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Barn Notes: Sunday, May 8

| Churchill Downs Communications | 05/08/2011 #
  • Six British Horses Arrive at Arlington Sunday Morning; Derby Winner Animal Kingdom Made Career Debut at Arlington; Churchill Downs’ Post Derby Day Carryovers Available Thursday

 SIX BRITISH HORSES ARRIVE AT ARLINGTON SUNDAY MORNING
Six stakes-caliber horses from the Newmarket yard of British trainer Gerard Butler arrived at Arlington Park Sunday morning to compete at the northwest Chicago oval’s 86-day 2011 season which runs through September 25.

Heading the six-pack of English equine imports was Michael Deegan’s Pachattack, who finished sixth in last season’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes after being compromised by a tardy break from the gate.  Also included on Sunday’s shipment was Mid-America Triple prospect Burj Alzain, owned by Mr. Asaad Al Banwan, Deegan’s filly Maristar and T. C. Stewart’s filly Akhmatova, both possibilities for the Grade III Arlington Matron over the Polytrack as well as this summer’s Grade III Modesty Handicap July 9 and $750,000 Beverly D. over Arlington’s turf course August 13.

Erik Penser’s Beauchamp Viceroy and Mark Johnston’s Joe Le Taxi, both prospects for Arlington’s Grade III Hanshin Cup over the Polytrack May 21, complete Butler’s half-dozen.

“All the horses arrived safely,” said Butler’s assistant Andrew Morris during training hours Sunday morning.  “That’s the main thing.  We’re all okay and everything is good.  We cleared quarantine in New York before coming on to Chicago, so I would think we’ll be going to the track in the next day or two.  Gerard didn’t come in with us but he will be back and forth all summer when the horses make their starts.”

Morris, originally from Yorkshire but now a Newmarket resident, has been with Butler for eight years and will supervise the day-to-day operations of the local Butler contingent.

DERBY WINNER ANIMAL KINGDOM MADE CAREER BOW AT ARLINGTON
Team Valor’s 2011 Kentucky Derby hero Animal Kingdom made his career debut at Arlington last September in a most eventful manner.

“A lot of different things happened in that race,” said Equibase’s Arlington chart caller David Miller Sunday morning at Arlington.  “I remember because it took me 45 minutes just to write the footnote.

“Even in the post parade before the race, I remember being very impressed with three horses that were in there,” Miller said.  “One was Animal Kingdom (who went on to finish second after a troubled trip in traffic). Another was Willcox Inn (owned by the All In Stable, who won that day’s race at his first asking and went on to finish third in Keeneland’s Grade I Breeders Futurity and Churchill’s Grade II Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf).  The third was (Team Block’s) Mavericking (subsequently third in Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Grindstone Stakes and then unplaced behind Kentucky Derby second choice Pants On Fire when that rival won the Louisiana Derby.)”

Interestingly, two other recent Kentucky Derby winners who made memorable early appearances at Arlington Park were Barrington-resident Jim Tafel’s 2007 Derby hero Street Sense, who broke his maiden at Arlington in his second career start, and the late Chicagoland owner Russell Reineman’s War Emblem, who won his career bow in October of 2001 before winning the Run for the Roses in 2002.

CHURCHILL DOWNS’ POST DERBY DAY CARRYOVERS AVAILABLE THURSDAY
Two huge carryover pools left over from Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs will be available at all Illinois Trackside locations on Thursday.

A Pick 6 carryover of $514,563 will be up for grabs as well as a Super High Five carryover of $220,430.