|Sportsman's Park Daily Notebook
Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310
Tuesday, March 19, 2002
ILLINOIS CHAMPIONS DAY NOMINATIONS RELEASED
Racing secretary Allan Plever and stakes coordinator Chris Polzin released nominations lists for the six races that comprise Illinois Champions Day on Saturday, March 30. A record number of 123 nominations, including 14 horses cross-nominated to multiple races, were received. Last year's total was 78 different horses and 92 nominations. In 2000 with a slightly different set of races for Illinois Champions Day, the totals were 87 different horses and 103 nominations.
Illinois Champions Day, which has become one of the most anticipated and festive afternoons of racing on the Illinois Thoroughbred calendar, will be the biggest and richest it has ever been in its 12-year history at Sportsman's Park.
Each of the six stakes races on Illinois Champions Day has been increased in value to $100,000 (including $75,000 added plus $25,000 from the Illinois Breeders' Fund), reflecting an added money increase per race of 33% over 2001. The aggregate six-race purse total of $600,000 makes it the single richest day of racing in history for Illinois registered conceived and/or foaled Thoroughbreds.
Only horses which are Illinois-bred (conceived and foaled) will be eligible for the $25,000 Breeders' Fund supplement. Illinois-bred horses finishing in the first five places will share in the supplement and any money not distributed this year will be carried over to next year's Illinois Championship Day stakes.
Highlights of Illinois Champions Day will be telecast on NTRA "2Day at the Races" on ESPN2 from 5:00-5:30 p.m. Central time. There will be full coverage of at least two of the races in their entirety plus the stretch drive of a third.
Topping the Illinois Champions Day races are the $100,000 Milwaukee Avenue Handicap for older horses at a mile and a sixteenth and its sister race, the $100,000 Peach Of It Handicap for older distaffers at one mile.
Defending champion Chicago Six heads the 21 nominations for the Milwaukee Avenue. The 7-year-old son of Wild Again is also nominated to this Sunday's $100,000 Sportsman's Park Breeders' Cup. Last year, the Jere R. Smith Sr. trainee captured both races in a seven-day time span en route to being named Illinois Champion Handicap Male of 2001.
Other stakes winners nominated to the Milwaukee Avenue include: Springfield Stakes hero Act of War; 3-year-old Colorful Tour, winner of the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity at Hawthorne in December and second to War Emblem in a $45,000 allowance race here on March 17; Meadow Champ, who took top honors in last year's Land Of Lincoln and Harham's Sizzler stakes over this oval; multiple Illinois stakes victor Paddy's Spy; and Spanish Hall, winner of the 2000 High Alexander Stakes at Hawthorne.
Former Illinois champion Faccia Bella, winner of last year's Peach Of It, is on the list of 26 horses nominated to the 2002 renewal of the one-mile race. The daughter of Dixie Brass, a champion in her 2-year-old campaign, would be making her first start of the year if she goes in the Peach Of It.
Also included on the Peach Of It noms are: Capitol View, fourth in the Cicero Handicap against open rivals on March 16; Explosive Action, unraced since capturing last year's Lawdy Miss Clawdy Stakes; multiple stakes victress Falasha; My Dallas, a wire-to-wire winner in open allowance company on March 16; Little Sucker Stakes heroine My Dallas; Puny, who took last year's Governor's Lady Handicap; Q. P. Cat, winner of last year's Cicero Handicap; Shemya, who captured Arlington's Purple Violet Stakes last June; and Illini Princess Handicap victress Tap Your Feet.
Sprinters are featured in the $100,000 Governor's Lady Handicap for fillies and mares and the $100,000 Chicagoland Handicap, both at six furlongs.
Prominent among the 15 distaffers nominated to the Governor's Lady are: defending champion Puny; Come September, winner of the 2000 edition of the race; Capitol View, who won the Powerless Stakes at Hawthorne in November; former Illinois champions Faccia Bella and Lil Bobbie Too; Mon Basier, second in this race last year and multiple stakes winner Q.P. Cat.
Classic Appeal, winner of last year's Chicagoland, is nominated for a possible repeat bid. Others on the list include: multiple stakes winner Davey's Cutlass; Freeway Ticket, winner of the Tex's Zing at Fairmount Park; former Illinois champions Lil Mephistopheles and Magic Doe; Meadow Champ, a two-time stakes winner here last year; Out of My Way, winner of the 2000 Springfield Stakes at Arlington; and Tic N Tin, the only horse to win a stakes race at all four Illinois Thoroughbred racetracks last year.
Rounding out the Illinois Champions Day races are a pair of events for 3-year-olds, the $100,000 Violet Stakes for fillies and the $100,000 Land Of Lincoln Stakes for colts and geldings.
SPORTSMAN'S BREEDERS' CUP UPDATE
Add the names Generous Rosi and Kombat Kat to the list of probable starters for Sunday's $100,000 Sportsman's Park Breeders' Cup Handicap. The former, a 7-year-old son of Generous, finished second to Aptitude in the Grade I $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup last October. The latter, by Future Storm, most recently finished third in a third-level allowance race at the Fair Grounds.
In other news for Sunday's stakes race, five horses pointing toward the race were on the local work tabs headed by McMahon, who dashed off a quick five furlongs in 58.20 over the Sportsman's surface, easily fastest of the morning. By contrast, Apalachee Special covered the same distance in 1:00.60.
Three horses worked for the Sportsman's Breeders' Cup this morning at neighboring Hawthorne Race Course. Associate worked a half-mile in 51 seconds flat while the Gerald Bennett-trained duo of Secret Romeo and Touch of Power went the same distance in 52.80 and 54.80 respectively.
Jockey Chris Emigh had the only multiple win performance on Monday, capturing the first race with Clever Deputy and the nightcap astride Crafty Note.
Larry Sterling Jr. picked up a win on Monday when he took the third race with Monica's Song to give him a two-win lead over Randall Meier and Alfredo Juarez Jr.
Mike Reavis and Frank Kirby each picked up one victory Monday to remain deadlocked atop the trainer standings with eight wins apiece.
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