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ARLINGTON NOTES

Arlington Park Stakes results


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ROCK SLIDE TAKES SEA O'ERIN BREEDERS' CUP MILE

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 15, 2003) -- Farish, Elkins & Webber's Rock Slide edged favored Miesque's Approval by a nose in Sunday's $160,650 Sea o'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile at Arlington Park before a Father's Day crowd of 26,101. Robby Albarado rode the Neil Howard-trained son of A. P. Indy, who covered the mile over firm turf in 1:35.85.

A full brother to Mineshaft (second Saturday in the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs), Rock Slide earned $98,190 for the victory, his second of the year and ninth in 19 starts overall. His bankroll stands at $409,020.

Rock Slide broke alertly and tucked in behind pacesetter Captain Nicholas, who took the field of seven through three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.01. When even-money favorite Miesque's Approval began to rally on the inside of Rock Slide, Albarado moved with him and the pair battled through the final furlong.

"Rock Slide is known for a fight late in the race and whenever you come up to him, he's determined to win," Albarado said. "I was going to sit as long as I could until I got pressed. (Miesque's Approval) came up on the inside of me and I thought that it was time to go."

Miesque's Approval raced near the middle of the pack, rallied along the rail on the second turn, had a brief lead inside the eighth pole but was unable to hold off the determined bid of Rock Slide.

"It was a tough beat," said Rene Douglas, who rode the beaten favorite. "I was hoping for the pace to be a little faster, but turning for home both of us (Miesque's Approval) made the right move. I got through along the rail and made a nice move but the winner didn't stop either. I'm sorry I didn't win but I did everything I wanted to do."

Package Store was another half-length back in third.

"I had a great trip," said Package Store's rider, Curt Bourque. "Walter (trainer Bindner) sent me a ready horse. I just waited patiently like he told me to, and turning for home I called me a winner. The other two just kept going but I was finishing fast."

Captain Nicholas, Al's Dearly Bred, Holy Conflict and Man o' Rhythm completed the order of finish.

Second choice in the wagering, Rock Slide paid $9.40, $4 and $3.20. Miesque's Approval returned $2.60 and $2.40. Package Store paid $3.

Earlier in the afternoon, James DiVito & Lee Battaglia's Coach Jimi Lee rallied from just off the pace to earn a 3 1/2-length victory in the $46,800 Shecky Greene Stakes for 3-year-olds. The DiVito-trained son of Roar was ridden by Marlon St. Julien and covered the six furlongs over a fast racetrack in 1:10.69.

The prohibitive 3-10 favorite, Coach Jimi Lee paid $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10.

Arlington Park -- host to the record-breaking 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- runs a 104-day meet in 2003 through Saturday, Sept. 27. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates six off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.

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