The Grade III Arlington Matron and the $125,000 Arlington
Classic, both longtime fixtures at Chicago’s premier Thoroughbred oval, will
share top billing on Saturday, May 26. Stone Farm, John Adger, Oak Crest Farm & Mike Stidham’s
Upperline headlines the Arlington Matron and Grade II Mark Bacon & Diane
Wells’ Silver Max prominent among the sophomores entered in the Arlington
winner of the Grade III Arlington Oaks over this course and surface in 2010,
returns to Arlington off a victorious run in the Grade III Bewitch Stakes over
the Keeneland turf course last month. The 5-year-old daughter of Maria’s
Mon, who finished fourth in this race last year, has had other successes on
synthetic surfaces including a score last summer in the $100,000 Trillium at
Woodbine. James Graham will ride the Mike Stidham-trained mare.
Lane Farm LLC’s Ariana D comes out of a third-place finish in the Grade I
Madison at Keeneland in April in her 2012 debut. The Andrew
McKeever-trained daughter of Rock Slide won just once last year but that was in
the $100,000 Avowal over Woodbine’s Polytrack. The 6-year-old mare is
consistently around the money as she has finished in the top three in 20 of 27
trips to the post. Willie Martinez is named to ride.
D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stables’ Kathmanblu; Tracy Farmer’s La Gran
Bailadora; and Green Lantern Stables LLC’s Sea Level Drive all exit the Grade
III Doubledogdare having finished second, third and fourth respectively in that
mile and a sixteenth race over Keeneland’s Polytrack.
Gran Bailadora ran second in this race last year while Kathmanblu captured the
Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes at the Fair Grounds in 2011. Sea Level
Drive is looking for her first win in stakes competition. Shaun
Bridgmohan is slated for the tack for La Gran Bailadora, Corey Lanerie has the
call to ride Kathmanblu and Rosemary Homeister Jr. gets the nod astride Sea
the field for the Matron are: the Estate of Gail Gee, Mark Hoffman & Earl
Trostrud’s Hooh Why (Francisco Torres), a Grade I winner as a 3-year-old who
has captured her last two races against easier company on turf at Tampa Bay
Downs; and Olympia Star Inc.’s Hemera (Florent Geroux), fourth in an Arlington
Park allowance race on May 4.
the Arlington Classic¸ a mile and a sixteenth turf race which serves as the
first leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple that continues July 14 with the
Grade III American Derby and concludes with the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on
Aug. 18, attracted a field of 10 sophomores topped by Grade II American Turf
winner Silver Max.
Dale Romans trainee is four-for-four this year on turf. In addition to
the American Turf victory at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day May 4, the
son of Badge of Silver captured the Grade III Transylvania at Keeneland in
April. Shaun Bridgmohan will ride.
and Scott Heider & Michael Dahir’s Monastic gets another chance after a
fourth-place finish as the 2-1 favorite in the Transylvania. In his only
other start of 2012, the Tom Proctor-trained son of Rock Hard Ten ran third in
an open allowance race at Tampa Bay Downs in March. A victor over the
Churchill Downs turf course last fall, Monastic will be ridden Saturday by
LLC’s Hero of Order, a 109-1 upset winner in the Grade II Louisiana Derby, will
try the turf for the first time since finishing fourth in the $75,000 Black
Gold at the Fair Grounds. Since winning the Louisiana Derby, the son of Sharp
Humor ran last of 13 in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes over Keeneland’s
Polytrack and then ran fifth against older rivals in a second-level allowance
race here two weeks ago. Trained by Gennadi Dorochenko, he will be ridden
Saturday by Quincy Hamilton.
Trainer Tim Ice sends out a pair in No Spin and Slamit, both
of which run for Black Gold Racing. The former is a stakes winner on turf
having captured the $60,000 Royal Glint at Hawthorne last fall while the
latter, a victor in the $50,000 Spring Stakes at Sam Houston, will be making
his grass debut. Channing Hill gets the call aboard No Spin while
Rosemary Homeister Jr. will ride Slamit.
Shadwell Stable’s Najjaar makes his turf debut in Saturday’s
Classic after racing on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year, finishing
sixth in the Grade II Rebel and seventh in the Grade I Arkansas Derby.
James Graham gets the riding assignment.
Completing the field for the Classic are: Jim Tafel LLC’s
All Stormy (Florent Geroux); Manganaro LLC & Woodford Racing LLC’s Street
Serenade (Willie Martinez); and Kendel Standlee & Richard Schultz’s North
of Never (Francisco Torres).