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Sporting Art Tops Arlington Classic Lineup

Churchill Downs Communications | 05/21/2008 #

Jon & Sarah Kelly’s Sporting Art, popular winner of the Grade III Calder Derby last time out, seeks his third straight graded stakes score on turf when he heads postward as the 2-1 morning line favorite in the $150,000 Arlington Classic on Saturday at Arlington Park.

The Arlington Classic, a mile and a sixteenth turf race for 3-year-olds that serves as the first leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple, is one of three stakes to be run at the local oval on the May 24 card that also includes the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on the turf and the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup for older runners at a mile over Polytrack.

A son of Doneraille Court, Sporting Art has been nearly flawless since being imported to the United States after starting his career in England. In addition to the Calder Derby, the Christophe Clement trainee took home top honors in the Grade III Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park and ran second in an allowance race over the Hallandale Beach lawn. Leading rider Rene Douglas picks up the mount.

Also carrying a two-race win skein into the Arlington Classic is Sassafras Racing & Gulf Coast Farms’ Meal Penalty. The Todd Pletcher trainee was a two-length victor in the $53,700 Shecky Greene Stakes and an allowance race winner at Keeneland. However, both those efforts were on Polytrack. The son of Tale of the Cat will be making his turf debut in Saturday’s co-feature and will be ridden by Arlington newcomer Jose Velez Jr.

Leading trainer Wayne Catalano sends out Prime Realestate for the meet’s leading owner Frank C. Calabrese. The Prime Timber colt closed from last to win a first-level allowance race over the Keeneland green last time out and broke his maiden over the Gulfstream grass earlier this year. Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires gets the call Saturday.

Rounding out the field for the Arlington Classic are: Team Block’s Amazing Results (Eusebio Razo Jr.); Captain Jack Racing Stable LLC’s Mr. Mischief (Chris Emigh); Dream Walkin Farms Inc.’s Sebastian County (Larry Sterling Jr.); Wayne Lyster III, Brent Rice & Helen Laughery’s Blue Lion (Jesse Campbell); Brad Allshouse & Keith Desormeaux’s Gangbuster (James Graham); Thomas Fedro Sr. & Team Block’s Free Fighter (Ramsey Zimmerman); and Richard Ravin’s Strait of Mewsina (Jerry LaSala).