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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Wednesday, June 20 2012


Arlington Park Barn Notes: Wed., June 20


TRAINER BRIAN WILLIAMSON ADVANCING AMONG ARLINGTON’S ELITE

It wasn’t too many years ago that increasingly prominent conditioner Brian Williamson was known as an assistant to his father-in-law – the legendary Arlington trainer Harvey Vanier – but when the venerable Mr. Vanier retired in 2004 Williamson stepped up to take over the reins of that family-oriented operation.

However, this year, beginning at Oaklawn and now at Chicago’s northwest suburban oval, Williamson is in the midst of the best season of his own two decade-long career of saddling horses in his own name.





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Monday, June 18 2012


Arlington Park Barn Notes: Sunday, June 17


SANDIA CREST RIFLES RIVAL IN SATURDAY’S SPRINGFIELD STAKES
Hondo Ranch’s Sandia Crest closed like a shot in Saturday’s $126,500 Springfield Stakes, shocking most in the crowd of more than 10,000 on hand for Arlington’s 12th renewal of the Prairie State Festival for Illinois-breds.

Sandia Ranch’s win price of $42.40 was easily the largest of Saturday’s six stakes races restricted to horses foaled in the Prairie State, but it came as no surprise to his conditioner Frank Kirby – the gentle bear of a man who will always be remembered for capturing two training titles at Arlington 30 years apart.





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Thursday, June 14 2012


Arlington Park Barn Notes: June 13


HERSHELL DAVIS’S SON, DAUGHTER OFF TO THEIR OWN STARTS IN RACING

Fathers’ Day is upon us once again at Arlington, and who fits the profile of an ideal longtime Arlington-employed father better than Arlington’s assistant starter Hershell Davis, who began working on the local gate in 1989?

Davis, along with his Chicago-born wife Liane Davis – the veteran Arlington-based trainer – are the proud parents of four children, two of which have now chosen to follow their parents into the world of Thoroughbred racing.





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Tuesday, June 12 2012


Jackpot High 5 Hit for $1.1 million


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 10, 2012) – After going unclaimed for the first 23 racing days of the 2012 Arlington Park meeting, the JackPOT High-5 was finally solved on Sunday when one lucky bettor had the lone winning ticket worth $1,115,184.20, an all-time Arlington Park payout on a single wager.

The Jackpot High-5 is a $1 wager that requires the bettor to select the first five finishers in exact order in the last race of the day. The Jackpot provision means that the entire pool pays out only when there is one and only one winning ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order.





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