08/17/2004 11:00PM

Euros make Festival a success


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - This side of the Breeders' Cup, the European flavor just does not seem to get any stronger in American racing than in the International Festival of Racing that Arlington Park hosted last weekend.

And there is a reason for that: Arlington pulls out all stops to make it that way.

"It takes a lot of hard work by a lot of people," said Frank Gabriel Jr., executive vice president of racing at Arlington. "It's hard to maintain the standard we've set for ourselves, but we met it again this year."

European horses were right in the thick of the two richest Festival races, with Crimson Palace winning the Beverly D. for Godolphin and Powerscourt finishing first before being disqualified in the Arlington Million. In a field of 11, the Beverly D. drew five horses bred outside of North America, while the Million had seven of 13. In addition, the third and last Grade 1 in the Festival, the Secretariat, had three foreigners in a field of seven.

Gabriel said that if it was not for the recruitment of foreign horses, the Festival might be just another weekend of racing. "The European flavor probably is the one big thing that really sets the Festival apart from other major races," he said.

Tizdubai opts not to enter

A field of 10 3-year-old fillies - with one notable absentee - was drawn Wednesday for the lone stakes here this weekend, the $150,000 Arlington Breeders' Cup Oaks on Saturday. Tizdubai, who shipped here with the Godolphin contingent that included Crimson Palace, was not entered as expected in the 1 1/8-mile race.

From the rail, the lineup for the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks is Fly Away Angel, Lovely Afternoon, Catboat, My Time Now, Miss Moses, Teenage Temper, Flashy, Touch of Victory, Platinum Ballet, and Chancey Light.

Arlington racing officials said they were not provided any specifics about why Tizdubai did not enter.

Also Saturday, a $35,000 allowance at the rarely run distance of 7 1/2 furlongs is scheduled for earlier on the card.

Cosme leads the way

With James Graham having lost his five-pound allowance earlier this month because his apprenticeship expired, the ranks of bugs0/00 has thinned, leaving the following active riders: Emanuel Cosme, Liz Morris, and Freddy Fong.

Cosme, who is represented by Randy Romero 2nd (a son of the former jockey), has fared the best of those so far by winning with 14 of his first 150 mounts. Into this week, Morris had nine wins and Fong, a late arrival, had two.

Graham, meanwhile, has made a respectable transition to journeyman status by winning with five of 53 mounts since competing without the bug as of Aug. 4. He won 39 races here as an apprentice.

Honor in War back on work tab

Honor in War, the Grade 1 winner who has not raced since the May 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic because of a minor foot ailment, was among the notable workers on the turf here Wednesday morning.

With Rene Douglas aboard, Honor in War went an easy half-mile in 52.80 seconds over a firm course. Randy Martin, assistant to trainer Paul McGee, said the Oct. 9 Shadwell Mile at Keeneland is the primary goal this fall, although "hopefully we can get a race in him before that."

Other turf works were Nicole's Dream (half-mile in 48.80), Turn to Lass (half-mile in 47.20), and Sharbayan (six furlongs in 1:16.60).

Douglas picks up Champali ride

Douglas has gotten the call from trainer Greg Foley here next Saturday on Champali, who figures as a big favorite in the $150,000 Arlington BC Sprint. Douglas got the mount when Pat Day accepted the mount on Suave in the Travers at Saratoga the same day.

Coach Jimi Lee is among a handful of older horses expected to oppose Champali in the six-furlong race.

Lasix changes

The Illinois Racing Board on Tuesday approved a change in the administration of race-day Lasix by increasing the maximum amount from 250 mg. to 500 mg., an industry standard recently advocated by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.

At a regularly scheduled meeting in Springfield, Ill., the board addressed the Lasix issue as part of a one-hour session. Joe Kasperski, president of the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, said the change is welcome "because horsemen have been saying for years that horses are bleeding through Lasix. Our group didn't actually push for this change, but the board felt it was prudent in light of the new industry guidelines. We're glad about it."

Lasix, one of the trade names for the diuretic furosemide, is thought to alleviate exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging and reduce the chance of a horse suffering from bleeding in the lungs. Most racing states already have a 500 mg. maximum.

Because of the time involved with legal protocols, the change will not become effective until late this year or early next year.

* Jockey Eddie Martin Jr., the leading rider at the Lone Star Park meet, plans to ride all but one of the six programs scheduled next month at turf-only Kentucky Downs. Martin will miss opening day, Sept. 18, according to agent Bobby Kelly.

* Renette Scott, the widow of former Chicago trainer Clifford Scott, recently died at 92 in California. Services for Mrs. Scott are scheduled for Friday in Culver City, Calif.