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SPORTSMAN'S NOTES

Sportsman's Park Daily Notebook

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

Sunday, April 28, 2002

CASHEL CASTLE BACK AT SPORTSMAN'S AFTER DERBY TRIAL RUN

Sandbar Farm's Cashel Castle, who finished second in Saturday's Grade III Derby Trial at Churchill Downs, returned to his Sportsman's Park homebase Sunday at 11:35 a.m.

The son of Silver Ghost tasted defeat for the first time in six trips to the post when he finished second to Sky Terrace in his first attempt at one mile, though trainer Chris Block said it wasn't the distance that did his charge in.

"The sloppy track took his race away from him," Block said when asked to assess Cashel Castle's performance. "He wasn't into the bridle at all. He didn't extend himself. He didn't handle the track. He's a better horse than the horse that beat him and he proved that last time on a fast track. He ran second on pure gut and heart."

Block did consider scratching the horse from the Derby Trial because of the sloppy track.

"I thought about not running him because the track came up sloppy but all the signs were good," he said. "Horses in the earlier races seemed to be coming back okay from their races and by the fourth or fifth race I had decided that we would run."

Block said the 3-year-old colt came out of his race in good fashion but wouldn't speculate on when or where the horse would run next.

"He came back better than he did when he won (the Lafayette) at Keeneland," said the 35-year-old conditioner. "He came back really tired out of that race. We had to get him up the next day to bring him back to Chicago. He recovered very quickly last night, ate up his feed and was very alert. I'll sit down and map out his next couple of races. I won't run him for at least 30 days. I think we'll try one more race around one turn before I decide whether to stretch him out. A mile is not a problem but we really can't tell how far he can extend himself because he wasn't at his best (Saturday)."

RAZO NOT SERIOUSLY HURT IN SATURDAY MISHAP

Jockey Eusebio Razo Jr. appears to have escaped serious injury resulting from a fall from Lady Dealer in Saturday's second race.

Razo lost his right iron early in the one-mile race and was in third position and trying to get his foot back in the iron but his foot slipped and he fell to the track. Fortunately, none of the of the trailing horses struck Razo.

Razo was taken off his two listed mounts on the Sunday program, and according to agent Lindy McDaniel, Razo may miss Monday's card as well.

'TEAM SPORTSMAN'S' SET FOR NTRA HANDICAPPING FINALS

Spase Naurmovski of Stickney, Cherie Zipp of Palos Hills, Kevin Perkins of Chicago and Joey Haywood of Chicago will represent Sportsman's Park in the 2003 DRF/NTRA Handicapping Tournament in Las Vegas.

The quartet qualified by taking the top four spots in Saturday's Sportsman's Park tourney finals. Each of the winners will receive entry, airfare from Chicago to Las Vegas, accommodations and $1,000 in spending money.

Naumovski finished in the top spot with $33.60 based upon a $2 win wager on each of six selections, Zipp was next with $32.80 followed by Perkins with $29.80 and Haywood with $28.40.

Perkins is a repeat NTRA tourney qualifier as he represented Sportsman's Park in the 2002 tournament.

"They tell me (qualifying in consecutive years) is a bit of a rarity," said Perkins, who's been attending the races for about 10 years. "I'm looking forward to going back to Vegas. The tournament is a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun."

CHI TOWN CHALLENGE II UPDATE

Thanks in part to favored First Again missing the board in Saturday's $100,000 National Jockey Club Oaks, eight more people were eliminated from Chi Town Challenge II, leaving only five players from the original field of 2,437 left for a chance at the $5,000 prize.

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