Two stakes races on the famed turf course will share the spotlight this weekend at Arlington Park with the return of the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas for fillies and the $100,000 Arlington Classic for males.
Here's a glance at the field for both races:
Robert Smithen's Bay to Bay, winner of the Grade III Natalma Stakes at Woodbine Race Course last September, is prominent in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies entered for the third running of the American 1000 Guineas, which will be run at one mile over Arlington's turf course.
A daughter of Sligo Bay, Bay to Bay has made only two starts since that graded stakes victory north of the border last autumn finishing second in the Grade III Mazarine Stakes over her home course at Woodbine in October 2009 and more recently running second in the Grade III Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland Race Course last month. Trained by Brian Lynch, Bay to Bay will be ridden by Robby Albarado.
Two other graded stakes-placed runners are included in the field assembled for Saturday's headliner - Koolmen Racing Stables' Orchestrator and Team Valor International & Highfield Stock Farm's Chantilly Nayla.
Orchestrator, a daughter of Bernstein, finished fourth in the aforementioned Appalachian after previously capturing the Grade III Bourbonette Oaks over Turfway's Polytrack surface. The Ken McPeek trainee does have a turf victory, taking a Keeneland grass allowance race last fall. Arlington's leading jockey, Junior Alvarado, picks up the mount.
Chantilly Nayla, a Wayne Catalano-trained daughter of Five Star Day, ran second in the Grade II Beaumont Stakes on Polytrack at Keeneland. Prior to that victory, Chantilly Nayla won the $60,000 Mardi Gras Stakes on dirt at the Fair Grounds, though that race was originally slated to be run on the turf. She did win her lone turf start, a first-level allowance in New Orleans. Michael Baze, currently second in the Arlington standings, will be aboard Chantilly Nayla for the first time Saturday.
Also of note is Patinack Farm's Queen of the Creek. The Tom Proctor charge makes her stakes debut in the 1000 Guineas after the well-bred but lightly raced Theatrical filly won an allowance race over the Keeneland lawn last month. Jose Lescano is named.
Another filly of interest in the American 1000 Guineas is the French invading Irish-bred Silverton Hill's Kilmore Quay. A daughter of Traditionally, Kilmore Quay has done all her running to date in France, most recently scoring in the Prix de la Flandrie at Longchamp in her last start. Trained for her American debut by Darrin Miller, Jesus Castanon will have the mount.
One other stakes winner passed the entry box for the 1000 Guineas, John & Kim Glenney's Go Ask Alex, who won the $100,000 Indiana Distaff at Indiana Downs earlier this month. Jon Court will ride the John Glenney-trained daughter of Afleet Alex.
Completing the field for the American 1000 Guineas (with rider listed) are: Edward Seltzer's Besitos (Eduardo Perez), Edward Seltzer's Superstardom (Inocencio Diego) and Barry Golden Racing Stable & The Posse's Lucky Lass (James Graham).
Saturday's 75th renewal of the $100,000 Arlington Classic is a wide open race with more than half the field installed at 6-1 odds or less for the mile and a sixteenth grass race for 3-year-olds.
The Arlington Classic serves as the first leg of the Mid-America Triple which will continue with the Grade II $300,000 American Derby on July 17 and conclude with the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day Aug. 21.
Getting a 4-1 nod is Abdullah Saeed Almaddah's Alfarabi, a colt from Kentucky that recently fifth in the Grade III Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland in April. Previously, the Eoin Harty trainee picked up minor placings in a pair of overnight stakes in Southern California.
Glen Hill Farm's Family Foundation finished third in the Grade III Bourbon at Keeneland last autumn and followed that with a second-place finish in the state-bred restricted $100,000 Appleton Juvenile Turf at Calder Race Course to conclude his freshman season. In two starts this year, the son of Repriced ran fourth in the restricted Sophomore Turf at Tampa Bay Downs and eighth (beaten only four lengths) in a second-level open allowance at Keeneland.
Estrorace LLC's Workin For Hops looks to rebound from a fifth-place finish in the Grade II American Turf at Churchill Downs. Earlier this year, the Mike Stidham-trained son of City Zip won the $58,000 Grindstone Stakes at the Fair Grounds.
A trio of runners have been installed at 6-1 odds - Michael Sucher's Our Champion; Mr. & Mrs. A. C. Asbury's Gleam of Hope; and Gary & Mary West's Call Shot.
Completing the field for the Arlington Classic are: Lothenbach Stables' Mister Mardi Gras; Mercedes Stables' Indy Scent; Flying I Ranch & Millard Seldin's Prairie Breeze; and George Krikorian's Summer Movie.