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Three stakes races on tap at Arlington
Daily Herald News Services
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Published: 5/23/2008 2:36 PM

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Saturday’s racing card at Arlington Park is highlighted by a three-stakes afternoon.

It begins with the inaugural running of the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas as the sixth race, continues with the 73rd renewal of the $150,000 Arlington Classic as the eighth race, and concludes with the 56th running of the $100,000 Hanshin Cup as the ninth event of an 11-race program.

Prior to Saturday’s races, Daily Herald Handicapper Joe Kristufek will host a handicapping seminar from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Starting Gate Theatre along with Marcus Hersh of Daily Racing Form. After the Starting Gate session, the seminar will continue at kiosks in the Clubhouse (1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.) and Grandstand (3 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Longshot Cubbie: Cubs Fan, a 3-year-old filly owned by a native Chicagoan, is a longshot to win Saturday’s inaugural running of the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas at Arlington Park.

As the newest edition to Arlington’s stakes schedule, the 1000 Guineas is restricted to 2-year-olds, and will be run at one mile over the grass in keeping with an international format.

Cubs Fan is listed at 30-1 in the morning-line.

Concert update: Blues legend Lonnie Brooks brings his unique sound to Arlington Park’s band stage Saturday night for a post-race concert presented by WXRT at about 6:30 p.m.

Monday racing: Arlington Park will be up and running on Monday with a special Memorial Day program, one of only two Monday racing programs offered this season at the suburban Chicago oval.

The featured race on Monday’s program will be the 71st renewal of the Grade III Arlington Matron for fillies and mares. The nine-furlong event will be contested over Arlington’s Polytrack course.

Fires on fire: Stepping up to the plate this season at Arlington is Earlie Fires, Arlington’s all-time leading rider. Heading into Friday’s races, Fire had nine wins (including two riding triples) so far. He has won with more than half of his mounts at the local session.

Douglas does it again: Jockey Rene Douglas, the only rider in history to win four straight Arlington Park riding titles, accomplished his fourth riding triple of the season Thursday on what was the 12th race day of a 96-day meeting.

Thursday’s “hat trick” gave the native of Panama 24 wins from 71 mounts, more than twice as many as his nearest pursuer.

Currently in second position in the local riding standings is Eddie Razo, who captured the jockey championship at Oaklawn Park this winter. Razo, born in Mexico but a longtime Long Grove resident, has made 13 trips to the winner’s circle from 52 mounts.