Thursday, July 12 2012


BOISTEROUS INVADES FOR THE GRADE III ARLINGTON HANDICAP


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 11, 2012) – Phipps Stable’s Boisterous, third in the Grade I Manhattan Handicap in New York on the Belmont Stakes undercard, has accepted high impost of 122 pounds as he heads a field of 11 turf specialists entered for Saturday’s Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap.

The mile and a quarter Arlington Handicap serves as the final local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million, which will be held Aug. 18, and is one of four major stakes that comprise the track’s Million Preview Day program. In addition to the Arlington Handicap, the 12-race card includes the Grade III $200,000 American Derby, the Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap and the Grade III $150,000 Stars and Stripes. As an added bonus, the 1-2-3 finishers in the Arlington Handicap will have their entry and starting fees waived for Arlington Million XXX should they elect to run in that event next month.





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EUROPEAN TRAINERS O’BRIEN, GOSDEN EYING ARLINGTON MILLION AGAIN


Two of international racing’s most successful and respected horsemen – Ireland’s Aidan O’Brien and Great Britain’s John Gosden – have the upcoming 30th anniversary edition of the Grade I Arlington Million on Aug. 18 clearly on their respective radars, according to the International Racing Bureau’s Alastair Donald.

O’Brien, who won last year’s Arlington Million with Mrs. Fitriani Hay, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s Cape Blanco, and last year’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes on the same afternoon with Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s Treasure Beach, is considering bringing Treasure Beach back to Chicago for the 2012 Million.





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Monday, July 09 2012


Million Preview Day July 14


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 9, 2012) – Arlington Park will present the 12th annual Million Preview Day program on Saturday, July 14, showcasing the final local prep races for the Aug. 18 Arlington Million and International Festival of Racing, featuring four graded stakes worth an aggregate of $750,000 in purses.

Serving as the designated prep for Arlington Million XXX is the Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap at the Million distance of a mile and a quarter on the turf while the Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap at a mile and three-sixteenths over the lawn serves the same purpose for the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D.





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Arlington Park Barn Notes: Sunday, July 8


SAINT LEON’S VICTORY IN ARLINGTON SPRINT ONE MIRACULOUS STORY
Was Saint Leon’s roundabout journey into the hands of the owner-trainer team of Margaret Burlingham and Michele Boyce heaven sent, or was it the other way around?

Perhaps a little of both for the Arlington Sprint winner and his human two-women team, with noble assists credited to two more women – nationally prominent Thoroughbred owner Maggi Moss and Gail Vacca, president of the Illinois Equine Humane Center located in Elgin.





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Sunday, July 08 2012


SAINT LEON PULLS OFF ARLINGTON SPRINT UPSET


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 7, 2012) – Margaret Burlingham’s locally based Saint Leon was fastest away from the gate in the $100,000 Arlington Sprint and was able to maintain that advantage to hold off the furious rally of 2010 champion Chamberlain Bridge to secure a half-length victory in the 5 ½ furlong grass test.

E. T. Baird rode the Michele Boyce-trained son of Stravinsky who got the distance over firm ground in 1:03.18 after posting fractions of 22.39 seconds, 45.74 seconds and 57.25 seconds.





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Saturday, July 07 2012


Arlington Park Barn Notes: Friday, July 6


RAHYSTRADA, NIKKI’S SANDCASTLE READY TO JOIN ARLINGTON ‘CAP MIX

Robert Courtney Jr.’s Rahystrada, hero by a half-length in the Grade III Arlington Handicap two summers ago, is now probable to return for this year’s spirited 76th renewal of the Arlington Handicap on Million Preview Day July 14.

The Arlington Handicap, at 10 furlongs over Arlington’s world-famous turf course, is once again the designed local prep race for this year’s 30th anniversary edition of the Grade I Arlington Million – centerpiece race of the suburban Chicago oval’s International Festival of Racing on Aug. 18.





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Thursday, July 05 2012


Road To The 2012 Arlington Million Vol. I: Wednesday, July 04, 2012


Arlington’s Million Preview Day was only 10 days away when Chicagoans celebrated America’s Birthday on July 4. That meant that the 30th anniversary edition of the Grade I Arlington Million would follow five weeks later on the third Saturday in August.

With the Grade III Arlington Handicap looming as Chicago’s designed local preview for the Arlington Million, the field for the Million’s July 14 prep race was beginning to take shape.





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Saturday, June 30 2012


Arlington Park Barn Notes: Friday, June29


ARLINGTON TRAINER TONY GRANITZ LEARNED GAME FROM GROUND UP

Chicago-born trainer Tony Granitz, 48, who saddled Captain Jack Racing Stable’s Mr. Mischief to win the $114,625 Black Tie Affair Handicap on Prairie State Festival Day, may still be a relatively young man but he has three decades of professional experience at Arlington behind him already and approximately 10 additional years as an Arlington guest before that.

“My brother (Chris) and I started working with horses as kids,” said Granitz a couple of weeks after Mr. Mischief’s win. “We had a neighbor who had horses. We’d get up at 4 a.m. in the morning to go work for him and then he’d take us out to Arlington to watch the races in the afternoon. I didn’t realize he was going to pay us $50 a week for helping him – we’d have done it for free – and he didn’t for several weeks. When I got my first check it was for $200. I thought I’d hit the Lotto.”





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Arlington Park Barn Notes: Friday, June29


ARLINGTON TRAINER TONY GRANITZ LEARNED GAME FROM GROUND UP

Chicago-born trainer Tony Granitz, 48, who saddled Captain Jack Racing Stable’s Mr. Mischief to win the $114,625 Black Tie Affair Handicap on Prairie State Festival Day, may still be a relatively young man but he has three decades of professional experience at Arlington behind him already and approximately 10 additional years as an Arlington guest before that.

“My brother (Chris) and I started working with horses as kids,” said Granitz a couple of weeks after Mr. Mischief’s win. “We had a neighbor who had horses. We’d get up at 4 a.m. in the morning to go work for him and then he’d take us out to Arlington to watch the races in the afternoon. I didn’t realize he was going to pay us $50 a week for helping him – we’d have done it for free – and he didn’t for several weeks. When I got my first check it was for $200. I thought I’d hit the Lotto.”





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Thursday, June 28 2012


Arlington Park Barn Notes: Thursday, June 28, 2012


STIDHAM SCORES ARLINGTON’S 1ST TRAINING TRIPLE OF 2012 WEDNESDAY
Arlington-based conditioner Mike Stidham became the first horseman at the local oval’s 2012 session to saddle three winners on a single program Wednesday and that training triple moved him into a tie for the lead in the trainer standings entering Friday’s racing program.

In spite of that three-win afternoon and his newfound status as Arlington’s co-leading conditioner, Stidham downplayed his chances of earning the first training championship of his career at the end of the season.





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ARIANA D FAVORED IN GRADE III CHICAGO HANDICAP


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 27, 2012) – Maple Leaf Farm LLC’s Ariana D, third in each of her last two trips postward, has accepted high impost of 121 pounds for her engagement in Saturday’s $150,000 Chicago Handicap. The seven-furlong Grade III race attracted a field of seven fillies and mares and will be run as the eighth of 11 races on the card that begins at 1 p.m. Central with the overnight $65,000 Mariah’s Storm Stakes kicking off the program.

A daughter of Rock Slide, Ariana D makes her second straight stakes start over the Arlington oval after posting a third-place finish in the Grade III Arlington Matron on May 26. In that nine-furlong affair, the 6-year-old mare was bumped at the break before making a three-wide bid to pick up the show money. The Andrew McKeever trainee should relish the turn back in distance as she is three for six at seven panels including a score in the $100,000 Avowal at Woodbine last October. Willie Martinez will ride the highweight who will spot her rivals from four to seven pounds.





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Arlington Park Barn Notes: Wed., June 27


CATALANO CLOSING FAST IN ARLINGTON’S LEADING TRAINER CHASE

One month into Arlington’s 2012 session, the Chicago oval’s normally prolific conditioner Wayne Catalano had only registered four wins at the meeting, but less than three weeks ago he had moved into a tie for the seventh spot.

However, over recent racing days “the Cat Man” has been making up ground like a velociraptor, moving into third position by saddling Gary and Mary West’s Arcade for a win last Saturday and into a tie for the runner-up spot on Sunday with the victory of Darrell and Evelyn Yates’ Emile.





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