Chicago Barn to Wire


Sportsman's Park Daily Notebook

Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310

Friday, March 8, 2002


"I wouldn't be running him if he wasn't ready," trainer Jim Eckrosh said of Magic Doe Friday morning in the Sportsman's Park stable area. Eckrosh saddles co-highweight Magic Doe in Saturday's $100,000 Lost Code Handicap, the kick off event on Sportsman's Park's $1.9 million stakes schedule.

A champion Illinois-bred as a 3-year-old, Magic Doe is still going strong at age seven. He concluded his 6-year-old campaign with wins in four of his last five starts and beat Tic N Tin, who is co-highweighted with Magic Doe at 120 pounds Saturday, by a neck in their last meeting, an optional claiming-allowance race at Hawthorne on Dec. 31.

"I finally got some decent trips with him at the end of the year," said Eckrosh, who at age 92 (he turns 93 in July) is likely the senior active conditioner in American racing. "He needed a little break at the end of the year."

The end of the Chicago season gave Magic Doe the rest he needed and Eckrosh brought him back into serious training in mid-February.

"I kept him here and kept him in light training (over the break)," he said. "I had this race in mind for awhile but I let my horses tell me with their action when they are ready, and he's ready."


Jockey Chris Emigh will be absent from the local scene Saturday as he heads to Arkansas to pilot Sarah Jade in the $75,000 Honey Bee Stakes at Oaklawn Park for trainer Hugh Robertson. Emigh is also listed to ride Bet On Joe for Robertson in the Lost Code here, but will bypass that opportunity to remain with Sarah Jade.

Emigh first partnered with the daughter of Jade Hunter when she broke her maiden on Feb. 3 at the Hot Springs racetrack and returned there to guide her when she won a first-level allowance race three weeks later.

"She won both of those races handily," Emigh said. "I just turned her loose when we hit the stretch and she left the others behind. She's facing a tougher bunch tomorrow so we'll see what she can do. She can be any kind and I want to stick with her. If she runs well tomorrow, who knows maybe she'll run in the (National Jockey Club) Oaks here or the Fantasy (at Oaklawn)."


Sportsman's Park is offering triple points on all live races bet on-site using the On-Track Rewards card Friday, March 8, Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10 in addition to every Monday and Tuesday throughout the season.


Starting this Sunday, March 10, there will be a Sunday Brunch special in the Gold Club Dining Room. Buy one brunch at the regular price of $17.95 (plus tax and gratuity) and receive a second brunch at half price. The price includes our famous brunch, clubhouse admission and a live racing program. For children 10-years-old and younger, brunches are available for $10.95 (plus tax and gratuity). Reservations, which are suggested, can be made at (708) 652-2812 ext. 257.


The first qualifying round for the March $5,000 Handicapping Contest is set for Sunday, March 10. The top 25 qualifiers from this Sunday will join the top 25 qualifiers from the second qualifying round on March 17 in the $5,000 final round on Sunday, March 24.

Participants will be asked to pick one horse in races three through nine and return the entry form to the Customer Service Center on the main floor of the grandstand before the start of the third race. The top qualifiers will be those contestants whose selections return the most money based on theoretical $2.00 across the board wagers on each selection.

In the final round, the top 50 qualifiers will compete for a $3,000 grand prize, a $1,000 second prize and 10 $100 third prizes. In addition, each of the 50 qualifiers will receive 500 points on their On-Track Rewards cards.




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