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SPORTSMAN'S NOTES

Sportsman's Park Daily Notebook

Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310
sportsmanspub@aol.com

Friday, April 19, 2002

DISTAFFERS FEATURED NEXT WEEKEND

The distaff set will be spotlighted next weekend with the renewals of the $100,000 National Jockey Club Oaks on Saturday, April 27 and the Grade III $300,000 Sixty Sails Handicap on Sunday, April 28.

The National Jockey Club Oaks, a mile and a sixteenth race for 3-year-old fillies, closed with 23 sophomore females nominated for the race. Prominent among the nominees is Arthur B. Hancock III & James H. Stone's Chamrousse, a multiple graded stakes-place filly. A daughter of 1995 Illinois Derby winner Peaks and Valleys, Chamrousse has run third in three consecutive graded stakes -- the Grade III Silverbulletday at the Fair Grounds, Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks at the New Orleans oval and the Grade II Fantasy at Oaklawn Park. Chamrousse is trained by Niall O'Callaghan, who won three straight renewals of the NJC Oaks 1996-98.

Other stakes-winning or stakes-placed nominees include (in alphabetical order): N. Vanier, L. Williamson & B. Culver's Elementary, who took the $40,000 Miss Mommy Stakes at Hawthorne Race Course last fall; Miles Childers & L.T.B.'s Emeraldforajudge, third in the $100,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes at the Fair Grounds in January; WinStar Farm's First Again, third in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie as a 2-year-old and fourth in the Grade I Ashland in her most recent effort; P. Lauer, B. & T. Ward, & J. Danehy's Ghost Queen, Hoosier Debutante heroine last November.

Also, Crown's Way Farm's Gracility, Violet Stakes victress; Jer-Mar Stables' Sarah Jade, third in the Grade III Honeybee Stakes and second in the $50,000 Althea at Oaklawn Park; Top Flight Stakes heroine Ron & Ricki Rashinski's Vicki Vallencourt, who also captured the Indian Summer at Keeneland and last out finished second in the $75,000 Thelma Stakes in January; and Three Good Legs Stable's White O Morn, who won the $100,000 Illinois Breeders' Debutante in her final start as a 2-year-old.

No fewer than eight graded stakes winners appear on the list of 22 distaffers nominated to the Sixty Sails Handicap, a mile and an eighth race that is the Chicago circuit's richest dirt race for fillies and mares.

Among the nominees are grade I stakes winners Verne Winchell's Fleet Renee, who won the Ashland and Mother Goose Stakes during her 3-year-old campaign; WinStar Farm's Jostle, a multiple grade I winner as a sophomore and grade I placed as a 4-year-old; and WinStar Farm's Pompeii, heroine of the Personal Ensign Handicap last summer.

Grade II winners nominated to the Sixty Sails include: Richard, Bertram & Elaine Klein's De Bertie, who took the Rampart Handicap last year at Gulfstream Park; and Lee Lewis' Mystic Lady, who wired the Cotillion Handicap at Philadelphia Park last October.

Grade III victresses nominated to the Sixty Sails include: Earl Shultz's Ask Me No Secrets, who took the Oaklawn Breeders' Cup last month; William S. Farish's Quick Tip, winner of the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay last season; and Edward P. Evans' With Ability, wire-to-wire victress of the Next Move Handicap at Aqueduct on March 29.

Other stakes winners nominated to the race include: Hubbard, Masterson & Rio Claro's Alexine, winner of the restricted Santa Lucia at Santa Anita last time out; Stonerside Stable's Becky Virtue, wire-to-wire heroine of the Fairway Fun at Turfway Park on March 30; Cam Allard's Extend, who took the Stage Door Betty Handicap at Calder Race Course in front-running fashion last December; Alter Racing Stable's Happily Unbridled, winner of the Judy Red Shoes' Handicap at Calder in October; Moore, Saylor & Voss' Katy Kat, who won the Bayou Breeders' Cup at the Fair Grounds in March; Nelson Bunker Hunt's McKinney, who took the Harry Henson at Sunland Park by a nose in her last start; Lady Hallie Handicap victress, Russell L. Reineman Stable's Pretty Gale; and Braun & English's Red n'Gold, winner of the Pippin at Oaklawn Park earlier this year.

The winners of the last two editions of the Sixty Sails, License Fee in 2001 and Lu Ravi the previous year, both went over the $1 million mark in career earnings with the $180,000 winner's share of the Sixty Sails purse. Two nominees for this year's race, Yoshio Fujita's Maltese Superb and Lee Lewis' Mystic Lady, would go over the million-dollar plateau should either win the race.

LASALA TO RETURN TO RIDING SUNDAY

Jerry LaSala, sidelined since injuring his right ankle in late February, will return to action on Sunday. The veteran reinsman in named to ride two horses on the card: Mukluk in the second race for trainer Charlie Bettis and Ft. Mann for trainer Wayne Catalano in the sixth race.

"When they throw me back up on a horse, I'll know I'm back in business," LaSala said Friday morning.

EARLIE FIRES BACK IN TOWN

Hall-of-Fame jockey Earlie Fires, who has spent the winter months in Florida riding at Gulfstream Park, is slated to accept his first mounts of the Sportsman's meet on Sunday. Fires is named aboard Fourth Floor for trainer Pam Little in the seventh race and Tower Of The Winds in the eighth for trainer Don Millonas.

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