Chicago Six, a two-time Illinois championship, will enter stud at Richard Duchossois' Hill 'N Dale Farm near Barrington, Ill.
Peter M. Crane's Hail The Chief has found a new life since being switched to dirt racing.
Eight horses passed the entry box Tuesday for Saturday's $200,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) for 4-year-olds and up a 1 1/8 miles at Sportsman's Park. Defending champion Chicago Six looks to regain his stature as the best among the locals while Ubiquity is the most prominent of the invaders.
Morton Fink's Guided Tour tracked Duckhorn through the early going before reeling in the leader with just over a quarter-mile to run en route to winning Saturday's $400,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) at Arlington Park.
The axiom "speed kills" holds true about every second race for Duckhorn. The other times he worries trainer Patrick Byrne half to death. Fortunately for Byrne and owner Michael Tabor, the "good" Duckhorn showed up for the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) May 19. Of course, that was bad news for his half-dozen opponents, who spent a mile and a quarter watching the rear end of the roan 4-year-old colt.
Heading into Saturday's Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II), much of the interest will be around a pair of horses that have knocked heads in the past -- Guided Tour and Chicago Six. But a handful of challengers could prove strong.
The National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) was a puzzle just waiting to be assembled by Guided Tour at Sportsman's Park on April 22. The out-of-town star was supposed to ship in, overcome the challenge of invading speedster Duckhorn, add another $120,000 to his earnings, and leave everybody else in the field of five to cash their checks. Puzzle solved. All the pieces were in place -- until a stout-hearted Illinois-bred named Chicago Six scattered the preordained solution all over the drying-out racetrack.
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