08/24/2004 11:00PM

Hail Hillary ready to build on big effort


One race and one head removed from knocking out her third allowance condition, Hail Hillary returns Friday as a primary contender in the feature race at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill.

Owned by Butterfly Stable and trained by Dave Kassen, Hail Hillary was beaten just a head by Chilling Effect in an Aug. 5 race that carries virtually the same conditions as the eighth of 10 Friday races: a three-other-than allowance, with an optional-claiming provision.

Hail Hillary is already a stakes winner, having captured the Maryland Million Ladies over the Laurel Park turf course last fall. Since then, she has won once in six tries, getting through a second allowance condition as an odds-on favorite at the Churchill Downs spring meet.

Since coming to Arlington with the Kassen stable, Hail Hillary has run creditably, although her latest effort clearly was her best of three starts. Always in striking range, she finished strongly down the lane but was narrowly beaten by Chilling Effect, who was in for the optional claiming price and thus retains her eligibility when returning for a rematch Friday.

Thirteen other fillies and mares, including two also-eligibles, also are entered in the Friday feature, which will be contested at about one mile over the expansive Arlington grass course. The purse is $38,000.

The Friday feature supplanted the Top Flight Handicap, a race that drew just four 2-year-old fillies and thus was scrapped by the Arlington racing office.

Champali owners may be on hand

Champali was scheduled to van early Friday morning from Churchill Downs to Arlington, where he will be a solid favorite to win his fourth straight race. Champali was one of five older horses entered Wednesday in the $150,000 Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint, a six-furlong race that serves as the weekend highlight Saturday.

Although Champali has won 10 of 18 lifetime starts, few of the people in the syndicate that owns him has ever been present for his wins. That could change Saturday, when "quite possibly the entire group" that forms the Lloyd Madison Farms will be at Arlington, said syndicate manager Rob Lloyd.

"We've got a reservation for 40 people Saturday night at Bob Chinn's in Wheeling," said Lloyd, a Louisville, Ky., resident who originally hails from Madison, Wis., where most of the syndicate members live. "With Madison only being about 2 1/2 hours away, everybody was able to plan on being there for this race. We're hoping it will turn out to be a great day for us."

Champali has earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in each of his last three wins: a May 26 allowance at Churchill, the June 19 Aristides at Churchill, and the July 10 Smile Sprint at Calder. A 4-year-old Glitterman colt trained by Greg Foley, Champali has earned nearly $890,000.

* Jockey Carlos Marquez Jr. will be out about a week to 10 days after a magnetic resonance imaging test Monday revealed a sprained right knee, according to agent Penny Fitch-Heyes.

Marquez, fourth in the Arlington jockey standings at the time, was injured Sunday when he was spilled from a mount during training hours.

* Recently retired jockey Ray Sibille was recovering in good spirits following hip replacement surgery at Weiss Memorial Hospital on Chicago's north side. Sibille, 51, retired July 21 after an outstanding 35-year career in which he won 4,264 races. Sibille, the fourth winningest rider in Arlington history, was scheduled for release Friday.