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Barn Notes: Monday, July 4

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/04/2011 #

Tajaaweed Trying Saturday’s Arlington Handicap Again;Wasted Tears at Arlington for Saturday’s Modesty Handicap; Junior Jumps Right Back Into Winner’s Circle Sunday; Jockey Julio Felix Rides Three Winners Sunday

TAJAAWEED TRYING SATURDAY’S ARLINGTON HANDICAP AGAIN
Shadwell Stable’s Tajaaweed, third in the Grade III Arlington Handicap last year and sixth in the Grade I Arlington Million, worked five furlongs over the Polytrack in 1:00.60 Sunday morning in advance of the 2011 Arlington Handicap over the local lawn on Saturday.

“He worked good and he galloped out good,” said trainer Danny Peitz later on Sunday.  “I got him galloping out in (1:13.20).  He’s coming into Saturday’s race good – just like he did last year.  The only difference I want to happen is to make sure we win it this time.”

Designed as the final local prep for the Arlington Million in recent years, Saturday’s Arlington Handicap will be run as part of a three-stakes program over Arlington’s world famous turf course that is billed as Million Preview Day.  Saturday’s Grade III Modesty Handicap and Grade II American Derby will serve as the local tune-ups for the Grade I Beverly D. and Grade I Secretariat Stakes respectively.

The Arlington Million, $750,000 Beverly D. and $400,000 Secretariat will be run as part of Arlington’s International Festival of Racing on Aug. 13.

Others likely for the Arlington Handicap at this time are:  G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s El Crespo, fourth-place runner in Churchill’s Grade III Louisville Handicap May 28 and an entire son of A. P. Indy who breezed a half on the Polytrack at Keeneland Sunday in 50.40; Lothenbach Stables’ Mister Marti Gras, who breezed five furlongs in 1:01 flat at Churchill on the Fourth of July after being a late scratch out of that track’s Grade III Firecracker Handicap on that day; Jose Carillo and Fernando Fantini’s Argentine-bred Interaction, winner of that nation’s Group I Carlos Pellegrini in 2009; and Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof’s German-bred Sanagas, from the same connections as 2001 Arlington Million winner Silvano.

The list of Arlington Million probable starters as of Monday morning was completed by Keith Chudzik’s Amun Re, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Dean’s Kitten, Betty and Robert Irvin’s Juniper Pass, and William Stiritz’s Proceed Bee.

WASTED TEARS AT ARLINGTON FOR SATURDAY’S MODESTY HANDICAP   
Bart Evans’ Wasted Tears, winner of the last three Grade III Ouija Board Stakes at Lone Star Park including the 2011 renewal May 30, arrived at Arlington Park Saturday from her Grand Prairie, Texas, home base to contest Saturday’s Grade III Modesty Handicap.

The Modesty is Arlington’s designed local prep for the Grade I Beverly D. Stakes – the Arlington Million’s sister race – to be contested as part of the International Festival of Racing on Arlington Million Day Aug. 13.

Last year, Wasted Tears used her Ouija Board win as a springboard to a victory in the Grade II John Mabee Stakes at Del Mar, but “(Arlington racing secretary) Chris Polzin talked me into coming here this year for this race to prep for the Beverly D.,” owner-trainer-breeder Evans said Monday morning.

“It’s beautiful here,” said Evans, who breezed Wasted Tears five furlongs in 1:01.60 on June 30 at Lone Star before coming to Chicago.  “I just hope it stays nice all week and it’s beautiful on Saturday as well.  I may give her a little something to do on the grass here later in the week.”

Augustin Stable’s British-bred Fantasia, runner-up in Belmont’s Grade I Just a Game Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day June 11, and the Chris Block-trained pair of Team Block’s Never Retreat and Team Block and Richard Ege’s Askbut I Won’ttell, who each breezed five furlongs over Arlington’s firm grass Sunday in 1:06.80, are also expected for the Modesty, as are Tracy Farmer’s La Gran Bailadora, runner-up in the Grade III Arlington Matron May 28; Moyglare Stud’s Irish-bred Endless Expanse; Arterbum and Stolich’s Monslewn, Magdalena Racing’s My Baby Baby, and Butterfly Stable’s Romin Robin.

JUNIOR JUMPS RIGHT BACK INTO WINNER’S CIRCLE SUNDAY
Jockey Junior Alvarado, Arlington’s 2009 jockey champion and runner-up in the standings last season, returned to riding Sunday at Arlington for the first time since being sidelined with a broken collarbone suffered in a spill May 27, and won with his second mount of the afternoon.

“I feel pretty good and I’m very excited to win a race on my first day back,” said Alvarado after guiding Richard Ravin’s Top Surprize, trained by Larry Rivelli, to victory in the fifth race.  “I wanted to come back sooner but my doctor made me wait an extra week.”

JOCKEY JULIO FELIX RIDES THREE WINNERS SUNDAY
Jockey Julio Felix, hanging his tack at Arlington for the second straight summer, scored a hat trick Sunday at the local oval, winning the opener on John and Libbie Thiel’s Reggiville for trainer Ingrid Mason, the eighth on Eagle Valley Farm’s Lethal for conditioner John Haran and the finale aboard Dario Vega’s Black Cross for trainer Scott Mullins.