Race of the Week 2017

Von Hemel Likes Arlington Stakes Chances

Arlington Park.
No decision had been made as of Thursday morning about Alternation’s participation in New York’s upcoming Belmont Stakes by Pin Oak Stable, according to trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel, but the 49-year-old veteran conditioner had journeyed through America’s tornado-ravaged heartland Wednesday to attend to more immediate business in Chicago.


Von Hemel will saddle Pin Oak’s grass-favoring sophomore Pulpitarian in Saturday’s $100,000 Arlington Classic with Luis Quinonez aboard, but one race earlier will give a leg up to Quinonez astride Robert Zoellner’s She’s All In in the 75th anniversary edition of the Grade III Arlington Matron.


“Both horses are doing well right now,” Von Hemel said during training hours Thursday morning at Arlington, referring to their respective breezes during the past week over the local Polytrack.  She’s All In went five furlongs last Friday in 1:02, while Pulpitarian got the half-mile distance last Saturday in 50.20.


Pulpitarian, incidentally, is out of the Pin Oak mare Bedanken, who Von Hemel saddled to win Arlington’s Grade III Modesty Handicap seven summers ago, and three weeks later she went on to finish fifth in the Grade I Beverly D. when beaten only a length and a half for the win.


“Conformation-wise, they are a little different,” said Von Hemel when asked to compare the dam and her colt, “but (Pulpitarian) has showed himself to be a little better on the turf just the way she was.”


Pulpitarian finished second in his most recent trip to the post April 23 over Lone Star’s lawn when going a mile and 40 yards, but before that had won over the Remington grass at the same distance.  In both races he finished full of run and should appreciate the added distance of the Arlington Classic at 1 1/16 miles as the first leg of the Mid-America Triple over Arlington’s world-famous turf course.


“She’s All In is an Oklahoma-bred who has just gotten really good lately,” Von Hemel said of his 4-year-old filly who will go to the post in Saturday’s Arlington Matron for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at a mile and an eighth over the local Polytrack.  “As a 2-year-old she tore her back all out, and as a 3-year-old she won in some minor spots (Remington’s $137,000 Oklahoma Distaff on dirt as well as $50,000 Ladies on the Lawn) but now that she’s a 4-year-old she’s really making some progress.”


That progress would include two straight wins in her last two starts in $40,000 allowance optional claiming company April 1 and March 11 at Oaklawn after being stakes-placed in Oaklawn’s $75,000 Pippin Jan. 22 and on-the-board effort in the $100,000 Bayakoa Feb. 19 during the winter at the central Arkansas oval.


Von Hemel, incidentally, saddled Don McNeil’s Clever Trevor to win the 1989 Arlington Classic and won the 1995 Matron with Thunderhead Farms’ Mariah’s Storm.  That filly previously had captured the Arlington-Washington Lassie and the Arlington Oaks and is the only filly in history to win all three of those stakes.  She later went on to a successful broodmare career as the dam of the champion Giant’s Causeway.





Jockey Suraj Narredu, a 27-year-old native of India who reached the 1,000-win milestone faster than any other rider in that nation’s history, accepted his first American mount Wednesday in Arlington’s seventh race and rode Meryl Squires-Cannon’s 60-1 long shot Aricat to a seventh-place finish despite getting sandwiched at the break.


“It was a very nice experience for me,” said Narredu shortly after his dismount.  “The horse tried his best.  Now I’m looking forward to riding (Mansoor Malik’s) Fighting Friar on Friday for trainer Al Ali.”




The first Party In The Park of the 2011 Arlington season will be held Friday to kick off Arlington’s extended Memorial Day holiday weekend, with first song and first post scheduled for 3 p.m.


The band “Thunder Road” – a Bruce Springsteen tribute band – will be the featured entertainment Friday, with the band “7th Heaven” appearing the following afternoon during Arlington’s Saturday Summer Bash, with first song and first post at 1 p.m.


Sunday is Family Day at Arlington, featuring free pony rides and a petting zoo 12-4 p.m. plus displays from the Dupage Children’s Museum, and family activities continue on Memorial Day Monday, one of three Monday racing days of Arlington’s 2011 season with a 1 p.m. post.




Also, a Pick-6 carryover pool of $13,177 and a Pick-5 carryover pool of $13,093 will give racing fans something significant to shoot for Friday at Arlington Park.



comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

Related Stories

Top Stories