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Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310
Monday, April 1, 2002
ILLINOIS DERBY FIELD TAKING SHAPE
With entries for the Grade II $500,000 Illinois Derby less than 24 hours away, the field for the mile and an eighth race for 3-year-olds is coming into sharp focus with at least nine horses expected to pass the entry box for Saturday's headliner.
Likely starters (with riders listed where known) in alphabetical order are: Pin Oak Stable's Changeintheweather (Mickey Walls); Anderson & Meadowbrook Farm Inc.'s Fonz's (Alfredo Juarez Jr.); W. K. Pritts & Nancy A. Vanier's Mucho Rapido (Chris Emigh); Italo-Erin Stables' One Tuff Fox (Eddie Martin Jr.); Guy B. and Diane Snowden's Peekskill (Jose Santos); Mercedes Stables' Publication (Randall Meier); Select Stable's Repent (Jerry Bailey); Stritz & Zander's Robin Zee; and Russell L. Reineman Stable's War Emblem.
Listed as a possible starter for the race is: Doubledown Stables Inc.'s White Flame.
Changeintheweather breezed five furlongs Monday morning at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., covering the distance in 1:00 2/5 with exercise rider Sarah Cohen in the saddle.
"He's doing very well," said trainer David Bell. "He went five-eighths in a minute and change and finished up well."
A son of Gone West, Changeintheweather won the Grade I Grey Breeders' Cup at Woodbine as a 2-year-old and last time out captured a second-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park in the final strides under jockey Jorge Chavez, though it will be Mickey Walls who has the mount on Saturday.
"He was still a little green and I'm not sure he likes to be ridden that aggressively," Bell said when asked about the horse's last race. "The win wasn't all that impressive, but Chavez said there was more horse underneath him at the wire. Once he got to them (the horses in front of him), he just kind of stayed with them.
"He's improving all the time," the trainer continued. "Going farther should help him. I think he wants more than a mile and a sixteenth (the distance of his last race) and hopefully he'll like the mile and an eighth. He's done well and he's been real sharp since we shipped to Keeneland last Thursday. We'll van up to Chicago on Thursday."
Peekskill, third in the Grade I Florida Derby in his last start, shipped from Florida to Kentucky on Sunday and is settled in at Churchill Downs, where he will train up to the Illinois Derby.
"He rewarded us with a nice race in the Florida Derby and he earned the right to go to Sportsman's for the Illinois Derby," said trainer Tony Reinstedler Monday morning from Louisville. "He won't breeze between now and the race. He's done with his major work. We shipped up to Churchill Sunday and he trained here real well this morning. We'll train at Churchill until Friday and then van up for the race."
Reinstedler indicated that Peekskill will wear blinkers for the first time when he heads to post in the Illinois Derby.
"We'll add blinkers for the race to help him keep his focus," the trainer said. "He dropped farther back than I wanted him to (in the Florida Derby) and I think the blinkers will help keep him focused and not be so far back. He's a one-run type. If he handles the turns well, he should finish strong."
NEW CHI-TOWN CHALLENGE TO BEGIN SUNDAY
Since the first Chi Town Challenge came to a conclusion Saturday with a person using the online moniker "Iceman44" claiming the $5,000 prize, Sportsman's Park management is starting a second Chi Town Challenge.
The Chi Town Challenge is a free sudden-death competition that begins Sunday, April 7 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. Central time every race day. Scratches and changes will be made available by 11:45 a.m. Central time every race day.
To enter the contest people are requested to complete the electronic registration form that will be available at www.sportsmanspark.com beginning Tuesday, April 2. Sportsman's Park must receive all registrations by 11:30 a.m. Central time on Sunday, April 7.
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