|Arlington Park Stakes results
LONGSHOT KICKEN KRIS ROLLS TO CONVINCING WIN IN GRADE I SECRETARIAT STAKES AT ARLINGTON PARK
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 16, 2003) -- Brushwood Stable's Kicken Kris, sent off as a 15-1 shot by the fans, stalked the early pace from a comfortable spot in third position, then drew off in the stretch for a convincing 3½-length victory in Saturday's Grade I, $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park.
The win, Kicken Kris's third in ten career outings and first in a stakes, was worth $240,000 and boosted his earnings to $397,600. It was the first Grade I victory for Kicken Kris's trainer, Michael Matz, and the third in the career of winning jockey Javier Castellano, who had scored two previous Grade Is with the talented but ill-fated three-year-old filly Exogenous in 2001.
Breaking from post position six in the 11-horse field, Kicken Kris stayed just a couple of lengths off the early pace set by Native Hawk and Gato Gato Gato. Native Hawk set sensible early fractions of 24.24 for the quarter mile, 49.31 for the half, 1:14.19 for six furlongs and 1:38.87 for the mile. Kicken Kris then cruised past the two early leaders turning for home and widened his lead from there, finishing the mile and one-quarter over a turf course rated "good" in 2:02.53.
"He broke sharp out of the gate and I rode him comfortable and confident and I knew I had the horse today," said Castellano. "I handicapped the horses before the race and I saw the speed horses on the outside. I knew what I had to do was cover up behind those horses."
"I ran this horse several times on the dirt early in his career," said Matz of his 3-year-old son of Kris S., "but it looks like this horse's true talent is on the turf and he showed it today. It's unlikely he'll see a dirt race."
Joe Bear made a powerful mid-race move along the rail, closing from well back in the pack to be second, two lengths ahead of third-place finisher Lismore Knight.
"It was a great run," said Joe Bear's trainer Philip Mitchell. "He's a baby. And next year, he'll be a very big horse. I promise you."
"I had a good trip," said Rene Douglas, pilot of Lismore Knight. "I thought I had a chance, but my horse didn't accelerate quickly enough so they got away from me. I was just beaten by better horses."
Kicken Kris paid $32.00. $13.00 and $7.60. Joe Bear returned $16.40 and $8.00. Lismore Knight paid $5.00 to show. The $2 payoff for the Festival Pick Four combining the winners of the Beverly D. Stakes (Heat Haze), the 9th race allowance (Price of Honour), the Arlington Million (Sulamani) and the Secretariat Stakes paid $1,752.80.
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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