Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Wednesday, May 25

| Churchill Downs Communications | 05/25/2011 #

Saturday’s Arlington Matron Features 2 Foreign Stakes Winners; Arlington’s Top Three Jockeys All Enjoy Multiple Wins Sunday; Stidham Tries for Mid-America Triple Sweep with Willcox Inn; Paddy O’ Prado Retired Following Win in Pimlico’s Grade II Dixie

The international aura of Arlington Park will be emphasized once again this weekend when the 75th anniversary edition of the Grade III Arlington Matron for fillies and mares over the the Polytrack goes to the post with two European stakes winners among its entrants.

Michael Deegan’s Pachattack, sixth in Arlington’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes over the local lawn Aug. 21, posed in the winner’s enclosure at Newbury earlier that month following her nose triumph in Great Britain’s listed Chalice Stakes.  Before that the daughter of Pulpit had won the listed Hoppings Stakes at Newmarket in June.  Both those efforts were also on the grass, but following her Beverly D. run she won Canada’s $175,000 Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine Race Course over Polytrack Nov. 6.

Pachattack, trained by the Irish-born Gerard Butler, will be ridden by the Venezuelan-born Junior Alvarado in the Matron

However, also scheduled to go to the post in the Matron is Vladamir Kazokov’s Santina Dond, who captured Poland’s Nagroda Dakoty Stakes on the turf at Sluzewiec Race Course last Sept. 5.  Santina Dond, a 3-year-old daughter of El Prado, will be facing older fillies and mares for the second straight time after winning in $40,000 allowance optional claiming company over the Polytrack here May 15.

Santina Dond, who is conditioned by the Russian-born Gennadi Dorochenko, has Puerto Rican-born J. Z. Santana slated for the saddle.  Should she win the Matron she would become the first sophomore filly to capture the event since J. C. Routsong’s Megans Bluff won the Matron in the summer of 2000.

Arlington’s top three riders all enjoyed multiple wins on Sunday’s Arlington program, accounting for eight of the afternoon’s nine races between them.

Jockey Junior Alvarado, Arlington’s riding champion in 2009 and runner-up last year, and veteran Eddie Perez, fifth in the local standings last year, both scored “hat tricks” Sunday, while J. Z. Santana, new to the Arlington colony in 2010 but off to an exceptionally fast start this season, had a riding double on the program.

Alvarado, who enjoyed a five-win lead in Arlington’s 2011 standings entering Wednesday’s program, won the second half of Sunday’s Daily Double aboard William Stiritz’ Wildwood Heir for trainer Scott Becker, came back to the winner’s circle after the seventh on Jerry Jamgotchian’s Long Lake Krista for conditioner Eric Reed, and gave that owner-trainer tandem a double on the day by riding Giddyup Gadfly to victory in Sunday’s finale.

Perez, who passed the 2,000-career win milestone during the winter in Chicago, scored his triple in three of the first four races of the afternoon, taking the opener astride Lyda Williamson et al.’s Ain’t No Saint for trainer Brian Williamson, the third aboard Savoy Stable’s Comitatus for conditioner Dale Bennett, and then came right back to the winner’s circle in the fourth on Charles Sigrist and Del Sol Farm’s Hello Again for trainer Moises Yanez.

Santana, who was tied with Perez for second in the standings at the conclusion of Sunday’s races, won the fifth race on Cherrywood Racing Stables II’s Landers for trainer Michele Boyce and the sixth aboard Butterfly Stable’s Romin Robin for conditioner Dave Kassen.

All In Stable’s Willcox Inn, presumed a prominent threat in Saturday’s $100,000 Arlington Classic as the first leg of the Mid-America Triple, could provide trainer Mike Stidham with his second straight chance for a Mid-America Triple sweep.

Last season, the Stidham-trained Workin for Hops, owned by Estrorace LLC, took down the first two legs of the Triple by winning the 2010 Classic and Grade II American Derby but then could not withstand the late surge of Donegal Racing’s Paddy O’Prado in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day.

Workin for Hops, who would have become the fourth sophomore to sweep the Triple with a Secretariat score, rebounded to win this season’s Grade III Hanshin Cup May 21 at Arlington Park.

Willcox Inn won at first asking last Sept. 18 at Arlington, defeating Team Valor’s eventual Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom in the process.  The son of Harlan’s Holiday went on to finish third in Keeneland’s Grade I Breeders Futurity Oct. 9 and then was third once again in Churchill’s Grade II Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 6.

Donegal Racing’s Paddy O’Prado, hero of Arlington’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes last summer and one of the early favorites for this summer’s Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 13 after his tally in last Saturday’s Grade II Dixie Stakes, has been retired due to a fractured sesamoid.