|Arlington Park Stakes results
HEAT HAZE UNLEASHES POWERFUL STRETCH MOVE TO TAKE BEVERLY D.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 16, 2003) -- Juddmonte Farms's Heat Haze closed from last to first in the field of seven to win the Grade I, $700,000 Beverly D. going away by 1¼ lengths as the 8-5 favorite Saturday at Arlington Park. Jose Valdivia Jr. rode the daughter of Green Desert who covered the mile and three-sixteenths over turf officially listed as "good" in 1:55.94.
"She was very relaxed," said Valdivia. "At the three-eighths pole I knew I had horse under me. She has an enormous turn of foot. After she switched leads, I saw the opening, just tapped her twice with the stick and she was gone."
Bien Nicole, the longest shot in the field at 20-1, went straight to the early lead and set pedestrian fractions of 25.04 for the opening quarter mile, 49.78 for the half, 1:13.68 for six furlongs and 1:38.04 for the mile. Benefiting from the slow splits, Bien Nicole held the lead until deep stretch and was caught only by Heat Haze. Riskaverse spent most of the race in third position, which was also where she finished.
"We're thrilled," said Donnie K. Von Hemel, trainer of Bien Nicole. "You'd like to win, but I don't know how we could have run any better. These are the best turf mares in the world."
"We got hung three wide and never had a chance to tuck in and save any ground," said Pat Day, rider of Riskaverse. "My filly ran a dynamite race. She kicked in hard down the stretch but started to labor at the sixteenth pole. I'm very proud of her performance."
The win by Heat Haze represented the 18th Grade I stakes victory this year for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. He needs just five more Grade I wins this year to top the record set by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas in 1987.
Frankel was not present, having stayed in Saratoga to saddle Spoken Fur in the Alabama Stakes. But his stand-in, assistant Humberto Ascanio, was thrilled by Heat Haze's effort and thinks that she might have moved to the top of the Frankel stable's formidable female turf horses, a group that includes Pertusiane and Tates Creek, the morning-line favorite for the Beverly D. who was forced to scratch after her connections failed to secure a flight to Chicago.
"She might be the best turf filly in our barn right now," Ascanio said of Heat Haze.
Heat Haze paid $5.40, $3.80 and $2.80. Bien Nicole returned $12.80 and $5.60. Riskaverse paid $4.20 to show. Walzerkoenigin, Dublino, Dress to Thrill and Owsley completed the order of finish.
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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