|Arlington Park Stakes results
IRISH-BRED BALLINGARRY PROVES POPULAR WINNER OF STARS & STRIPES
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 5, 2003) -- Ballingarry split horses at the top of the stretch and held off a late rally from Dr. Brendler to win the $219,200 Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf by a half length Saturday at Arlington Park. The Laura de Seroux trainee covered the mile and half over "good" going in 2:28.30.
Rene Douglas rode the Sadler's Wells colt who paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.20 as the 3-5 betting favorite. For Douglas it was his third straight victory in Arlington's Fourth of July holiday weekend headliner. He previously won the race aboard Falcon Flight in 2001 and astride Cetewayo last year.
The Stars and Stripes was the first win for Ballingarry since being purchased last fall by the partnership of Port Trust, Naify and San Gabriel Investments shortly after he took the Grade I Canadian International at Woodbine. The $131,520 winner's share for the Stars and Stripes boosted his earnings past the $1.5 million mark to $1,528,795. His record stands at five wins, one second and four thirds from 14 trips to the post.
"Last year when we got him, he had run in the Canadian International and then he had to go back to France to do his test for entry into the United States," de Seroux explained. "By the time of the Breeders' Cup, he was a very jet lagged horse. We took our time with him this winter and planned to bring him back this way. I knew this was a really good spot for this horse and Mr. (Sidney) Port would enjoy it in his hometown."
Ballingarry saved ground while racing mid-pack behind a respectable pace of :24.78, :49.88, 1:15.26, 1:39.54 and 2:04.16 set by 22-1 Extra Check. He moved up on the third turn, took the lead at the head of the lane and held sway at the wire.
"Our plan was to get (to the front) off the break and go on from there and let him be himself," said Douglas. "It didn't work that way because he didn't break that sharp. I had to go to Plan B and stay on the rail. He has a long stride. I just waited for the opportunity to get through and he exploded."
Dr. Brendler, far back early, followed Ballingarry through the hole at the top of the stretch but was unable to overtake the winner. Second choice in the wagering, Dr. Brendler paid $2.80 and $2.40.
"I'm thrilled with his race," said Dr. Brendler's trainer H. Graham Motion. "It shows he can compete with these kind of horses. Ballingarry ran a very good race to beat us."
Jack's Own Time was third in the nine-horse field and paid $3.80. Extra Check, Williams News, Private Son, Ivan Jay Perry, Scooter Roach and North of Six completed the order of finish.
Earlier in the day, William K. & Suzanne Warren Jr.'s El Ruller made a three-wide move on the far turn en route to a three-length victory in the supporting feature, the $40,000 Native Dancer Handicap. Eusebio Razo Jr. rode the 3-year-old son of Eltish who went the mile and an eighth over a fast track in 1:50.36 and paid $4.60, $3 and $2.60.
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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