|Arlington Park Stakes results
CACTUS RIDGE, ZOSIMA SET STAKES RECORDS IN FUTURITY, LASSIE
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 27, 2003) -- A pair of stakes records were set at Arlington Park its closing day card, Saturday, Sept. 27, with victories by Cactus Ridge in the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity and by Zosima in the Grade III $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie.
Despite a bobble at the start, Cactus Ridge kept his perfect record intact with a three-length victory in the Futurity. With Eddie Martin Jr. in the irons, the Bret Calhoun-trained colt established a stakes record time of 1:35.44 for the mile over a fast track, eclipsing the 1:35 4/5 standard set by Secret Hello in 1989.
"We all stumbled a little bit coming out of (the gate)," said Martin of the less than perfect break. "He regained his composure pretty quickly. The second jump he was on his feet."
Cactus Ridge had the lead before the field exited the mile chute and led through fractions of 23.03 seconds for the quarter mile, 45.73 seconds for the half and 1:10.44 for three-quarters of a mile. He drew off in the lane despite not switching leads.
"That's just him," Martin responded when asked about his mount failing to change leads. "We'll just let him be 'The Ridge'."
Cactus Ridge, who races in the colors of Dream Walkin Farms Inc. of country music superstar Toby Keith, picked up $90,000 for the victory to elevate his bankroll to $187,850. The son of Hennessy broke his maiden here in June before earning stakes scores in the $35,000 Canterbury Juvenile at that Minnesota racetrack and the $100,000 James C. Ellis Juvenile in Kentucky.
Calhoun indicated that the $1.5 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 25 would be Cactus Ridge's next objective. The last horse to win both the Arlington-Washington Futurity and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile was Gilded Time in 1992.
"After the Ellis race is when we really started to think about bigger and better things," Calhoun said. "I think he has enough pedigree top and bottom to stretch to a mile and a sixteenth for sure. Four weeks to the Breeders' Cup is perfect timing."
Glittergem rallied to finish second in the six-horse field, a neck to the good of Texas Deputy. Korbyn Gold, Orphan Brigade and Night Charger completed the order of finish.
Sent off at odds of 2-10, Cactus Ridge returned $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10. Glittergen paid $2.80 and $2.10. Texas Deputy paid $2.10. With $336,083 of the $366,323 show pool wagered on Cactus Ridge, there was a $61,406.51 minus pool.
Darley's Zosima rallied from just off the pace to win the Lassie by a length in a stakes record time of 1:36.02, bettering the mark of 1:36.58 set by Speed Dialer in 1991. Hall-of-Fame jockey Pat Day was aboard the Eoin Harty-trained daughter of Capote who paid $7.40, $2.80 and $2.80 as the second choice in the wagering.
"Shane (Sellers on favored Everyday Angel) went on with his filly, which we expected," said Day. "We were able to get in behind her and clock her all the way. When we came off the turn, I came out to come around Shane and we mixed it up just a little bit with the nine horse (Crypto's Best). When we got close to her, she laid into her a little bit, but I got her straightened up. When I called on her, she came home with a nice run and got the job done."
Zosima has been based at Arlington all summer, breaking her maiden here on the Fourth of July and winning an allowance race last month. Between those starts, she was second in the Silver Maiden Stakes on July 27. The $60,000 winner's share from the Lassie boosted her bankroll to $105,440. Her connections have indicated that the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filles at Santa Anita on Oct. 25. The last filly to complete the Lassie-Juvenile Fillies double was Eliza in 1992.
"She's done nothing but mature," said Dave Duggan, assistant to Harty. "I think she's getting better and better with time. You take it a step by step. If she's doing good, she'll run (in the Breeders' Cup)."
Everyday Angel was second in the field of 10 2-year-old fillies. It was another 3½ lengths back to Crypto's Best. Everyday Angel paid $2.60 and $2.40. Crypto's Best returned $4.40.
Lovely Afternoon, Blondz Away, Journey Fever, Anapest, Bad Kitty, Sala de Oro and Indian Jewel completed the order of finish.
Also on Saturday, Fly Racing LLC's Skeet made a wide move in the stretch to win the $47,550 Taylor's Special Stakes by 2½ lengths in 57.28 seconds for five furlongs over yielding turf. Rene Douglas rode the 3-year-old Dove Hunt colt who was sent off as the 4-5 favorite and paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.40.
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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