Arlington Park’s Biggest Race May Feature Divisidero

Trainer Kelly Rubley is considering a return to Arlington International Racecourse in the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million on Aug. 11 for Gunpowder Farms’ Grade III Arlington Handicap winner Divisidero. Rubley, who has conditioned the 6-year-old since he transferred to her barn last winter, earned her first graded stakes victory with his win Saturday.

“We wouldn’t rule it out,” said Rubley. “I think he’s continued to show improvement this year.”

Divisidero contributed to a banner day for his sire, whose progeny Roaring Lion took the Group 1 Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park in England just hours prior. Kitten’s Joy stands at Hill ‘N’ Dale Stud for $60,000.

The Arlington Handicap was Divisidero’s first win since last May and his fifth stakes victory. As a 3-year-old he racked up a pair of wins in Churchill Downs’ Grade II American Turf and the Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont Park. The following year, he took the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, which he would go on to win for the second year in a row during his 5-year-old campaign.

Arlington Park racetrackArlington Handicap second-place finisher Revved Up will go through the ring in Fasig-Tipton’s Summer Selects Horses of Racing Age Sale, where he will be consigned by Claiborne Farm and is listed as Hip 504.

Meanwhile, trainer Mike Stidham is not likely to point two-time graded stakes winner Synchrony to the Million after he finished third as the beaten favorite in the Arlington Handicap.

“We were testing the waters by adding some distance,” Stidham said. “Immediately after the race my first impression was that the added distance didn’t help. At this point we’ll see how he comes out of the race, but for us to think about the Million, we probably needed to do a little bit better.”

Fans can expect to see Grade III Modesty Handicap winner Daddys Lil Darling return for the Grade I $600,000 Beverly D., according to Normandy Farm owner Nancy Polk who also bred the daughter of Scat Daddy.

“It’s a thrill,” said Polk. “From the time she was a little to when she was grown up she was special. We wanted to keep her bloodline going from her mother (Miss Hot Salsa) so we decided to keep her and race her.

“I couldn’t be happier. She’s done everything right and she’s done everything that we ask of her. Besides that, she’s a nice horse. She is a pleasure to own. It’s a chance of a lifetime and I’m loving every minute of it.”

The Modesty Handicap was a first victory on the year for Daddys Lil Darling, whose last win prior to Saturday took place in the Grade I American Oaks at Santa Anita on December 30. Trained by Kenny McPeek, she also secured stakes victories in Churchill Downs’ Grade II Pocahontas Stakes as a juvenile and the Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs last September.

Daddys Lil Darling is a half-sister to Mongolian Saturday, winner of the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in 2015. With a victory in the Modesty Handicap, Daddys Lil Darling put her sire Scat Daddy atop the standings of graded stakes winning sires of 2018. He has now sired nine graded stakes winners this year.

Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s Prado’s Sweet Ride finished second in the Modesty Handicap for the second year in a row. Trainer Chris Block is considering running the 6-year-old Illinois-bred daughter of Fort Prado in the Beverly D. She finished tenth in last year’s edition.

“As I told the owners last night, it certainly warrants thinking about it,” Block said of a possible start in the Beverly D. “She ran the very same kind of race last year against Dona Bruja who was in fine form, and obviously Daddys Lil Darling is in fine form right now. I told them that we would analyze it once we get an idea of what horses may be coming and if it’s not extremely deep then maybe we would take a shot at it.”

A four-time stakes winner, Prado’s Sweet Ride captured the Grade III Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs as a 3-year-old and also won Canterbury Park’s Minnesota H.B.P.A. Distaff Stakes in 2016, the New Orleans Ladies Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots last April and took the Illini Princess Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course on Nov. 4.

Source: Arlington Park

Divisidero was a recent AGOS Horses to Watch

Industry Profile: Jockey Harry Hernandez

It’s been a competitive jockey colony at Arlington International Racecourse so far this meet due to the addition of a few new faces in the jocks room. One of those is Harry Hernandez, who has enjoyed a solid beginning of the 2018 meet with six victories in 29 mounts.

Hernandez, 21, is currently tied for fourth in the standings with Sophie Doyle, who also is riding her first full season at the Chicagoland oval. He has finished in the money at a rate of 48%.

“I’m really excited and I’m really focused on my job,” Hernandez said. “Just trying to stay focused on winning races. I thank God and thank my agent [Ben Allen] and the owners for the opportunities that they have been giving me. I’m just trying to show off my experience.

Hernandez began his riding career in his native Puerto Rico and attended the Escuela Vocacional Hipica, graduating in the same class as leading riders Jose Ortiz, Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Eric Cancel.

Arlington Park racetrack“That school is such a nice school,” Hernandez said. “Before you graduate they make sure that you’re a hard worker and that you’re professional and respectful. Most importantly, they make sure you’re watching your weight because that’s the most important. They teach you how to gallop, teach you how to position. It’s awesome.”

Upon moving to the United States, Hernandez began riding at Finger Lakes in New York where he was consistently finishing in the top of the jockey standings.

“When I graduated I wanted to start riding in Puerto Rico since that’s where I’m from and that’s where my family is from,” Hernandez said. “But I always have wanted to come to the United States. This is where the good money is, it’s where the good owners and trainers are and you’ll learn more riding with good jockeys. This is where you learn more. I always wanted to ride in the United States and make a name for myself here.”

Check out other AGOS Jockey Profiles

It was good friend and accomplished rider Jose Ortiz, however, that gave him some encouragement to give Arlington a try this summer.

“I want to thank God for giving me these opportunities with the trainers and the owners,” Hernandez said. “My family always have supported me. I want to thank my really good friends, especially Jose Ortiz. He was the one who called me up and said ‘Hey, [Ben Allen] is a good agent’. He told me to go try it out.”

Source: Press Release

AGOS Claimer of the Week: Arlington Park runner

Horse Racing Claimer of the Week at AGameofSkill.com Making an impact in Chicago

Lasting Impact stalked the early leaders before drawing clear in upper stretch and went on the win the second race at Arlington Park by 4 lengths last Friday.  Lasting Impact has been named the agameofskill.com Claimer of the Week. The gelding defeated $10,000 claimers and covered the One Mile on a fast main track in 1:39.77. He returned $6.20 to his supporters. The son of Broken Vow scored his sixth career victory with Mitchell Murrill in the irons. The 6 year old is owned and trained by Hugh Robertson and has finished in the money (top three finishers) in 18 of 43 lifetime races. Lasting Impact has now earned approximately $160,000 in his career.

Illinois Racetracks & The Collapse of Live Racing

Fans at Hawthorne racecourse

Fans at Hawthorne racecourse

Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (ITHA) President Mike Campbell discusses the dire situation taking place in their state and how it could easily lead to the end of live racing there.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Jan. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Illinois tracks are plotting to upend industry regulations fundamental… [Read more…]

Churchill Downs Aims to Cut Racing, Threatening Jobs in Illinois

Churchill winner's circle ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Horse racing in Illinois would plummet, threatening thousands of jobs at tracks and across Illinois agribusiness, under a plan by Churchill Downs, Inc., to upend its obligation to live racing and usurp the state’s authority to determine the racing schedule.
The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association strongly opposes CDI’s… [Read more…]

Off the Charts Trip Notes – AGameofSkill.com

Off the Charts Trip Notes spotlights horses throughout the country who encountered some type of significant trouble in their most recent start. Horses spotlighted in Off the Charts Trip Notes are never an automatic bet back, but rather runners to give a serious look at given the trouble spotted by our expert handicappers at AGameofSkill.com.  Horses below listed in date order.

At Arlington Park
Static Kill (Race 5, May 12 at AP; 6 furlongs). Third choice in wagering, field of 9. Checked just past ½ mile pole when competitor rushed up and came out in center of track. Raced well behind leading group drawing close in turn while under tight restraint, then had no place to go the entire stretch. Never had an opportunity for a fully extended run and was behind a wall of 7 horses at one point, from rail outward. Ran evenly the entire stretch.

At Presque Isle
No Contest (Race 3, May 15 at PID; 5 furlongs). Third choice in wagering, field of 10. Broke directly left toward the rail and was left behind. Move outward at ½ mile pole and moved further out entering the turn. Very wide throughout turn and was 8 wide at top of the stretch. Ran well in stretch and gained more than 2 lengths on leaders in last 1/8 mile without being pushed.

At Woodbine
Sisterdini (Race 5, May 16 at WO; 5 ½ furlongs). Sixth choice in field of 12. Had horrible debut start. The filly jumped slightly at start and appeared tangled in the gate. When she finally left the gate she was easily 6 lengths behind the back of the field and a dozen or so from the front. She went around horses entering the turn and then came back to the rail in the last portion of the turn. Moved outward toward track center when in stretch and had to hesitate slightly for racing room just past 3/16 pole. When straight she closed very well and barely missed third, seemed determined all the way in what was a very impressive run for a rookie.

At Churchill
Original Kitten (race 3, May 18 at CD, 1 mile 1/16 Turf). Second choice in field of seven. Moved out wide into first turn and forced out foe in process. Out of first turn she came back inside to rail and enjoyed an uneventful ground saving trip, under tight restraint, until the top of the stretch. Looked to move down on rail when entering stretched but cut off by leader and foe running second. Moved out for racing room but was cut off again and bumped by eventual winner. Did not shake free until last 100 yards and closed well to gain third.

At Belmont Park
Ibid (Race 3, May 20 at Bel, 6 furlongs). Debut runner was fourth choice in field of eight. Jumped up at start and into the left side of gate then forced to pull back slightly when shut off in the first 100 yards. She was cut off again and squeezed back a second time near the 5/8 pole then dropped back next to last with her effort showing inexperience. Once into the turn the filly rallied well while wide and moved into contention at the top of the stretch where she was seven wide and, at that point, tried to move inward bumping with a foe. Once free from interaction with opponents in center track she ran well to gain third. The race was a combination of bad luck and inexperience. She was more than a handful for her rider.