Memorial Day Stakes Preview Festival Possibilities
In Today’s Notes:
· Memorial Day Stakes Preview Festival Possibilities
· ‘Kitten,’ Brownie Points, Social Queen Rule Beverly D. Preps
· Boss Lafitte Best in USA
· Gizzae Plays at Friday’s Miller Lite Party In The Park
· Fires Sizzled in First Local Stakes Score 42 Years Ago Friday
MEMORIAL DAY STAKES PREVIEW FESTIVAL POSSIBILITIES
Six stakes races contested earlier this week on Memorial Day allowed American racing fans some early insights into Arlington Park’s upcoming International Festival of Racing Aug. 9.
Two of Monday’s turf tests - both graded events – previewed this summer’s Grade I Arlington Million, while three others provided an early picture of this year’s Grade I Beverly D. – the Arlington Million’s sister race. Still another gave fans an early look at Arlington’s upcoming Grade I Secretariat Stakes.
The Million, the Beverly D. and the Secretariat – the only three Grade I events contested in Illinois on an annual basis – will be the focus of Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing on the second Saturday in August.
Irish-bred Daytona, an original 2008 Arlington Million nominee trained by Dan Hendricks, came from just off the pace to capture Monday’s Grade I Shoemaker Mile by a length and a half as the slight choice of West Coast racing fans at Hollywood Park.
Earlier this season, Daytona boasted victories in Santa Anita’s Grade II San Gabriel Handicap, New Orleans’ Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap and Santa Anita’s Grade II Arcadia Handicap prior to his Shoemaker score.
In the Southwest, as part Lone Star Park’s holiday program, the Argentine-bred Storm Military – also an original Million nominee – finished second by a nose in the Grade III Dallas Turf Cup Handicap to Robert Tjosvold’s Church Service. According to the chart footnote, Storm Military, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, was kept wide throughout after also experiencing trouble being loaded in the gate.
Incidentally, the next nominations for the Million are not due until July 30, so Church Service’s trainer Mike Mitchell has plenty of time to nominate his 5-year-old Pulpit gelding to Arlington’s centerpiece event. Earlier this winter, Church Service was runner-up in Santa Anita’s Tokyo City and San Luis Obispo handicaps.
‘KITTEN,’ BROWNIE POINTS, SOCIAL QUEEN RULE BEVERLY D. PREPS
Lael Stables’ favored Precious Kitten was no disappointment to West Coast racing fans when she drew clear for a 2 1/4-length win in Hollywood Park’s Grade I Gamely Stakes Monday, and the daughter of Catienus is also an original nomination to Arlington’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes.
Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who has saddled two previous Beverly D. winners, Precious Kitten also won Hollywood’s Grade I Matriarch last fall and accounted for Del Mar’s Grade I John C. Mabee and Grade II Palomar handicaps last summer.
Three Chimneys Racing’s Diamond Diva, clearly second best in the Gamely after winning Hollywood’s Grade III Wilshire and Santa Anita’s American Beauty handicaps earlier this winter , is also an original nominee to the 2008 Beverly D.
In Texas on Memorial Day Monday, original Beverly D. nominee Brownie Points, owned by Pin Oak Stable and trained by Donnie Von Hemel, came from far back to capture Lone Star Park’s Grade III Ouija Board Handicap by a length and three-quarters.
Also last Monday on the Jersey Shore, original 2008 Beverly D. nominee Social Queen captured Monmouth Park’s $70,000 Politely Stakes at one mile after trailing the field during the early going. The daughter of Dynaformer won the $60,000 Staybridge Suites Stakes last summer at Monmouth.
BOSS LAFITTE BEST IN USA
Uptown Racing’s Boss Lafitte, an original nominee to the 2008 Mid-America Triple which concludes with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 9, was up to be best by three-quarters of a length in Lone Star Park’s $100,000 Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes at the Grand Prairie oval on Memorial Day.
The Tom Amoss trainee finished sixth in Churchill Downs’ Grade III Crown Royal American Turf on Kentucky Oaks Day over a yielding Louisville lawn, but broke his maiden over a firm Stall-Wilson turf course at Fair Grounds last winter.
GIZZAE PLAYS AT FRIDAY’S MILLER LITE PARTY IN THE PARK
Sounds of the Caribbean islands will permeate Friday’s Miller Lite Party In The Park at Arlington Park when the band Gizzae takes the stage.
First race and first song for Friday’s twilight racing program is 2:30 p.m.
FIRES SIZZLED IN FIRST LOCAL STAKES SCORE 42 YEARS AGO FRIDAY
Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires captured his first Arlington Park stakes when he guided Maris to a tally in Arlington’s Round Table Stakes on May 30, 1966.
Fires is listed to ride Patrick Donahoe’s Misszoey Belle in Friday’s fifth race.