Requests for 2009 racing dates in Illinois show a few overlaps, including a month between Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course in late summer and early fall.
Plan, runner-up in the Aug. 9 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park, was transferred to the Aqueduct barn of trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. after IEAH Stables acquired controlling and managing interest in the 3-year-old colt.
French-bred Spirit One, the least accomplished of three European invaders in the Arlington Million (gr. IT), sprinted to an early lead and never relinquished it, eventually holding off favored Archipenko in the final yards to win by three-quarters of a length Aug. 9 at Arlington Park.
Rene Douglas snuck a peek around each shoulder approaching the quarter-pole in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT), knowing that he had a loaded gun underneath him. The veteran jockey then let Winchester loose, and the 3-year-old son of Theatrical swallowed pacesetter Tizdejavu, eventually drawing clear for a convincing 7 1/4-length upset victory Aug. 9 at Arlington Park.
Gary Tanaka's Sudan, projected as the probable pace setter in the Arlington Million (gr. IT), was withdrawn from the race Aug. 8.
Michael Cooper and Pamela Ziebarth's Tizdejavu, undefeated on turf, will be after his fourth consecutive victory over the surface in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) Aug. 9 at Arlington Park. Tizdejavu, trained by Gregory Fox, was installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite in the 1 1/4-mile test for 3-year-olds. Nine were entered.
Archipenko, who has won stakes events in four different countries in the past 15 months, has been installed as the 2-1 favorite and is one of three formidable European invaders vying for top honors in the 26th running of the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 9.
World traveler Archipenko, projected favorite in the $1-million Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 9, accomplished a pedestrian seven-furlong breeze over Arlington's turf course Aug. 5, picking up the pace to get the last quarter in :27 with regular South African jockey Kevin Shea in the irons.
Heather Stark's Sky Mom angled wide around the final turn, caught pacesetter Dreaming of Liz at the furlong-marker and held off her stubborn rival to win the $100,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) by a length Aug. 2.
Heather Stark's Sky Mom, runner-up to talented filly Storm Mesa in her last two starts, seems primed to earn her first graded stakes score when facing seven rivals in the $100,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) Aug. 2 on the Polytrack.
Hall of Fame jockeys Jerry Bailey, Pat Day and Earlie Fires will host "Dining with the Dynasties," a special lunch for seven other participants at Arlington Park on Aug. 8, the day before the Arlington Million (gr. IT). The luncheon, in the track's Million Room, is being auctioned on eBay to benefit the Illinois Race Track Chaplaincy of America division and the Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Tizdejavu again stamped himself as a major player in the 3-year-old turf ranks with another effortless victory, this time in the July 12 American Derby (gr. IIT) at Arlington Park.
Making his first start in more than eight months, Stream Cat split horses in the stretch and put away two-time defending event winner Cosmonaut to take the $194,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) by 3 3/4 lengths July 12 on the Arlington Park turf.
Michael Cooper and Pamela Ziebarth's Tizdejavu, winner of consecutive graded turf stakes at Churchill Downs, invades from his Kentucky homebase as the 2-1 morning line favorite in the $250,000 American Derby (gr. IIT) July 12 at Arlington Park.
Flying Zee Stable's Cosmonaut will attempt to become the first horse in the 73-year history of the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) to win the event three times, as the son of Lemon Drop Kid takes on five rivals July 12 in the $200,000 turf event, which is the final local prep for next month's Arlington Million (gr. IT).
Brandon Meier stepped into the winner's circle, his mouth bloodied and teeth fractured. His grin was ear-to-ear, reminiscent of a boxer who had just survived a 12-round unanimous decision.
It's not surprising that S J Stables' Cloudy's Knight, a grade I winner who towers over his competitors with earnings of more than $2 million, will be the starting highweight in the July 4 Stars and Stripes Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park.
Brayden Cecchi, a 3-year-old who suffers from leukemia but loves horses, horse racing and jockeys, presented the trophy following the second race at Arlington Park on June 29.
Just missing in the Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) a month ago, WinStar Farm's Leah's Secret was not to be denied this time around.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle a trio of runners, Leah's Secret, Mini Sermon, and Featherbed, for the Chicago Handicap (gr. III), going seven furlongs June 28 at Arlington Park.
Illinois' richest riverboat casinos must pay part of their profits to horse owners and racetracks, the state Supreme Court ruled June 5.
- By Esther Marr
With the racing industry being scrutinized in the area of track safety, the seventh annual Track Superintendent Field Day conference at Keeneland June 2-3 seemed an especially timely opportunity for questions to be answered by synthetic-track maintenance professionals from around the country.
Courtlandt Farm's homebred filly Indescribable continued to exhibit her affinity for synthetic surfaces, this time doing it on the Arlington Park Polytrack, as she wore down Leah's Secret in mid-stretch to take the Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) by a half-length on Memorial Day.
In the $150,000 Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's homebred Lattice got an extension to the 1 1/2-mile distance, a confident ride from jockey Robby Albarado, and a soft pace to run at courtesy of Transduction Gold. Those factors were all he needed to put together a winning run.
Eight evenly-matched older fillies and mares seek their first graded stakes victory of the season, as they face off in the $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) on Memorial Day.
This time one year ago, Robert Yagos' Spotsgone was sent off at odds of 81-1 in the $100,000 Hanshin Cup Handicap (gr. III). In the 2008 edition to be held May 24 at Arlington Park, the son of Bright Launch was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Of course, the drastic change in odds may have a little something to do with Spotsgone lighting up the toteboard with a $165 mutual in last year's edition.
Arlington Park will offer its own version of the One Thousand Guineas for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on May 24--the $200,000 American One Thousand Guineas.
HorseRacing TV will add two prominent racetracks to its programming schedule when Belmont and Arlington parks begin their annual spring/summer meetings this week.
HorseRacing TV has reached an agreement with Comcast Cable in the greater Chicago region for carriage of the 24-hour horseracing network beginning April 30, just in time for the Arlington Park meet.
Dan Leary has been named director of communications for Lone Star Park in Texas. Leary has nearly three decades of sports public relations experience, including 14 years in the Thoroughbred racing industry at six different racetracks.
Churchill Downs Inc. is asking for patience in seeing financial rewards from what it termed an $80 million investment into the advance deposit wagering industry in 2007, and promises to act on opportunities for the company's progress in 2008.
Churchill Downs Inc. says it is sincerely interested in hosting the Breeders' Cup World Championships, so much so that it offered what it considered an "innovative" multi-year plan for regularly staging the annual event at its signature namesake track starting in 2009.
- By Ryan Conley
Churchill Downs Inc. reported a 7.1% increase in net revenue for the third quarter of 2007, but realized a 62.9% decline in net earnings, as the company's chief executive voiced hope for the future on a variety of fronts during a Nov. 8 conference call.
Bit of Whimsy, upset winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) Oct. 13 at Keeneland, will carry her highest weight ever and take on a field of 13 other 3-year-old fillies, including two previously beaten competitors, in the $150,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) Nov. 10 at Churchill Downs.
Under the watchful eyes of owner Frank Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano, stable stars Dreaming of Anna and Dreaming of Liz put in maintenance works over the Polytrack surface at Arlington Park Sept. 20, four days after the suburban Chicago track ended its 2007 season.
Solo Survivor got the first graded stakes win of her career when she went from last to first to win the $150,000 Matron Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park Sept. 8.
Based on her Eclipse Award-winning juvenile campaign and her recent Virginia Oaks victory at Colonial Downs, Frank Calabrese's Dreaming of Anna appears to be the top Pucker Up (gr. IIIT) choice for its Sept. 8 renewal at Arlington Park.
The racing career of Gold Coyote could not have started any more impressively. On Sept. 1, he'll get his sternet test when he headlines a field of eight in the $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity (gr. III) for a group of promising 2-year-olds.
- By James Platz
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously Aug. 21 to ban the import of signals from Arlington Park and Calder Race Course at all wagering outlets in the state.
Jockeys Israel Ocampo and Uriel Lopez sustained multiple injuries from a spill during the second race at Arlington Park Aug. 17.
Jockey Cecilio Penalba, ninth in Arlington Park's jockey standings, will be sidelined the rest of the season due to injuries suffered in a spill during the second race Aug. 9.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - Duchossois offers a special brand of hospitality to the racing fans and horsemen.
Coming into the $750,000 Beverly D. (gr. IT), all the talk was about Citronnade and Lady of Venice, two talented American fillies who were undefeated this year. But when the field of seven reached the Arlington Park stretch Aug. 11, a European mare with only one win in the past two years stole the show.
It's not quite to the level of Affirmed and Alydar, but the exciting rivalry between a pair of the nation's top turf routers will renew itself once again in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) at Saratoga Aug. 11 when English Channel and Better Talk Now clash for the seventh time.
During a conference call to discuss second-quarter earnings, Robert Evans, president and chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Inc., said the company would no longer release handle and attendance figures at the conclusion of race meets for its four racetrack properties.
In winning the $150,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) July 1, Citronnade barely broke a sweat. On Aug. 11, trainer Bobby Frankel will find out if his superb 4-year-old filly will finally be challenged, as she headlines the field of seven in the $750,000 Beverly D. (gr. IT) for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up on the turf at Arlington Park.
At this point in his career, nothing The Tin Man does would be a surprise. But if the gutsy 9-year-old gelding can pull off another victory in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 11, it might be the greatest accomplishment of his championship career.
Frank Calabrese's Lewis Michael will try to step out of his sister's shadow July 28 when he competes in the $300,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) at Arlington Park.
Eight older females will go postward in the July 21 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park, including last year's winner Chic Dancer, who is looking to defend her title.
Defending champion Cosmonaut, who races in the colors of Flying Zee Stable, has accepted top impost of 121 pounds and will head to post July 21 as the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/4 miles over turf.
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