Frank Mancari’s Free Fighter
was a good hunch bet to rule the showcase race on Arlington Park’s Military
Appreciation Day, not only due to the karma of his name association with the
afternoon’s theme, but also because the race Free Fighter won Saturday was the
80th anniversary edition of the Stars and Stripes Stakes – a race Free Fighter
won two years ago.
On Sunday morning during
training hours, Free Fighter’s trainer – Vietnam vet Mike Reavis – reported
that Free Fighter was “standing in his stall like the warrior he is,” and might
possibly be pointed for the sixth running of the $60,000 Illinois Owners Stakes
on Aug. 12, one day before Grade I Arlington Million and Arlington’s
International Festival of Racing.
The Illinois Owners Stakes
will be run at a mile and a sixteenth over Arlington’s
world famous turf course, but is restricted to Thoroughbreds where at least 51
per cent of the horses’ recorded ownership is registered to an owner whose Illinois
Racing Board license registration reflects an address in the State of Illinois.
“I was really glad for Frank
yesterday,” Reavis said of owner Mancari, “We’re good friends, but I was
particularly happy for (jockey) Timmy Thornton, because he’s ridden a lot of
good races for me and his Mom was there yesterday to watch him win the big race
“Also, I want to say something
about Chris Block,” said Reavis of Free Fighter’s former trainer, whose Team
Block family bred and owned the horse originally. “Chris did an excellent
job training the horse before I got him. He’s always been a class act,
and he has always wished me luck ever since I got the horse.”
‘GIRLS’ DAY OUT’ COMING THIS SATURDAY AT ARLINGTON
A ladies day program called
“Girls’ Day Out” will offer an added incentive this Saturday at Arlington
Park, to include a more
exclusive gathering available for female guests in the International Room with
tickets still available at arlingtonpark.com.
“Arlington has had Ladies Day
themes before,” said Phoebe Wainwright,
Arlington’s marketing manager, “and we will be offering our usual amenities
like fashion hat contests throughout the grounds, but this year our
International Room package is designed to please the ladies that may not know
anything about horseracing but do like to get dressed up and come out to enjoy
fashion, food and drink in a more exclusive setting.
“We can speak to all the
ladies directly in a more intimate atmosphere in the International Room,” said
Wainwright. “In addition, those who opt for the International Room
package will receive a free voucher for $2 and we will attempt to teach them
the basics of the sport.
“Also, of course, in the enclosed
air-conditioned confines of the International Room, the ladies in their fashion
outfits will always be comfortable.”
SCOTT BECKER TAKES LEAD IN ARLINGTON’S
Scott Becker-trained Proceed Bee, owned by William
Stiritz, may have finished third in Saturday’s 80th anniversary edition of
Arlington’s Stars and Stripes Stakes, but earlier in the afternoon that
owner-trainer tandem’s W W American won the fifth race of the day with Chris
Emigh aboard to give Becker a one-win lead in Arlington’s trainer standings
entering Sunday’s race day.