Arlington Million updates
|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
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In today's notes:
World-renowned jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., the leading rider in Thoroughbred racing history and the only one to have surpassed the 9,000-win milestone, has now accepted a mount in the Grade I Arlington Million to be run August 18.
Trainer Beau Greely has secured the services of Pincay for Million candidate Takarian, who recently finished second, beaten only a neck for all of it in the Grade III Arlington Handicap, the final local prep for the Arlington Million that was contested July 28.
Should Takarian win the Arlington Million, Pincay would add to his countless racing milestones by becoming the only jockey in history to win the showcase event at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval three times.
The Panamanian-born Pincay has already become forever linked to Arlington Park racing history. He won the first American race of his career here on July 1, 1966, and the second running of the Arlington Million on August 29, 1982 aboard Perrault. He returned to the Arlington Million winner's circle on September 1, 1992 astride Tight Spot.
Only fellow Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens and talented internationally recognized reinsmen Cash Asmussen and Jose Santos have equaled Pincay's multiple Million-win status to date.
Despite his 54 years of age, Pincay remains blessed with skills that are at the forefront of his profession. That was apparent even a month ago when the ageless wonder won the jockey title during the spring-summer meeting at Hollywood Park. It was the 41st riding title of Pincay's career at that Southern California oval.
Pincay had a previous commitment to trainer Greely during the one-day International Festival of Racing at Arlington August 18 with the riding assignment on Sligo Bay in the Grade I Secretariat, final leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple. Sligo Bay is owned by Columbine Stable, while Takarian is owned in partnership by Columbine Stable, John J. Greely III & Tom Nichols.
Pincay last appeared locally July 22 with the ride aboard Sligo Bay in the Grade II American Derby, the middle leg of the Mid-America Triple. Over a turf course rated "soft" after being saturated with torrential downpours earlier in the day, Sligo Bay was unable to handle the going and finished fourth.
Four European invaders are among 13 horses of international caliber that were pre-entered for the 19th running of the Grade I Arlington Million, the centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season to be contested next Saturday.
Presently scheduled on trans-Atlantic flights to Chicago during the next week are the globetrotting Silvano, a German-bred owned by Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof, and fellow multi-continental traveler Caitano, a British-bred who races in the silks of Gary A. Tanaka.
Joining those two for an American invasion are the Irish-bred but primarily British campaigned Compton Bolter, who flies the colors of Erik Penser, and the British-bred but primarily Irish campaigned Muakaad, owned by Hamdan al Maktoum.
Adding to the international flavor of Arlington Million XIX, Thoroughbred racing's first race to offer a million-dollar purse, are two American-based stars foaled on foreign soil. They are the Irish-bred rivals Make No Mistake and Takarian, owned respectively by the partnerships Bruce Barton & Alvin D. Haynes and Columbine Stable, John J. Greely III & Tom Nichols.
Two other recently American campaigned but foreign-bred headliners pre-entered for the upcoming Arlington Million are the Brazilian-bred Redattore, owned by Luis A. Taunay, and the British-bred White Heart, who races for Maktoum al Maktoum.
Completing the list of 13 prospective Arlington Million candidates pre-entered by Friday's midnight deadline are Trudy McCaffery, John Toffan & Robert Sangster's Bienamado; Michael Paulson & Edward White's Hap; Sam-Son Farm's Quiet Resolve; Juddmonte Farms' Senure; and Rich Meadow Farm & Alan Burkhard's Slew Valley.
Bentley L. Smith Revocable Trust's Solvig, third in the Grade III Modesty Handicap July 28 at Arlington Park, remains one of the main threats in the Grade I Beverly D., part of the International Festival of Racing at Arlington August 18, despite poor recent racing luck.
The Beverly D., restricted to fillies and mares, is the sister race to the Arlington Million contested on that same afternoon. That pair of races joins with the Grade I Secretariat to complete the troika of events comprising the one-day International Festival. The three races are the only Grade I events offered in Illinois and headline the summer session at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval.
Solvig, who rallied late in the Modesty (the final local prep for the Beverly D.), closed with a rush to be beaten only a half-length for the win despite a tardy beginning.
"She stepped back just at the moment when they broke," said Ian Wilkes, assistant to Solvig's trainer Carl Nafzger, "but that's racing. You're going to be dealt those kinds of things, but you have to play the hand you're dealt."
Jockey Robby Albarado, currently the hottest jockey riding in Illinois, will gain the riding assignment on Solvig for the Beverly D., replacing Calvin Borel, her rider in the Modesty who has commitments at Ellis Park on the afternoon of the Beverly D.
Wilkes, who will saddle Solvig for the Beverly D., will come up from Churchill Downs earlier that morning. The filly will arrive in Chicago a couple of days prior to the race. Trainer Nafzger will remain at his summer base of operations at Saratoga.
Last summer at Arlington, Solvig won the Grade III Pucker Up in June over a turf course rated "soft," and competed in this year's Modesty over a course rated "good." Did Solvig favor a certain kind of going over the lawn?
"She has no real preference," said Wilkes. "She runs her race everywhere over every kind of race track. The only time she ran poorly was in her two races at Saratoga. We found out later that she had pulled a muscle in her back."
The first two of four international horse transportation flights are due to arrive Saturday at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport following Atlantic crossings from Europe.
Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof's Silvano, a German-bred intercontinental globetrotter arriving to contest the Grade I Arlington Million, is due in Chicago Saturday on Lufthansa Flight #8250 during the early afternoon.
Later in the evening, Grade I Secretariat candidate Mizzen Mast, owned by Juddmonte Farms, is due to arrive at O'Hare aboard Air France Flight #6406.
On Tuesday of International Festival of Racing week, KLM Flight #611 is due in Chicago mid-afternoon carrying Arlington Million prospects Caitano, owned by Gary A. Tanaka; Compton Bolter, owned by Erik Penser; and Muakaad, owned by Hamdan al Maktoum.
Also due on that flight are Secretariat candidates El Bueno, owned by Tanaka; Aldwych, owned by H.R.H. Prince Fahd Bin Salman; and Snowstorm, owned by Lord Blythe & Mr. R. P. B. Michaelson.
Still another European International Festival of Racing prospect is Grade I Beverly D. candidate Di Moi Oui, owned by Grundy Bloodstock, who is scheduled to arrive in Chicago aboard Air France Flight #6428, due in Chicago late Tuesday evening.
Presenting the trophy to the winning connections of the Grade III Singapore Plate on Saturday will be Koh Yong Guan, chairman of the Singapore Turf Club; Yeo Khee Leng, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board; and Ng Chin Hwee, senior vice president, Americas, Singapore Airlines, Ltd.
Veteran Arlington conditioner Charlie Vinci saddled a back-to-back training double Friday for owner Wexler Stables, Inc., winning the second race of the afternoon with Academic Type and coming right back in the third with Sister Cabrini. It was Vinci's second training double of the season.
Jockey Rene Douglas, current leading rider at Arlington, had a riding double Friday, winning with Anthony Mitchell's Going Yard in the opener and returning to the winner's circle in the fourth on John Castro's Smilin' Ali.
Jockey Randy Meier also posed in the winner's circle twice, aboard Sister Cabrini in the third and John Binyon & Merrill R. Scherer's Grandpa Two in the finale.
Jockey Robby Albarado, continuing his torrid pace at Arlington lately, had a riding double Friday with Lothenbach Stable, Inc. & Wesley Ward's Gingerboy in the fifth and Gary Bouchard, Tom Pearson & Mike McGath's Chapel Oak in the ninth.
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