Updated on 09/15/2011 1:53PM

Bet on Sunshine shoots for 3rd Arlington Sprint


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - If this is the Arlington Sprint, then Bet on Sunshine must be in town.

Indeed, a horse van from Louisville brought Bet on Sunshine to Chicago on Tuesday, when the 9-year-old gelding began final preparations for the richest sprint race of the Arlington meet. On Saturday, owner David Holloway and 20 of his closest relatives and friends will be on hand, hoping that Bet on Sunshine can win his 20th career race under Holloway's yellow-and-blue silks.

Eight other older horses will oppose Bet on Sunshine in the six-furlong Sprint, a race the Florida-bred already has won twice. Bet on Sunshine dead-heated to win the 1997 running, then won outright in 2000 (Arlington was dark in 1998 and 1999). In his most recent start Bet on Sunshine ran one of the best races of his career, easily winning the June 30 Aristides Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Paul J. McGee has said he intends to use the Arlington Sprint and the Oct. 5 Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland as preps for the Breeders' Cup Sprint, in which Bet on Sunshine twice has finished a close third (1997 and 2000).

Probably the top challenger is Robin de Nest, who has won two lesser stakes at the Arlington meet. Trained by Tom Amoss, Robin de Nest captured the Barry Shipp Handicap on opening day and the Dr. Fager Handicap on Aug. 5. Robin de Nest will carry 116 pounds, seven fewer than top-weighted Bet on Sunshine.

The Arlington Sprint is the eighth of 10 races here Saturday. The Travers simulcast also is part of Arlington's program, although it is carded as Special Event 1; it will be run between live races 8 and 9. Fans can shop for the best odds between the Arlington and Saratoga pools.


Arlington Trackside, the popular simulcast center located just outside the half-mile pole on track grounds, underwent an electrical power outage Wednesday night during a heavy thunderstorm.

Power went out shortly after 6 p.m. Central while severe rain flooded parking lots adjacent to Trackside. Power finally was restored at about 1 a.m., well after the facility was closed.

The main track absorbed a considerable amount of water, leading to a very light Thursday work tab. The track was listed as good for the first race Thursday, and the two races scheduled for turf were transferred to the dirt.

The Lord's Tune ($4) notched her fourth straight win in the Thursday opener, marking her second in a row against open starter-allowance company here.

* Lonnie Meche, who ran away with the jockey title at Fair Grounds last winter, will ride regularly at the upcoming Turfway Park meet, said agent Louis Coco. Meche rode until the end of the Churchill Downs spring meet before shifting to Arlington, where he has ridden sparingly while winning with 15 of his first 81 mounts.

* A field of at least eight 3-year-old fillies, headed by La Vida Loca, is likely for the $60,000 Flawlessly Stakes here Sunday. Besides La Vida Loca, winner of the Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs in May for Bill Mott, the other probables for the 1 1/8-mile turf race include Amybdancing, Glory Glory, I Can Go Go, La Recherche, Majesty's Lass, Shania's Code, and Twilite Tryst.

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