Arlington Million updates
|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
In a late International Festival of Racing development received Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that jockey Corey Nakatani will replace Hall of Fame rider Laffit Pincay Jr. aboard Takarian in the Grade I Arlington Million and Sligo Bay in the Grade I Secretariat this Saturday.
Along with the Grade I Beverly D., the Million and the Secretariat will be part of Arlington's one-day International Festival of Racing on Saturday. Together the three races are the only three Grade I races offered in Illinois.
Million candidate Takarian is a 6-year-old owned by John J. Greely III, Tom Nichols & Columbine Stable, while Secretariat starter Sligo Bay is a sophomore colt owned solely by Columbine Stable. Both Takarian and Sligo Bay are Irish-breds trained by Beau Greely.
"I don't lose any sleep over jockeys," Greely said when speaking of possible late rider changes earlier in the week. "The only thing I ever worry about is my horses, and they're both doing fine right now."
From a NTRA National Media Teleconference held Tuesday beginning at Noon Central Time, the following excerpts, all related to Saturday's International Festival of Racing at Arlington Park, are offered.
The three teleconference guests, in order of their appearance on the national media hook-up held to feature the Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, began with Trudy McCaffery, who is part owner of Arlington Million projected favorite Bienamado along with her partners John Toffan and Robert Sangster.
Second guest on the teleconference hosted by Eric Wing, Director of Media Relations for the NTRA, was Mark Frostad, the trainer for Canada's Sam-Son Farm. Frostad will saddle horses in all three of the Grade I races that make up Arlington's International Festival of Racing. Those who will carry the red and gold silks of Sam-Son are Quiet Resolve in the Arlington Million, Only to You in the Beverly D., and Strut The Stage in the Secretariat.
Appearing last during the teleconference was Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who saddled Juddmonte Farms, Inc.'s Chester House to win the Arlington Million one year ago. Frankel will have his assistant Humberto Astacio saddle Juddmonte Farms, Inc.'s Senure in Arlington Million XIX and Charles Kenis' The Seven Seas in the Beverly D.
"He's a better horse this year (than he was in last year's Arlington Million when he finished fourth.) He had a rough trip and hurt his back in the race last year, but I also think he's just a better horse now, and we're expecting a big run on Saturday.
"He's a funny horse. He knows when he's had a race and doesn't need to do much. His works are pretty sharp. I attribute a lot of that to our trainer (Paco Gonzalez). He's very patient and he places our horses where they are at their best.
"Bienamado is a lot like his Dad (Bien Bien). He's the kindest horse in the barn. He has a wonderful presence about him. He's a wonderful animal."
"Frankly, I think Strut The Stage (in the Grade I Secretariat) probably has the best shot of the three, and ironically, the Secretariat may be the toughest race of all of them. He's a very nice horse with a terrific turn of foot who developed some shin problems that kept him away from training for awhile.
"Quiet Resolve (in the Grade I Arlington Million) suffered a number of injuries as a young horse. Eventually he has come sound and now he always gives a top performance. We liked him going into the Breeders' Cup (Turf) last year (where Quiet Resolve finished second, beaten a half-length) and were surprised at the long odds (41 to 1). It is yet to be decided but (after Saturday's Million) he'll probably have one more start before the Breeders' Cup.
"Arlington is one of the great tracks in America. It has great ambiance and is a special place to be for a lot of nice racing. It has sweeping turns, a great turf course and a surface much like Woodbine.
"I don't think we (Sam-Son Farm) have ever run that many horses in that many Grade I races all on the same day. I know I've never run that many. Just to win one of them would be a great accomplishment."
"I think Senure has a really good chance in the Arlington Million. The Million will be a very, very good race with Bienamado, Hap, and my horse (Senure), who probably should have got beat only once since I've had him, and that was after a seven and a half month layoff.
"I think I'm very 'live' in all the races I'm running in this weekend.
"A lot depends on the trips these horses get. I don't know about comparing this (Arlington Million) to the race last year (which Frankel won with Juddmonte Farms, Inc.'s Chester House.) This may be a tougher field than last year.
"I definitely think the big key in winning an Eclipse Award (Frankel was Eclipse Award-winning trainer for 2000) was winning the Arlington Million."
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