Arlington Million updates
|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
No trainer in Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing history has ever saddled the winners of both the Grade I Arlington Million and the Grade I Beverly D. in the same season.
However, Hall of Fame conditioner Bobby Frankel is sending Juddmonte Farms, Inc.'s Senure for Saturday's Arlington Million and Charles Kenis's The Seven Seas for the $700,000 Beverly D. earlier that day in an attempt to accomplish an unprecedented sweep of the two richest races offered at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval.
"They're both doing very well right now," said Frankel over the phone Monday. "They will leave California Wednesday to arrive at Arlington later that day. They're both done with serious training and will just gallop after they get to Chicago."
Senure last went to the post in the Grade I United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park July 1, was blocked in mid-stretch and finished second, crossing under the wire a head behind With Anticipation, a rival who was subsequently disqualified, making Senure the winner.
"He had a lot of trouble," said Frankel of the United Nations, "so that was a very good race for him." (Augustin Stable's With Anticipation, incidentally, won last Saturday's Grade I Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap at Saratoga to underline his own peak form.)
In Senure's previous start June 10 in the Grade I Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park, he finished second, beaten only a length and a half, to projected Million favorite Bienamado, owned by Trudy McCaffery, John Toffan and Robert Sangster. In that outing he rallied between rivals to gain the place, but Frankel discounted possible trouble.
"I think he was just too close to the pace that day," said Frankel of Senure's race at Hollywood Park.
Should Senure be successful in Arlington Million XIX, Frankel would also become the first trainer in history to saddle the winner of the Arlington Million two years in a row. Also, the green silks with the pink sash and white sleeves of Juddmonte Farms, Inc. would be the first colors to be worn in the Arlington Million winner's circle two years in a row.
Jockey Robbie Davis, who rode Senure at Monmouth, has the riding assignment once again for the Arlington Million. Davis was the winning rider in the Million five years ago aboard James Lewis Jr.'s Mecke.
Frankel has named Alex Solis to ride The Seven Seas in the Beverly D., sister race to the Arlington Million.
In her last trip to the post July 16 at Hollywood Park, The Seven Seas won the $106,000 Estrapade Stakes by two and a half lengths, her second successive score in that Southern California mile and a half test. The 5-year-old El Gran Senor mare had won the same race in July of 2000, but had been absent after that until May of this season.
"She had a hip problem," Frankel said of The Seven Seas' extended time away from the races, "but she's over that now. She's a nice filly."
Only Hall of Fame conditioner LeRoy Jolley has ever saddled the winner of the Grade I Arlington Million and the Grade I Secretariat in the same year.
Jolley did it in 1987, when he won the Million with B. M. Shannon's Manila and posed for a winner's circle photo again in the Secretariat with Stately Don, also owned by Shannon.
Now, personable young trainer Beau Greely will attempt to become the second horseman to accomplish the Million-Secretariat sweep this Saturday during Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing, when he sends out John J. Greely III, Tom Nichols & Columbine Stable's Takarian in the centerpiece race of the Arlington season. Later in the afternoon, Greely will saddle Columbine Stable's Sligo Bay in the $400,000 Secretariat, restricted to 3-year-olds but run at the Million distance of a mile and a quarter.
Both Takarian, a close runner-up in the Grade III Arlington Handicap here July 28, and Sligo Bay, fourth in the Grade II American Derby July 22, are Irish-breds that were bought by Greely while still campaigning in Europe and then brought to North America.
"This is my big horse," Greely said Monday, as he played with Takarian's shank outside Barn 28 on the Arlington backstretch while preparing to send him for a morning gallop. "He's a little guy, but he thinks he's a big horse and I do, too.
"The Million will be a nice field of horses," Greely said. "He (Takarian) is going to have to go down and look 'em all in the eye but we'll do that and see what happens. I've always said you need to have a nice horse to run in this race, and then you need to get the trip.
"We found that out last year with Manndar, if we didn't already know it." Greely said of his Million candidate in 2000 that was owned by Columbine Stable, J. Merrick Jones & Tom Nichols. "Certainly, Manndar was ready to perform his best in that race, but then he didn't get a good trip. Hopefully, this year, we'll get a clean trip. He's been running well. You have to give him a shot."
Sligo Bay was compromised by a turf course rated "soft" that he could not handle in the American Derby, middle leg of the Mid-America Triple, and Greely will scratch him from the Secretariat, should heavy rains come again for the final leg.
"The Secretariat may be the toughest field of the day," said Greely. "That race may come down to five or six horses on the wire, and several good, deserving horses probably won't even get in the race because so many are trying to go in it. But that's the way it is."
Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof's Silvano, the Arlington Million candidate who arrived from Germany Saturday at Arlington, went to the Arlington training track Monday under groom/exercise rider Bianca Sieling.
"He's very happy," Sieling said later. "He just had a steady canter today, and tomorrow (Tuesday) he goes to the big track."
Juddmonte Farm's Mizzen Mast, a Secretariat candidate who arrived from France Saturday evening at Arlington, also went to the Arlington track for easy exercise Monday.
"He was very relaxed," said groom Jean-Pierre Mallet. "He had no problems. We will gallop on Thursday."
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