Arlington Classic Kicks Off Mid-America Triple
Updated: Saturday, June 29, 2002 8:13 PM
Posted: Friday, June 28, 2002 9:41 AM
Horses coming from as close as the local backstretch will be joined in the starting gate by horses coming from as far as Ireland for Saturday's Arlington Classic, the first Grade II stakes race of the Arlington Park meet.
The 68th running of the $175,000 Arlington Classic will be contested Saturday at a mile and a sixteenth over Arlington's world-renowned grass course. The race will serve as the first leg of the Mid-America Triple, a series that will continue with the $225,000 American Derby on July 21, and conclude with the Grade I Secretariat on August 17.
Past winners of the Arlington Classic include Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox and Omaha, as well as top horses like Native Dancer, Nashua, Tom Rolfe, Buckpasser, Dr. Fager, Alydar and Lost Code. Since becoming a turf fixture in 1994, the race has been won by top grass horses Hawk Attack, Trail City and Honor Glide. The last named is the only horse to sweep the Mid-America Triple in its current all-turf configuration.
The Arlington Classic will be televised live nationally as part of the "NTRA Summer Racing Tour on CBS" presented by Long John Silver's from 4-5 p.m. Central time. Also on the telecast will be $300,000 Grade II Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap from Monmouth Park and the Grade I $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes from Belmont Park.
Trainer Wally Dollase sends a pair of sophomores, Doc Holiday and Stonemason, from his California homebase for the Classic. The former, a son of Dr Devious, was a gate-to-wire winner in the Grade III Will Rogers Stakes at Hollywood Park June 1. Previously the Jarvis Conway and Jess Miller Trust et al.-owned colt ran second in the Grade III Ascot Handicap at Bay Meadows in May and the restricted La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita in April. He was twice a winner as a 2-year-old when racing in Europe.
Stonemason, recently purchased by Richard L. Duchossois, last ran in Ireland where he finished fourth in the Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial Stakes in his only start this year but has been based with the California-based Dollase contingent since being sent to this country a
little more than a month ago. Last year, he won the Group III Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown.
David Flores has the mount on Doc Holiday and Stonemason will be handled by Brice Blanc.
Stewart M. Madison's Jeremiah Jack, who broke his maiden on the main track here last summer, returns to the site of his initial victory. Last time out, the son of Patton annexed his turf debut by 5 1/4 lengths when
capturing a conditioned allowance race at Churchill Downs May 31. The Tom Amoss-trained gelding had previously finished sixth in the Grade III Lone Star Derby in Texas in May and fifth in the Grade III Rebel at Oaklawn Park in March. As a freshman, he won the $150,000 Houston Texan Juvenile at Sam
Houston. Eusebio Razo Jr. gets the call.
WinStar Farm LLC and Thomas F. Van Meter II's Mr. Mellon, an $8,000 supplemental entry to the Arlington Classic, makes his second turf start after finishing second in the Grade III Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs in his grass-course debut. Earlier this year, he took top honors in the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes on dirt at Turfway Park. Arlington's leading rider, Rene Douglas, will be aboard the Elliott Walden-trained son of Red Ransom.
Cappuchino, owned by George Todaro, Howard Litt and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, was a front-stepping victor in Bay Meadows' $55,000 Round Table Handicap at the Northern California oval June 9. The son of Capote also has black-type scores in the $55,000 Golden Bear Handicap and the $55,000 Golden State Mile, both at Golden Gate Fields. Randall Meier will ride.
Completing the field for the Arlington Classic are: The Thoroughbred Corp.'s February Storm (Ray Sibille), fourth in the Jefferson Cup last time out; William P. Stiritz & Brian F. Zander's Robin Zee (Chris Emigh), a recent allowance victor on the main track here; Lizabeth Gore's Scooter Roach (Jesse Campbell), the adjudged winner of the Grade III Hawthorne Derby following the disqualification of Flying Dash; and Jerry Given & Jack Gullatt's Seainsky (Frank Lovato Jr.), who won an allowance race at Lone Star Park on June 5.
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