Sunday, September 30 2012
CURTAIN COMES DOWN ON 2012 ARLINGTON PARK SEASON
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 30, 2012) – The 90-day meeting at Arlington Park ended Sunday, Sept. 30, with trainer Wayne Catalano earning his 10th Arlington crown while jockey Francisco Torres and owners Midwest Thoroughbreds of Richard & Karen Papiese each took down their first Arlington title.
One month into Arlington’s 2012 session, the Chicago oval’s normally prolific Catalano had only registered four wins at the meeting, but by the end of July he had assumed his traditional position atop the standings. By the time the curtain fell on Sept. 30, “Cat” had won 63 races, nearly double the victories of his closest pursuer Chris Block (38 wins).
Friday, September 28 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Friday, Sept. 28
ALYSSA ALI PICKS INVISIBLE STAR ON TV PRIOR TO $40.40 WIN PAYOFF
Arlington guests and fans of Arlington’s simulcast signal were tipped off to a $40.40 win payoff Thursday when Arlington television personality Alyssa Ali selected Invisible Star in a televised segment from the paddock prior to the eighth race of the afternoon.
Not so coincidentally, Invisible Star is owned and trained by Alnaz Ali, Alyssa’s father.
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Thurs., Sept. 27
PATAKY KID GETS BULLET BREEZE FOR BREEDERS’ FUTURITY OCT. 6
Swifty Farms’ Pataky Kid, three-length winner of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity on Sept. 8, breezed a bullet five furlongs in one minute flat Monday morning at Chicago’s northwest suburban oval in preparation for Keeneland’s upcoming Grade I Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity on Oct. 6.
Following the bullet five-eighths move, the juvenile son of Rockport Harbor conditioned by trainer Tom Proctor galloped out three-quarters in 1:13.40.
Wednesday, September 26 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Wed. Sept. 26
DARRELL, EVELYN YATES EARN SEPTEMBER’S ARLINGTON OWNERS AWARD
The husband-wife ownership tandem of Darrell and Evelyn Yates will be recognized as Arlington’s Owner of the Month for September on Friday, based on statistics compiled through September’s first three weeks.
Chicago’s showcase northwest suburban oval brings down the curtain on its 2012 season on the last day of the month this Sunday.
Sunday, September 23 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Sun. Sept. 23
THIRD CHANCE FINISHES HER ARLINGTON CAREER WITH DESSERT TOPPING
Third Chance, the fast 4-year-old filly owned by ABC-7 Chicago news anchorman Ron Magers, Bob Marcocchio and others, began her career with an appetizing six-length win at Arlington 25 months ago.
On Saturday, she wrapped up her gifted history at the local oval with a victory by almost seven lengths, and that led to the ice cream celebration that had been publicly promised to the racing fans on hand by the acknowledged dean of Chicago newscasters.
Saturday, September 22 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Fri. Sept. 21
JOCKEY JAMES GRAHAM RESURGENT WITH FOUR-WIN THURSDAY
Like the former junior welterweight champion “Irish” Micky Ward, portrayed by Mark Wahlberg in the 2010 movie “The Fighter”, jockey James Graham refuses to go down in the valiant defense of his 2011 Arlington riding championship.
Ward, although born in the hardscrabble New England factory town of Lowell, Massachusetts, marketed his Irish heritage for added box office appeal when overcoming his disadvantaged upbringing during his uphill battle to earn the championship belt.
Thursday, September 20 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Wed. Sept. 19
RECALLING ADDISON CAMMACK: ALWAYS ON HIS ‘A’ GAME AT ARLINGTON
How fitting it is that Arlington has chosen to honor the late Addison Cammack with an overnight stakes race named for him less than a year after his death.
“Addison had been a fixture for decades around Arlington,” said conditioner Chris Block, currently engaged in a nip-and-tuck battle for runner-up honors in the 2012 Arlington trainer standings when speaking on Arlington’s apron during training hours earlier this week. “I believe earlier in his life he had been a pony person, but for decades, along with his significant other Pam Kuehl, they ran their own horse transport business here in the Chicago area. Addison was loved by everyone at Arlington and Hawthorne. He was a trustworthy, classy guy and a good friend to everybody who knew him.
Monday, September 17 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Sun. Sept. 16
“Blame it on the dog.” That was the consensus opinion of jockey Jeffrey Sanchez, his girlfriend Lindsey Molina and his agent Penny Ffitch-Heyes on the fickle finger of fate that pointed him in the direction of Chicago and Arlington for its 2012 summer season.
“Last spring while I was at Keeneland, I saw this adorable bull-dog puppy looking out a car window,” Ffitch-Heyes said. “I once had a bull-dog who I absolutely adored so I went over to find out who the owner was. It was Lindsey, and she introduced me to Jeffrey. I didn’t know who he was, or even that he was a jockey, so I kind of ignored him and went on playing with the dog.
Saturday, September 15 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Fri. Sept. 14
TWO ILLINOIS HANDICAPS SERVE AS SUPPORTING STAKES SATURDAY
The Grade III Pucker Up Stakes, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary edition next season, is the centerpiece event of Saturday’s Arlington program, but two overnight handicaps restricted to horses registered in the Illinois program serve as supporting features on the same afternoon.
Saturday’s opening event is the $65,000 Lady Lionel Handicap for fillies and mares and will be run at one mile over Arlington’s world famous turf course.
Friday, September 14 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Thurs. Sept. 13
TRAINER LUNSFORD MOVING UP ON HER UNLIKELY PATH TO ARLINGTON
As a single parent with an 8-year-old daughter Tori at home on her farm in downstate Mt. Vernon, Illinois, and a relatively small stable to oversee, you wouldn’t think that trainer Kim Lunsford would have had the time to bring her horses to Arlington for the first time this summer.
Nevertheless, there she was, proudly posing in the winner’s circle during the first week of September along with owner Tom Rinaudo and the 3-year-old filly Lady Haddassah, who had just won a one-mile turf test on Thoroughbred racing’s center stage in Chicago. Lunsford had claimed Lady Haddassah for Rinaudo out of a winning race over Churchill’s Louisville lawn last spring, but her September tally was the first in three starts for her new connections.
Thursday, September 13 2012
GRADE III PUCKER UP STAKES DRAWS DOZEN DISTAFFERS
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 12, 2012) – A full field of 12 grass favoring sophomore fillies, topped by Landaluce Educe Stables’ Volcat and Team Valor International & Robert LaPenta’s Angegreen, will line up for Saturday’s Grade III $175,000 Pucker Up Stakes at a mile and an eighth on the turf.
Slated as the eighth of 11 races on Saturday, the Pucker Up is the final graded stakes race of the Arlington Park season and will be part of a stakes tripleheader that also includes a pair of $65,000-added races for state-breds – the Lady Lionel Handicap for fillies and mares at a mile on the turf and the Tex’s Zing Handicap for the boys at a mile and a sixteenth on the lawn.
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Wed. Sept. 12
ARLINGTON-WASHINGTON FUTURITY’S WINNING OWNERS EYE THE FUTURE
As one of Chicago’s oldest stakes races, the tradition-rich Arlington-Washington Futurity was first run more than 80 years ago and – as its name implies – it is a hopeful harbinger of things to come for any horse fortunate enough to win it.
Hunter Farm’s Spend a Buck won the Arlington-Washington Futurity as a 2-year-old and went on to win the Kentucky Derby the following spring. Rex Ellsworth’s Candy Spots won the local Futurity and went on to win the Preakness the next year. Blanche Levy’s Bet Twice won the 1987 Belmont Stakes after capturing the Arlington-Washington Futurity the previous season.