(Edited Arlington Park press release)
Team Valor Stables' Guillaume Tell is the 2-1 morning line favorite in a field of nine 3-year-olds for Saturday's $150,000 Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve (gr. IIIT). The 1 1/16-mile race is the first leg of Arlington Park's 's Mid-America Triple, which also includes the July 23 with the Grade II $250,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's (gr. IIT) on July 23 and $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) on August 13.
An Irish-bred son of Rossini, Guillaume Tell is looking for his first win in 2005 in the Arlington Classic. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the chestnut colt has been competitive in graded stakes competition, finishing second by only a nose in the Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland in April and reporting home third in the American Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs on May 6. Racing in Europe as a 2-year-old, Guillaume Tell was beaten a nose when finishing second in II Prix Thomas Byron (Fr-II).
Guilluame Tell will be ridden Saturday by Arlington's leading jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.
Al and Saundra S. Kirkwood's Southern Africa, the 5-2 second choice, returns to the grass for Saturday's headliner after an early-season sophomore campaign on the main track. Since coming to North America late last year, the son of Cape Town
captured the Borderland Derby at Sunland Park and the Lone Star Derby (gr. III). Last time out, the Mike Puhich trainee ran eighth in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). His regular rider, Jon Court, has the mount Saturday.
Gabe Grossberg's Cosmic Kris is back on his home turf after scoring a victory in the Come Summer Stakes on the lawn at Canterbury Park. Prior to his Minnesota jaunt, the son of Storm Creek
was beaten as the favorite in an allowance at Arlington, finishing second by a head to Kid Grindstone.
Other locally-based runners in the Arlington Classic are John C. Oxley's Gold Minister, an easy winner in an allowance on June 3; and Vinery Stables' Ready Ruler, third in the Awad Stakes on June 4.
The remaining invaders for the Classic are: Donald Dizney & R. Farm's Hole in the Head, third in the Jersey Derby at Monmouth in his last start; Major League Partnership's Major League, fifth in the USA Stakes at Lone Star Park on May 30 and winner of an allowance over the Texas turf earlier that month; E. J. Sukley's Purim, unbeaten in his only two trips to the post; and Dogwood Stables's United, winner of the restricted Peppy Addy Stakes at Philadelphia Park on June 11.
Field for the Arlington Classic:
1--Hole in the Head, Michael J. Luzzi, 6-1
2--Major League, Carlos H. Marquez, Jr., 20-1
3--Southern Africa, Jon Court, 5-2
4--Cosmic Kris, E. T. Baird, 20-1
5--Guillaume Tell, Shaun Bridgmohan, 2-1
6--Gold Minister, Eusebio Razo, Jr., 10-1
7--Purim, Mark Guidry, 9-2
8--United, Earlie Fires, 8-1
9--Ready Ruler, Larry J. Sterling, Jr., 12-1