James Gallagher’s Barbette, overmatched when beaten almost six lengths in the Grade III Ouija Board Handicap at Lone Star Park May 26, finds an easier spot and has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line choice for Sunday’s $50,000 Possibly Perfect Stakes at Arlington Park.
In recent seasons, the test for members of the distaff set run at 1 1/8-miles over Arlington’s world-famous turf course has served as a significant prep for both Arlington’s Grade III Modesty Handicap as well as the Grade I Beverly D. Stakes.
In the Ouija Board, Barbette was kept wide into the lane and had no late rally, and in her start before that the daughter of 2000 Blue Grass winner High Yield was fourth in $50,000 Irving Distaff at the Grand Prairie oval April 26, but lost all chance when forced to check inside the quarter-pole.
Defending Arlington Park champion and current leading jockey Rene Douglas gets the riding assignment on Barbette, who is trained by Steve Hobby.
Earlier in April, Barbette captured the $50,000 Jersey Lily Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park by a half-length over that Texas grass.
Capable of providing strong competition for Barbette Sunday is Fred Seitz and Harvey Clarke’s May Night, who closed well to miss by a head when runner-up in a second level allowance race over the grass course at Churchill Downs May 25. Before that, the 5-year-old Gulch mare was beaten less than three at Keeneland when forced to angle out four-wide in a 1 3/16-mile outing April 11 over the Lexington lawn.
Jockey E. T. Baird, who enjoyed his best season at Arlington last summer when he finished third in the standings, is named in the irons astride May Night, who is also trained by Seitz
Completing the Possibly Perfect field is Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Melissa’s Dream, Eddie Perez (20-1); Jer-Mar Stables LLC’s Angel Smoke, Jose Velez Jr. (8-1); Gary and Kathy Priest’s Talkin Indian, James Graham (8-1); Carolyn Warren’s Demisemiquaver, Florent Geroux (6-1); Charles Heider Jr.’s Polo Lounge, Chris Emigh (8-1); Thunderhead Farms’s Clever Strike, Eddie Razo, (4-1); and Robert Greenbaum and Mark Edwards’ Wine and Dyne, Jesse Campbell (20-1).
Of these, Clever Strike could prove troublesome. The Don Von Hemel trainee pressed the pace before taking command in mid-stretch in her local bow May 15 over soft turf and proved best by a half-length at the wire.
GRADE III CHICAGO HANDICAP JUNE 28 ATTRACTS 23 NOMINATIONS
Twenty-three fillies and mares have been nominated to next weekend’s Grade III Chicago Handicap at seven furlongs over the Arlington Park Polytrack course.
Among those named are Courtlandt Farms’ Indescribable, heroine of the Grade III Arlington Matron Handicap May 26; Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Carriage Trail, victress in Keeneland’s Grade III Doubledogdare Stakes April 18; and Will Arvin and Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds’ Victorianna, winner of Arlington’s $50,000 Fit For a Queen May 25.
SUNDAY’S FAMILY DAY FEATURES ‘IMPROV PLAYHOUSE’
The “Improv Playhouse” – which trains students and actors for stardom on stage and screen – will be featured on Sunday’s Pepsi Family Day, presented by the Daily Herald at Arlington Park.
HORSESHOES AWARDED TO FIRST 300 JJC MEMBERS ON HAND SUNDAY
The first 300 Junior Jockey Club members on hand Sunday will receive a free horseshoe during the program featuring blacksmiths in action.