "When she turned for home she saw some people in the grandstand and started looking around, but she galloped out fine, and I knew she was fit enough going in."
In her most recent trip to the post Aug. 27, Anapest made amends for that defeat. After making the pace, the Kentucky-bred youngster drew off steadily in the lane, increasing the victory margin to more than 10 lengths at the wire.
"Her final time (1:41 1/5) wasn't that good," Ebert said, "but that doesn't really bother me because times were slow all day long that afternoon.
"I think I have a nice filly," Ebert concluded. "I would be a little happier if she had three starts under her belt, but sometimes you really don't have that many choices. She's doing really good right now and she's been working good, so after this race I'll have a little better idea of just how good she might be."
Country music star Toby Keith is also a Thoroughbred horse owner, but it is Cactus Ridge, Keith's undefeated 2-year-old colt by Hennessy, who will be the center of attention in Saturday's 69th running of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity, the main event for juveniles run each year in Chicago.
Cactus Ridge won the $100,000 James C. Ellis Juvenile in Western Kentucky at last asking Aug. 17, and has quickly developed into one of the more promising 2-year-olds currently on the scene nationally.
Keith, however, has drawn attention for the last decade, since releasing his debut single "Should've Been A Cowboy" in 1993. The 42-year-old native of Clinton, Oklahoma, has numerous other hits, including "Dream Walkin," and races under the nom-de-course of Dream Walkin Farm.
Additional songs by the former USFL football player, once a member of the defunct Oklahoma City Drillers, include "How Do You Like Me Now," "Wish I Didn't Know Now What I Didn't Know Then," "A Little Less Talk And a Lot More Action," and "You Ain't Much Fun Since I Quit Drinkin."
An additional hit, a duet performed with the rock star Sting, was entitled "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying."
WinStar Farm, Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires and trainer Mike Stidham have been named respectively as September's Owner, Jockey, and Trainer of the Month at Arlington Park.
Through Thursday's racing program at Arlington Park, WinStar Farm silks had posed in the winner's circle four times from seven trips to the post, Arlington's all-time leading reinsman Fires had recorded 11 wins from 49 mounts, and trainer Stidham had saddled six winners from 13 starters.
Fires has also posted one riding triple this month, ridden two doubles, and registered a stakes win, while Stidham had saddled one training double and one stakes winner.
Conditioner Stidham's barn was also named "Barn of the Month" for September at Arlington Park.
James P. DiVito & Lee Battaglia's Coach Jimi Lee, winner of the $46,800 Shecky Greene Stakes here June 15 and $52,400 Forward Pass Aug. 16, returns to head a field of nine in the $47,700 Taylor's Special Stakes on Saturday's closing day program of the 2003 season at Arlington Park.
The race will serve as a supporting feature for two graded stakes races also scheduled -- the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity and the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie -- both of which feature some of the top 2-year-olds in the nation.
Opposing Coach Jimi Lee in the Taylor's Special, a five-furlong grass dash, are Terrence M. Brown's Distinctive Mr. B, K. K. Jayaraman and V. Devi Jayaraman's Tricky Storm, Stonecrest Farm's Proven Cure, Alan Drey's Miners Gamble, Fly Racing LLC's Skeet, Michael J. Bruder's Justice for Auston, Stephen L. Mahalik's Cobourg Lodge, and Emmy Lynch's Chosen Chief.
Jockey Corey Lanerie posted a riding double Thursday at Arlington Park, winning the sixth with Carl Moore Management LLC's Smilin' Slew for trainer Bret Calhoun and the finale aboard Hugh H. Robertson's Sparkling Sabia for that condtioner.
Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Sulamani, adjudged winner of Arlington Million XXI, makes his first trip to the post since that score in Saturday's Grade I Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park.
Gainsborough Farm's Storming Home, first under the wire in this year's Arlington Million, makes his first start since that star-crossed trip in Sunday's Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship at Santa Anita Park.
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