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|Sportsman's Park Daily Notebook
Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310
Sunday, April 7, 2002
WAR EMBLEM FINE AFTER ILLINOIS DERBY ROMP
Shortly before 9:00 Sunday morning, Illinois Derby hero War Emblem was loaded onto a Sallee van -- destination Kentucky. No, the Reineman-Springer team didn't get visions of a garland of roses overnight as the horse is headed not to Churchill Downs but to Keeneland where he will join the blue grass division of trainer Frank Springer's stock.
"He came out of the race real good," said assistant trainer Ben Allen, who is also Springer's nephew. "We'll see how he's doing after a week or so. We'll be able to tell how the horse bounced back and we'll plot our next plan from there.
"I don't think we'll do The Derby," Allen continued. "The pace of The Derby has been ridiculous the last few years (45.99 seconds to the half in 2000 and a blistering 44.86 to that juncture last year) for horses going a mile and a quarter for the first time. He'd be right in the thick of (that kind of pace). The Derby sets up right for a horse like (Illinois Derby runner-up) Repent, or like Monarchos last year.
"He'd be better suited for the Preakness," he concluded. "The main thing is we have to take care of the horse and let him tell us where to go. We want to make sure we still have a strong horse for the Fall. When the 3-year-old crop starts to thin out in the Fall, we can really do some good with him."
Pin Oak Stable's Changeintheweather, who finished ninth in the Illinois Derby, left on the same van as the winner.
Select Stable's Repent, the beaten 1-2 favorite who finished second after trailing through the first half mile of the mile and an eighth race, departed the stable area several hours earlier on a van bound for Louisville.
LASALA AIMS FOR A MID-APRIL RETURN TO SADDLE
Jockey Jerry LaSala was on horseback for the first time Saturday morning since cracking an ankle in a February training mishap.
LaSala, who has undergone continuous therapy since the incident, visits his doctor next week and hopes to receive clearance to ride on April 18.
APRIL HANDICAPPING CONTEST BEGINS SATURDAY
Sportsman's Park April handicapping contest begins Saturday, April 13 with the first of two qualifying rounds and continues the following Saturday, April 20. Contestants will be asked to pick one horse in each of six designated races and the top 50 players from each qualifying round based on races won will advance to the Saturday, April 27 final round.
The 100 April finalists will join the approximately 300 players that qualified for the finals of the January, February and March contests. The top four finishers in the April 27 final round, which will be based on money won, will be sent to the 2003 NTRA/DRF National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. Sportsman's Park will provide entry fees, airfare and lodging to the four winners.
"POST TIME" PROGRAMMING NOTE
"Post Time at Sportsman's", the track's nightly replay show that airs on FOX Sports Net Chicago, will air one-half hour earlier than usual on Tuesday, April 9 at 5 p.m. Central time.
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