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ARLINGTON PARK

Arlington Park Stakes results


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ILLINOIS-BRED WIGGINS UPSETS BEST MINISTER IN ROUND TABLE

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 26, 2003) -- Pacella, Schwed & Rizza's Wiggins, champion Illinois-bred 2-year-old of 2002, earned his first open company stakes score when he rallied from just off the pace to win the $100,000 Round Table Stakes by 4 3/4 lengths over favored Best Minister on Saturday at Arlington Park. Eusebio Razo Jr. rode the Tony Granitz-trained son of Cartwright who covered the mile and an eighth over a fast track in 1:50.47.

The Round Table Stakes was the second straight added-money victory for Wiggins who won the Illinois-restricted $86,800 Springfield Stakes in his last trip to the post. It was his fifth win in eight starts overall and the $60,000 winner's share from the Round Table elevated his bankroll to $194,510.

Wiggins pressed the pace of Battle Tank, who coasted through three-quarters of a mile in 1:13.04 before being engaged by the eventual winner at the top of the stretch.

"Going into the first turn, I had a real tough time relaxing my horse but after that, he was just push button," said Razo. "When I saw Robby (jockey Albarado aboard Battle Tank) come out of the gate, he was hustling pretty good, so I tried to take back as soon as I could, but (Wiggins) was a little rank at first but then he came back to me really comfortably."

Best Minister, the 7-10 favorite, challenged three wide turning for home and was clearly second best, finishing 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Battle Tank.

"I thought I had him the whole time," said Rene Douglas, who rode the beaten favorite. "Wiggins had never been (this) far before. I didn't want to press him but I didn't want to let him get away either. My horse started looking around and that's when the other horse got away. I don't have any excuses. I rode the race I wanted to. It just didn't work out."

Second choice in the wagering, Wiggins paid $7.40, $3 and $2.80. Best Minister returned $2.20 and $2.20. Battle Tank paid $4.

Earlier in the afternoon, Coast to Coast Racing Fund LLC's Next Bandit rebounded from a sixth-place finish in the Grade III Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs on July 6 to post a wire-to-wire two-length score in the $52,800 Honest Pleasure Stakes, the first 2-year-old stakes race of the season at Arlington.

The Bret Calhoun-trained son of Time Bandit was ridden by Rene Douglas and covered the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.97. Sent off as the 9-10 favorite, Next Bandit paid $3.80, $2.80 and $2.80.

Also Saturday, Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s homebred Summer Mis notched her second straight stakes score when she easily disposed of state-bred rivals in the $45,000 Unique Type Handicap. The Tony Mitchell-trained daughter of Julie Mis won the $84,550 Isaac Murphy Handicap here June 21.

Larry Sterling Jr. rode Summer Mis, who went the mile over a fast track in 1:36.40, paid $3.60, $2.40 and $2.20.

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 seven off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, 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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