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Seven '08 AP Stakes Winners Pre-Entered for Breeders' Cup
Arlington Park again proved to be a stepping-stone for the Breeders' Cup World Championships with seven 2008 stakes winners, four other Arlington Park ’08 participants and five additional horses who raced at Arlington in past seasons listed among the 180 horses pre-entered for this year's event to be run at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25. Leading the way among 2008 Arlington stakes winners pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup is Mauralakana, who earned a berth into the $2 million Fly Emirates Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf by virtue of winning the Grade I Beverly D. on Aug. 9. The Beverly D. was part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” format, which automatically places the winners of selected major stakes races at racetracks worldwide including Arlington Park into a corresponding divisional race.
Joining Mauralakana in the Filly & Mare Turf are Precious Kitten, who was fifth as the beaten favorite in the Beverly D.; Communique, winner of the Grade III Modesty Handicap on July 12 and later runner-up in the Beverly D.; Forever Together, winner of the Reluctant Guest Stakes on May 17 and more recently a multiple Grade I stakes winner who captured Saratoga’s Diana and Keeneland’s First Lady; and past Arlington stakes winner Vacare, who took the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes in 2006 when the filly was based here. Incidentally, Precious Kitten has also been pre-entered in Saturday’s Mile as a second preference.
This year’s two-day Breeders’ Cup format has all of the races restricted to fillies and mares run on Friday, Oct. 24 and all of the open races contested on Saturday, Oct. 25.
Other Championship Friday races with Arlington-raced horses are the inaugural $1 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf which attracted the locally owned and trained Sugar Mom, who broke her maiden July 23 and later convincingly won an allowance race here Sept. 5; and the $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies to which Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie victress C. S. Silk was pre-entered.
Another “Win & You’re In” horse from Arlington Park is Mr. Nightlinger, who should be one of the choices in the inaugural edition of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. Mr. Nightlinger earned his starting berth in this year’s Turf Sprint by virtue of his course-record score in the $200,000 Arlington Sprint, which was moved to the local turf for the first time this year. The Bret Calhoun charge also captured the Taylor’s Special Stakes over the Arlington course.
The locally based Lewis Michael, winner of the Grade II Washington Park Handicap in 2007, finished fourth in the $150,000 Sea o’Erin Handicap over the Arlington turf course in August and has been pre-entered in both the $1 Million TVG Dirt Mile and the $2 million Sentient Flight Group Breeders’ Cup Sprint with the Dirt Mile listed as first preference.
In Summation, dead-heat winner of the $150,000 Arlington Sprint in 2007 when that race was a main track fixture, has been pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Terrain, the adjudged winner of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity in a rare double disqualification of the top two finishers, has been pre-entered in the $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as has Coronet of a Baron, who broke his maiden over Arlington’s Polytrack on July 6. Coronet of a Baron has also pre-entered in the $1 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf as a second preference.
Winchester, a laughing winner in this year’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes versus fellow sophomores, is slated to face older rivals in the $3 million Fly Emirates Breeders’ Cup Turf as are past Arlington combatants Better Talk Now (2005 & 2006 Arlington Million) and Red Giant (second in the ’07 Secretariat).
The only horse with an Arlington connection in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic is Go Between who raced here three times in 2006-07 including a third-place run in last year’s Grade III Arlington Handicap.
The further expanded 14-race Breeders' Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing's richest program with $25.5 million in total purses, will be simulcast to Arlington Park and its network of Trackside OTB facilities.
On Friday, first post at Santa Anita is 1:05 p.m. with the first of three Breeders’ Cup races slated to go to the post at 2:35 p.m. Illinois Thoroughbred racing at Hawthorne will start at 1:55 p.m. The following day’s action from Santa Anita begins at 12:10 p.m. with the first of nine Breeders’ Cup events while the first local race from Hawthorne is set for 12:35 p.m.
Arlington Park will open its Million Room restaurant for a special Breeders’ Cup package on Saturday, Oct. 25. For $50 per person, fans will receive admission, program, a special lunch buffet and a late-afetrnoon snack. Reservations are required for this package and can be secured by calling (847) 870-6943 or by purchasing tickets online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
Illinois Trackside locations will open early on Saturday and each location will offer food and beverage specials throughout the day. For more information regarding Breeders’ Cup events at Trackside locations, visit www.arlingtonpark.com/trackside/events-and-promotions/breeders-cup-trackside-otb.
Fans looking for additional insight into the Breeders’ Cup can attend a free handicapping seminar featuring Chicago Sun-Times handicapper M. Scott McMannis, Daily Herald handicapper and Arlington Park odds maker Joe Kristufek, and horse racing expert Steve Leving at Trackside Arlington Park on Thursday, Oct. 23 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
McMannis and Leving will host the seminar from Trackside, while Kristufek will participate from Santa Anita Park where he is covering this year’s Breeders’ Cup. The seminar will explore wagering and handicapping strategies in an interactive format.
Attendees are encouraged to participate by asking questions and expressing their opinions. All participants will receive the Daily Racing Form’s Breeders’ Cup Special Advance Edition as well as the Breeders’ Cup edition of HorsePlayer magazine.