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Colorado-breds take spotlight at Arapahoe Park on Sunday


July 27, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

Sunday’s stakes races at Arapahoe Park will showcase the top Colorado-breds when the last two Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association horses of the year meet in the Mount Elbert Stakes for older state-breds and 3-year-old fillies line up in the CTBA Breeders Oaks.

In the 1-1/16-mile, $35,000-estimated Mount Elbert, Wally Van will try to repeat in the race, which culminated four stakes wins for the Tyrone Gleason-trainee at Arapahoe Park en route to being named the 2011 Colorado Horse of the Year. After starting his 2012 Arapahoe campaign with a win in the Aspen Stakes on June 16, the 4-year-old gray owned by Bill Vanlandingham then had his streak of five consecutive Arapahoe stakes wins snapped in the Front Range Stakes on July 1. Danzip, the 2010 Colorado Horse of the Year, is also trying to regain the form he had as champion when he won three Arapahoe stakes races as a 3-year-old. This year he has been seventh in the Aspen and third in a July 13 allowance. Leading jockey Russell Vicchrilli has ridden the Douglas Grinolds-trainee in each of his Arapahoe starts, but Carl Mel Kutz will be aboard on Sunday. The field of seven also includes last year’s second-place finisher Dance to the Star and third-place finisher The Latest Twist.

In the $35,000-estimated CTBA Breeders Oaks at 1 mile, 70 yards, Natalie E will try to emulate what her stable companion Tulsa Te did in the CTBA Breeders Derby. The speedy filly bred and owned by Willard Burbach, trained by Courtney Sarris, and ridden by Vicchrilli showed that she could rate when stepping up to 7 furlongs in her last start on July 6 and scoring her maiden win. Super Fine, the 2011 Colorado Champion 2-Year-Old Filly, is also in the field of six for trainer Butch Gleason and jockey Michael Ziegler. An intriguing outsider is Sandhill Lady, whose lone career race was a closing fourth behind Natalie E on July 6.

Additional weekend highlights:

Eyesa Special Lady and A Splash of Hell, the top-two finishers in the Izyk 870 on July 8 at Arapahoe Park, face off again in Sunday’s $12,500 Leo Beaudash for Quarter Horses at 870 yards. I Should Say, a 10-year-old who has won two 870-yard races this year at Arapahoe, the most recent coming a week ago, steps up in class from claiming races in the field of eight.

Jockeys Carl Mel Kutz, Kelsi Purcell and Carl Williams and Colorado state steward Randy Blaseg will be guest speakers at Saturday’s “Wagering Do’s and Donut’s” class hosted by Arapahoe Park announcer Jonathan Horowitz. The class about horse racing history and wagering will also feature free donuts, coffee and programs and take place from 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Director’s Room.

Michael Chamberlain, the announcer at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, will call races three through seven at Arapahoe Park on Saturday. Chamberlain was part of All-Star Announcer Day at the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships in 2002, 2004 and 2006. He is also a former hockey color commentator with the Phoenix Roadrunners.