Updated on 09/15/2011 12:38PM

Chicago foes heat up their rivalry


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Suddenly, this has become a Chicago rivalry.

Guided Tour, Duckhorn and Chicago Six, three horses who battled in stakes at Sportsman's Park, then Hawthorne Race Course this spring, face off again at Arlington on Saturday in the Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap.

They are joined in the Washington Park, a Grade 2 $400,000 1 1/4-mile handicap, by East Coast shipper Milwaukee Brew and the Canadian-based A Fleets Dancer. The Washington Park, which got a $150,000 purse increase and was lengthened from 1 1/8 miles, lost a prominent potential starter Thursday when the connections of the Grade 1-placed Gander elected to stay home.

Chicago Six is owned by a Chicagoan, Richard Trebat, and trains locally with J.R. Smith Sr. A reformed claimer, he beat Guided Tour and Duckhorn on April 22 in the National Jockey Club Stakes at Sportsman's. Guided Tour, owned by Chicagoan Morton Fink, was favored to win that race, but finished second, and finished third when he was favored again in the Hawthorne Gold Cup, where Duckhorn won and Chicago Six finished fifth.

Both Guided Tour, who is trained by Niall O'Callaghan, and Duckhorn, trained by Pat Byrne, are based at Churchill Downs.

Guided Tour, the 116-pound highweight, won the $750,000 Stephen Foster in his last start, beating the heavy favorite, Captain Steve, with a powerful stretch run for his second Grade 2 win this year. Guided Tour, a 5-year-old gelding who struggled to win allowance races during the early part of his career, now has won almost $1.4 million and ranks as the class of this field. Guided Tour has not run well in four starts at 1 1/4 miles, but both O'Callaghan and Guided Tour's longtime rider, Larry Melancon, feel the gelding can handle the distance if he runs his race.

Guided Tour and three other horses will be chasing Duckhorn throughout the race, perhaps futilely.

A 4-year-old Not for Love colt owned by Michael Tabor, Duckhorn is far and away the quickest horse in the race, and has proven capable of maintaining his speed for 10 furlongs, at which he has won two of three starts.

In the Hawthorne Gold Cup he set an exceptionally fast pace but easily held on to beat Lido Palace, who came back to finish second in the Suburban Handicap. Mark Guidry, the meet's leading jockey who rode Duckhorn to two easy wins here last summer, has the call.

Milwaukee Brew, owned by Stronach Stables and trained by Joe Orseno, is winless in three starts this year. Orseno said Milwaukee Brew was suffering from a lung infection when he tried top-class company two starts ago in the Pimlico Special. A Fleets Dancer won Woodbine's Dominion Day in his most recent race.

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