|Sportsman's Park Daily Notebook
Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310
Saturday, March 2, 2002
'SOUL' RAZOR SHARP IN OPENING DAY VICTORY
My Jo Lee Stable II's Soul Onarazorsedge, the one-eyed filly trained by Gene Brajczewski, cruised to a decisive 4½-length victory in Friday's opening day feature, a $37,000 optional claiming allowance race. With jockey Eusebio Razo Jr. in the saddle, the 4-year-old daughter of Carson City sprinted alertly from the gate and never looked back. She covered the six furlongs over a "fast" track in 1:11.23.
"She's going to run in the ($100,000) Cicero Handicap (March 16) and from there she'll probably run at Keeneland," Brajczewski said. "Like I said (earlier in the week), I've got some good (horses) for this meet. Her (half-)sister (Wasted Wisdom) runs Friday (March 8). I think she's as good if not better than Soul Onarazorsedge -- she has two eyes."
Nominations for the six-furlong Cicero Handicap close Tuesday, March 5 with weight assignments to be released Monday, March 11.
Incidentally, WGN-TV (Channel 9) has a feature on Soul Onarazorsedge scheduled to air on "Instant Replay," the 20-minute sportscast that airs at 9:40 p.m. Sunday.
"CHI TOWN CHALLENGE" ENTRIES GROWING
As of 9 a.m. Saturday, there were 655 entries for the $5,000 Chi Town Challenge with nearly half that figure coming from entries received Friday. The Chi Town Challenge is a free sudden-death competition that begins Monday, March 4 and continues every racing day until there is one person left standing. The handicapper who lasts the longest will receive the only prize: $5,000. The prize money will be divided equally if there is more than one winner.
The object of Chi Town Challenge is to select just one horse in any race on each day of the live racing at Sportsman's Park that you think will finish in the money (1st, 2nd or 3rd). Select correctly on Day No. 1 and you'll move on to Day No. 2 and so on. Entrants who fail to correctly select a horse to finish in the money or who fail to make a selection before the deadline of any race day are eliminated from the contest.
Deadline to make daily selections will be 12:30 p.m. CST every race day. Scratches and changes will be made available by 11:45 a.m. CST every race day.
To enter the contest people are requested to complete the electronic registration form that is available at www.sportsmanspark.com. Sportsman's Park must receive all registrations by 11:30 a.m. CST on Monday, March 4, 2002.
EARLY LOOK AT NEXT SATURDAY'S LOST CODE HANDICAP
Stakes coordinator Chris Polzin checked off the names of five likely candidates with two others listed as possible for next Saturday's $100,000 Lost Code Handicap, a six-furlong affair for 4-year-olds and up.
Of those listed as likely, Secret Romeo brings the most impressive credentials to the table. A 4-year-old son of Service Stripe, Secret Romeo won nine of 12 races last year including the $50,000 Shamrock Stakes over this oval. The Gerald Bennett charge is one for two this year including a score in the $50,000 Super Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in his most recent start. Terry Houghton, the colt's regular jockey, is expected to make the journey north to pilot Secret Romeo.
Others expected to start in next weekend's headliner that kicks off Sportsman's Park's $1.9 million stakes schedule are: Illinois-bred Magic Doe, winner of the Lightning Jet Stakes over state breds at Hawthorne in November and a victor in open allowance company there Dec. 31; Meandmyloveman, former six-furlong record-holder here when he negotiated that distance in 1:09.33 last April 27 only to have the mark fall three days later; Tic N Tin, an Illinois-bred who won stakes races at all four of the state's Thoroughbred tracks in 2001; and Way To The Top, an allowance winner at Golden Gate Fields in his last start.
Listed as possible for the Cicero are: Accelerant, a 4-year-old son of Candy Stripes who has been off since November when he concluded his 3-year-old campaign with three straight allowance victories; and Bet On Joe, a two-time winner at Arlington last summer who has finished off-the-board in two starts this year at the Fair Grounds.
Weights for the Lost Code Handicap will be released Monday with entries for the race taken on Tuesday.
OPENING DAY RECAP
Defending jockey champion Randall Meier picked up right where he left off last season with two victories on the opening day card, winning the fourth race aboard Feminine Fury for trainer Charlie Vinci and taking the fifth astride Gold Taker for Louie Roussel III. Meier was the only rider to post multiple wins on the program. Nine different trainers were represented in the Winner's Circle Friday.
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