S J Stables’ Cloudy’s Knight, hero of last fall’s Grade I Canadian International at Woodbine and twice runner-up in Arlington’s Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap, breezed seven-eighths in 1:29 Wednesday morning in preparation for this year’s renewal of Chicago’s traditional Fourth of July stakes race.
“I was pleased with the work and the jock (Ramsey Zimmerman) thought he went very well,” said trainer Frank Kirby shortly after the move. “I’ve been pointing him to the Stars and Stripes. He’s been training well and he galloped out well this morning, so as of now everything’s on ‘go’ for next weekend. I just hope he runs well.”
Cloudy’s Knight made the pace throughout the mile and half of last year’s Stars and Stripes, only to be caught in the last jump and lose by a nose to Merriefield Farm’s Always First.
In his only start this year – his first since the Canadian International Oct. 21 – the 8-year-old gelding finished seventh in Churchill’s $100,000 Opening Verse Handicap May 31 after racing four-wide into the first turn.
ARLINGTON PARK’S FIREWORKS SHOW SCHEDULED FOR JULY 3
The tradition-rich Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap will be contested Friday, July 4, but this year’s Holiday Fireworks Show at Arlington Park is scheduled for Thursday, July 3
Arlington Park’s annual attraction of lighting up the Northwest suburb’s skies will be presented by Bank of America and begin after Thursday’s racing program concludes, with post time for the racing program at 1 p.m.
Racing general admission tickets are available for $6 online, $7 at gate. Ticket includes program and general admission for racing.
General admission for the fireworks celebration, which also includes live music in the Park Area by the Four Man Band, is free, and purchasing seating is not necessary. However, Fireworks reserved seating is available online at http://www.arlingtonpark.com for $5, and pre-purchased seating guarantees a reserved box seat from which to view the festivities.
PLETCHER PLANNING TRIO FOR SATURDAY’S CHICAGO HANDICAP
Defending Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher nominated three members of the distaff set to Saturday’s Grade III Chicago Handicap, and all three are expected to run in the seven-furlong test for fillies and mares.
WinStar Farm’s Leah’s Secret, second by a half-length in the Grade III Arlington Matron May 26, breezed four furlongs in :49 Sunday in preparation for Saturday’s test.
Bonny and Sy Baskin’s Featherbed, second in Arlington’s $53,000 Fit For a Queen Stakes May 25 and also slated for the Chicago Handicap, also breezed that distance in that same time Sunday.
Edward Evans’ Mini Sermon, third in the Fit For a Queen, two lengths behind Featherbed, breezed a half in :48 Sunday for Saturday’s extended sprint.
ADDITIONAL ATTRACTIONS AT ARLINGTON THIS WEEKEND
The next of Arlington Park’s Handicapping Seminar Series will be held Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Starting Gate Theatre and will feature Horseplayer Magazine Midwest correspondent and Chicago Sun-Times handicapper Scott McMannis.
After the seminar proper has been completed, McMannis will remain on hand to answer questions from guests wishing to hone their handicapping skills.
Also on Saturday will be Round #4 of Arlington’s Handicapping Challenge – a live money handicapping challenge that features cash prizes and the ability to qualify for the Championship Round on Sept. 13.
This Friday, when first post time will be at 2:30 p.m., the Rolling Stones tribute band “Beggars Banquet” will be featured in the Park Area during Friday’s Miller Lite Party in the Park.
Friday evening, “Party on the Patio” at Trackside Arlington Park will feature live classic rock by “The Pack.”
RAZO RIDES TRIPLE AT ARLINGTON SUNDAY
Veteran jockey Eddie Razo rode three winners Sunday at Arlington, including an adjudged victory in the fourth race where he finished second under the wire.