Chicago Barn to Wire


Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 255-4300
Thursday, July 27, 2000
55th Day


Ellenberg, Sangster & Kaster's Distant Mirage, third in the Grade 3 New Hampshire Sweepstakes five weeks ago, may vie for favoritism with Barry Golden's Where's Taylor, the runner-up in that New England fixture, when they face nine other rivals in Saturday's 65th running of the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap.

The mile and a quarter turf test for three-year-olds and upward has served as the final local prep for the Grade 1 Arlington Million run three weeks later during the last decade. Three straight Arlington Handicap winners - Sky Classic in 1992, Evanescent in 1993, and Fanmore in 1994 - finished second in the Arlington Million those years.

Arlington Handicap winners Sky Classic, owned by Sam-Son Farm, and Bowl Game, who took the 1979 renewal in Greentree Stable silks, went on to win Male Turf Horse Eclipse Awards later in those same seasons.

In the New Hampshire Sweepstakes, Distant Mirage shouldered 117 pounds but gets two pounds less for Saturday's test. Where's Taylor, assigned 114 for that mile and an eighth event, had a clear lead after a mile but got caught in the last strides. Saturday he gets 113 pounds but must negotiate an extra furlong.

Arlington's leading rider Mark Guidry gets the mount on Distant Mirage, while Corey Lanerie returns in the irons on Where's Taylor. Sure to provide strong competition for those two is the Estate of Thomas Mueller's Chorwon, a multiple stakes winner last year who appears to be returning to form after a solid score in a conditioned allowance race at Churchill Downs July 3.

Tim Doocy is named to handle the reins with a 114-pound impost. Betty Massey & Martin Racing LLC's Colonial Power, 112, a winner of his last three in a row at Louisiana Downs, merits consideration after his head tally in the Independence Day Breeders' Cup Handicap on America's Birthday. Chris Emigh is up.

Northern Quest, a European campaigner who has made one American start, cannot be discounted. The French-bred, owned by 3 Plus U Stables and trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bobby Frankel, was third beaten a length and a half in the Dallas Turf Cup Handicap in his lone start this year June 17. He gets in with 112 pounds, including jockey Robby Albarado.

Completing the field are: Miessler & Raber's Exciting Fanfare, 111, Alfredo Juarez Jr.; Jack Smith's Mi Sierra, 111, Larry Melancon; Conway, Hoffman & Team Canonie's Profit Option, 111, Jesse Campbell; Lion Stable's Kiss of Lion, 110, Earlie Fires; Joann & Alex Lieblong's Mi Buddy, 110, Jon Court; and Barr H. Inman's Apalachee Special, 108, Eduardo Perez.


Arlington guests must not forget to enter the NTRA Down The Stretch Sweepstakes by the second race this Saturday. It might be worth a million dollars!

A drawing will be held with one contestant representing each horse in Saturday's third race. The winning contestant in that race will get to pick his or her own selected horse to win the fourth. If the contestant wins that race they win $500. If they go on to pick the right horse to represent them in the fifth race they win $10,000. If they advance to the sixth they win $25,000 and to the seventh they win $50,000. Then, if they advance to the eighth race they win the magical $1,000,000!

Also, any subsequent contestant who wins more than one race in succession in the third through the eighth races Saturday is eligible for the same succession of cash prizes.


Jockey Tim Doocy remains one win away from the 4,000-win milestone. The count going into today: Tim Doocy - 3,999 career wins, Arlington Total: 24

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