Monday, September 03 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Sun. Sept. 2
TRAINER DALE BENNETT BOUNCES BACK IN AUGUST AFTER SLOW START
August trainer-of-the-month honors at Arlington were a slam dunk for veteran locally-based conditioner Dale Bennett, who will be presented with that award on Sept. 7.
What he did to earn them was make seven trips to the winner’s circle from the 14 starters he saddled during that time period – an impressive 50 percent win ratio – but the 2012 racing season for Bennett didn’t begin with anything like that kind of success.
Sunday, September 02 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Sat. Sept. 1
For whatever reason, a young filly got loose immediately prior to her presumed start in Arlington’s eighth race August 30, subsequently running off without a rider on her back to control her during her frightened flight.
Off in pursuit of the filly went Arlington outrider Vicki Vise and her trusted pony “L. S.” Along with local fellow outriders Juan Francisco “Pancho” Lopez, Alan Love Jr. and Roberto Martinez, the foursome serve something like traffic cops for any errant equines before and after each race during Arlington’s racing afternoons.
Arlington Park Stakes Recap: Grade III Washington Park Handicap
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 1, 2012) – G. Watts Humphrey Jr. & St. George Farm Racing’s Middie split horses at the three-eighths pole and quickly drew off to post a 3 ¾-length victory under jockey Francisco Torres in the $150,000 Grade III Washington Park Handicap in track-record time 1:49.27 for the mile and an eighth over Polytrack.
“The thing about (Arlington’s Polytrack) is when it rains, it tightens up the racetrack and you’ll see faster times,” Torres explained. “Around the three-eighths pole, I had so much horse. Everybody looked like they were just waiting for someone to move. When I found a seam between the horse in front of me and the horse outside of me, I went ahead and stole it. I got out, opened up and held on.”
Saturday, September 01 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Fri. Aug. 31
FRENCH JOCKEY FLORENT GEROUX MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME
Arlington’s 2012 season started off smoothly enough for French-born jockey Florent Geroux. It was his fifth summer of riding at the local oval where he had become increasingly familiar to Chicago horsemen and he was coming off a good spring meeting on Chicago’s south side where he had finished third in the Hawthorne standings.
When the first graded stakes of the summer came along May 19 – the 60th running of the Grade III Hanshin Cup – Geroux won it aboard Silverton Hills’ Havelock after getting up in the final strides to edge the favorite by a neck.
Friday, August 31 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Thurs. Aug. 30
STEPHEN FOSTER WINNER POOL PLAY SET FOR WASHINGTON PARK ‘CAP
As the winner of last year’s Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, W S. Farish Jr.’s Pool Play will bring a certain amount of welcome window dressing to Saturday’s 79th running of Arlington’s Grade III Washington Park Handicap.
It’s been seven years since a Stephen Foster winner last captured the $150,000 Washington Park, and that horse – Stonecrest Farm’s Perfect Drift – was doing it for the second time in three years.
Monday, August 27 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Sunday, Aug. 26
MISTER MARTI GRAS WORKS FOR SATURDAY’S WASHINGTON PARK ‘CAP
Lothenbach Stables’ Mister Marti Gras, hero of last summer’s Grade III Washington Park Handicap, breezed Sunday at Arlington in advance of Saturday’s 78th renewal of the $150,000 Washington Park ‘Cap, Arlington’s richest race for older horses over its Polytrack course each year.
Sunday’s five-furlong tune-up was accomplished in 1:04 over Arlington’s grass course with the “dogs” well out from the rail. The turf was rated “firm” at the time, hours before showers hit the Chicago oval later in the morning.
Wednesday, August 22 2012
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Wed. AUg. 22
HISTORY FAVORS FUTURE OF THE INAUGURAL AMERICAN ST. LEGER
The inaugural running of Arlington’s $400,000 American St. Leger turned out to be an excellent added garnish to the 30th anniversary edition of the Arlington Million and Arlington’s International Festival of Racing.
Last Saturday’s International Festival of Racing crowd of 34,022 broke the Arlington Million’s all-time attendance record since the current facility opened more than two decades ago as Chicago’s premier Thoroughbred oval. It was also turned out to be the fourth highest Arlington Million Day crowd in the Million’s 30-year history.
Monday, August 20 2012
ARLINGTON MILLION XXX ATTENDANCE OF 34,022 BEST IN MORE THAN TWO DECADES
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Aug. 19, 2012) – The 2012 Arlington Million/International Festival of Racing Day crowd of 34,022 not only represented a 10% increase from the 31,069 that attended the 2011 International Festival of Racing, it also was the largest Million Day crowd since the current facility opened in 1989 and the fourth highest in the 30-year history of the Arlington Million.
In addition, the all-sources commingled handle of $14,785,748 was 14% higher than the $13,017,554 wagered on the 2011 Million Day card. On track, the $2,891,660 bet was 13% higher than the $2,562,613 handled the previous year.
Saturday, August 18 2012
ORTIZ, JR. RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL; X-RAYS NEGATIVE
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Irad Ortiz, Jr., 20, was released from Saratoga Hospital on Friday afternoon after X-rays were negative on his right ankle, according to the NYRA jockey advocate. He is cleared to ride for Saturday’s card, during which he will attempt to win the prestigious Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama on Questing.
Ortiz Jr., injured his ankle in the starting gate prior to the start of Friday’s third race at Saratoga Race Course. His mount was the 3-year-old filly Corinzia, who was scratched from the race and uninjured.
JAMES GRAHAM LEADS “ARLINGTON FAB FIVE” TO VICTORY OVER “LEGENDS” IN JOCKEY CHALLENGE AT ARL
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Aug. 17, 2012) – The “Arlington Fab Five” beat the “Legends Team” in the third annual special Jockey Challenge Race on Friday at Arlington Park. Led by James Graham, who won the race aboard Jake Wil Gallop, the Fab Five outscored the Legends by a count of 23-16 based on a 12-10-7-6-4 point system.
“It’s brilliant,” said Graham, who has ridden in all three editions of the special race. “More tracks should do things like this, especially with the proceeds going to great causes (the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America.
International Festival Barn Notes: Friday, Aug. 17 - PM Edition
GAME BALL OUT OF AMERICAN ST. LEGER; IN PLAY AT SARATOGA
Dorothy Gentner’s Game Ball, entered in Saturday’s inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger as part of Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing, did not ship to Chicago and is entered in Saratoga’s Grade I Sword Dancer Invitational on the same day.
Trained by Naipaul Chatterpaul, Game Ball had been dismissed as one of four 30-1 long shots in the American St. Leger.
International Festival Barn Notes: Friday, August 17, 2012 - AM Edition
DOMESTIC SHIPPERS ARRIVE FOR INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF RACING
Domestic shippers arrive for International Festival of Racing. They came, they’re seeing, will they conquer?
Domestic shippers from the barns of Dale Romans, Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey, H. Graham Motion, and Dale Romans arrived in good order on Thursday ahead of their starts in the International Festival of Racing on Saturday at Arlington Park.