|Sportsman's Park Daily Notebook
Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310
Tuesday, March 12, 2002
HATTIESBURG ARRIVES FOR SATURDAY'S CICERO HANDICAP
Nelson Bunker Hunt's Hattiesburg, the starting high weight and likely favorite for Saturday's $100,000 Cicero Handicap, arrived at Sportsman's Park Tuesday morning and the Tom Amoss-trained filly has been bedded down with trainer Chris Block's stock in Barn C in the track's stable area.
"She's doing real good right now," said Amoss via phone from his winter headquarters at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. "Despite running a couple of good races here, she doesn't seem to care for the Fair Grounds surface. There's a stakes race down here this weekend that she could have run in (the $125,000 Victoria Lass Handicap) but we chose to go up there instead."
In two starts during the Fair Grounds meet, Hattiesburg finished third to Serena's Tune in a $40,000 allowance race in December and came back to run third behind My Brent's Diamond and Hallowed Dreams in the $75,000 Pan Zareta Handicap on Feb. 9.
"I think the long stretch at Sportsman's Park will suit her well," added Amoss, who will not be on hand to saddle his charge. "I think you'll see the real Hattiesburg this weekend."
It was right about this time one year ago that Hattiesburg launched into the best sequence of her career, winning five straight races at five different race tracks including scores in the Ribbon Stakes at Arlington Park and the Grade III Azalea Breeders' Cup at Calder Race Course.
Shane Laviolette will ride Hattiesburg, who will carry top weight of 118 pounds and spot her rivals from one to five pounds for Saturday's six-furlong headliner.
John Conforti's Capitol View will be making her first start of the year in the Cicero Handicap. The Illinois-foaled daughter of Sports View finished second in last year's Cicero and later won a pair of races at Hawthorne Race Course in the fall. The Ron Goodridge-trained 7-year-old will carry 117 pounds Saturday including Sportsman's Park's leading jockey Randall Meier.
Also in with 117 pounds is Naveed Chowhan's Keepondealing. The daughter of Friendly Lover has finished second in each of her last two starts, both $41,600 allowance races at Mountaineer Park in West Virginia. Previously, the Bernie Flint trainee captured the $50,000 New Year's Eve Handicap at Mountaineer and the $50,000 Wishing Well Stakes 13 days later. Zoe Cadman has the riding assignment.
John Hajduk's Marciann was just a neck behind Keepondealing in the New Year's Eve Handicap after previously capturing a $37,800 allowance contest over that oval. The Indiana-bred daughter of Speedy Care is a two-time victress in both the Fran Slocum and Merrillville Stakes at Hoosier Park. Frank Kirby will saddle Marciann, who will carry 116 pounds and be ridden by Lupe Macias.
My Jo Lee Stable II's Soul Onarazorsedge, the one-eyed filly trained by Gene Brajczewski, comes into the race with a win at this meet, capturing the opening day allowance feature by 4½ lengths. The daughter of Carson City ran a good second to Keepondealing in the Wishing Well Stakes at Turfway in January.
"She trained good this morning," Brajczewski said Tuesday. "The (opening day) race was like a breeze for her. She's real happy right now. We'll see what happens Saturday."
Eusebio Razo Jr. gets a return call aboard Soul Onarazorsedge who will tote 116 pounds in the Cicero.
Completing the field for the Cicero (with weight assignment and jockey) are: Wexler Stable Inc.'s Adam's Time (115 pounds, E. T. Baird), wire-to-wire heroine in the $40,000 Due Bill Stakes at Hawthorne last November; Rick Englander's French Teacher (114, Larry Sterling Jr.), who has traded off victories with Keepondealing at Mountaineer; and Edwin H. Wachtel's Wired to Fly (112, Alfredo Juarez Jr.), who invades from New York off a fourth-place run in the $75,000 Correction Handicap at Aqueduct last month.
TRAINER HOUGHTON HOSPITALIZED
Trainer Roy Houghton is hospitalized at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, where he is listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit. The veteran conditioner was taken to the hospital Monday afternoon complaining of chest pains.
CHI TOWN CHALLENGE UPDATE
Another 98 contestants were eliminated from the $5,000 Chi Town Challenge Monday, bringing the number of remaining contestants down to 193 from the original field of 1,736.
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