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Cosmonaut, Stream Cat in Arlington Handicap Rematch
Defending champion Fab Oak Stable, Bobby Hurley and John Goldthorpe's Stream Cat, and two-time Arlington Handicap winner Cosmonaut, who races in the colors of Flying Zee Stable, are among a cast of 13 horses entered for Saturday's $200,000 Arlington Handicap.
The Grade III race serves as the final local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million, which will be held Aug. 8, and will be run at the Million's distance of a mile and a quarter over Arlington's world famous turf course.
The race is one of four major stakes that comprise the track's Million Preview Day program. In addition to the Arlington Handicap, the 12-race card includes the Grade II $300,000 American Derby, the Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap, the $200,000 Arlington Sprint and two overnight stakes races - the $50,000 Diamond Ring Stakes and the $50,000 Pink Ribbon Stakes.
Saturday's card includes a $100,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool covering races nine through 12 and the guarantee is only valid should all carded turf races included in the Late Pick 4 sequence remain on the turf. In addition, the Arlington Handicap will feature a $150,000 guaranteed Turf Trifecta pool as long as nine or more betting interests start.
Stream Cat, now conditioned by Patrick Biancone, comes in off a fourth-place run on Hollywood's $100,000 Gallant Man Handicap after previously capturing the Grade III Tokyo City Handicap at Santa Anita Park in March. Florent Geroux will ride the 6-year-old gelding who will carry 117 pounds Saturday.
In last year's Arlington Handicap, the son of Black Minnaloushe split horses in the stretch and drew off to a 3 ¾-length victory over Cosmonaut. Stream Cat followed his Arlington Handicap score with a sixth-place run in the Arlington Million four weeks later.
Cosmonaut, who captured the 2006 and 2007 renewals of the Arlington Handicap, was given a break after last year's race and returned to action with a length and a half score in the Grade III Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park in May before finishing fifth in that track's Grade I Manhattan Handicap last month. Assigned 116 pounds for the Arlington Handicap, the Carlos Martin-trained son of Lemon Drop Kid will be ridden by Robby Albarado.
Highweighted at 118 pounds for Saturday's race is Augustin Stable's Just as Well, trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Jonathan Sheppard. The 6-year-old son of A. P. Indy comes in off a second-place finish in the Grade II Dixie Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness Day May 16. Though winless this year, Just as Well has been competitive in Grade I races with a second-place run in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in February and a third in the Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland two months later. Just as Well will have the services of Arlington's leading jockey E. T. Baird.
Another veteran in with a big chance Saturday is Chrysalis Stables' Silverfoot, winner of the $54,100 The Tin Man Stakes over this course last month and the Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap here last summer. Following the 2008 Stars and Stripes score, the Dallas Stewart charge ran a good fourth in last year's Arlington Million. Chris Emigh will ride the 9-year-old gelding who has been assigned 116 pounds Saturday.
Completing the field for the Arlington Handicap (with jockey and weight assignment are): IEAH Stable and Pegasus Holding Group Stables' Plan (Rudy Rodriguez, 113 pounds); Peter Karahalios's Public Speaker (Junior Alvarado, 113); Alex and Joanne Lieblong's Telling (Fernando Jara, 114); Louie Roussel & Ronald Lamarque's Recapturetheglory (Eduardo Perez, 113); and Fritz McTarnahan's My Happiness (Eusebio Razo Jr., 112).
Also, Runnymede Farm's Ordination (Miguel Mena, 113); Johanna Louise Glen-Teven's Embossed (Jesse Campbell, 112); Nick Mamatas & John Kerber's Gentleman Chester (James Graham, 114); and John Chandler's Thabazimbi (Julien Leparoux, 113).