06/12/2001 11:00PM

Arlington opens with 7,144


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Graced by sunny skies and unseasonably warm weather, Arlington Park opened its 2001 season on Wednesday, the track's first full year under the umbrella of Churchill Downs Inc.

As part of Arlington's and Churchill's efforts to integrate their operations, Arlington began its meet later than is typical, replacing its traditional Mother's Day opening in May with a midweek launch in mid-June. A crowd of 7,144 attended the opener.

None of the ballyhooed horses had success Wednesday. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, the longtime leading trainer in northern California whose arrival here this summer the track has been promoted heavily, failed to win with three starters.

Hollendorfer's losing trio included Globalize, who finished fourth in the $42,000 Barry Shipp Handicap. Globalize, winner of the Spiral Stakes last year, was coming off a year-long layoff, and had little chance to rally from off the pace Wednesday on a track that played very fast and favored speed horses. Robin de Nest ($11) won the Barry Shipp, catching favored My Halo inside the final furlong for a three-quarter-length victory.

Godolphin Racing also started its first horse of the meet. The first-time starter Trick Taker, a 2-year-old trained by Eoin Harty, broke slowly and finished fifth in the fourth race.