Arlington Million updates
|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
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In today's notes:
Stonerside's Kalatiara, an Australian-bred filly, may be small in stature, but she has a big heart and looms large among those with a chance to pose in the winner's circle following the $700,000 Beverly D. this Saturday at Arlington Park.
The mile and three-sixteenths grass test is the first of three Grade I races, along with the Arlington Million and the Secretariat, that will make up the one-day International Festival of Racing this weekend at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval.
"When I first saw her after she got off the van, she was so little I wondered where the rest of the horse was," said Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally over the phone from his Southern California headquarters midweek. "We had some people who had looked at her in Australia for Stonerside Stable, but I was still surprised at how little she was when I first saw her."
Kalatiara, however, was no surprise to McAnally on July 7, when she was up by a head to capture the Grade III Royal Heroine at Hollywood Park in her only North American start to date.
"She'd been training so good, I sort of expected it," said McAnally, who has now had the filly under his care for about four months. "Chris McCarron was very happy with the way she ran, and he'll ride her back in the Beverly D."
McCarron, himself a member of the National Museum and Racing Hall of Fame at Saratoga, is one of only two jockeys along with fellow Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey that have won the Beverly D. twice in its 11 previous renewals.
Prior to her arrival in North America, Kalatiara's Australian scores included a tally in the Group II Western Australia Guineas and the listed Burgess Queen Handicap.
After those tallies, the daughter of the French sire Metal Storm finished third, beaten two lengths for all of it in the Group II Western Austalia Oaks early last December and was then seventh against male rivals in the Group I Western Australia Derby.
Jockey Corey Nakatani has been named to ride John Greely III, Tom Nichols & Columbine Stable's Takarian in the Grade I Arlington Million and Columbine Stable's Sligo Bay in the Grade I Secretariat during the International Festival of Racing on Saturday at Arlington Park.
Nakatani is a late replacement for Laffit Pincay Jr., who came to Arlington to ride Sligo Bay in the Grade II American Derby July 22 and had been named to pick up the mount on Takarian several days ago, before the late change of plans was announced.
Nakatani, born October 21, 1970 in Covina, California, is considered one of the outstanding younger talents on the Southern California circuit, a colony with a host of super stars, many of which are in the September of their riding years.
Nakatani, an outstanding wrestler in high school, was introduced to thoroughbred racing at age 16 by his father. The late Roy Nakatani was a Japanese-American who was born in a World War II internment camp in Colorado.
The elder Nakatani spent time at Santa Anita when it was a relocation camp during the war.
Corey Nakatani is a graduate of the jockey school in Castaic, who also worked on the Thoroughbred farm of jockey agent Tony Matos and then began breaking and galloping horses for Hall of Fame reinsman Johnny Longden.
Nakatani began riding at Caliente in the fall of 1988 and moved to the Southern California circuit at the end of the Santa Anita meet in April of 1989.
Among his biggest wins is a tally in the 1995 Beverly D. aboard Possibly Perfect. Others include Breeders' Cup scores in the 1999 Mile at Gulfstream Park aboard Silic; and in the 1996 Distaff at Woodbine astride Jewel Princess.
Nakatani rode the winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint three years in a row, piloting Lit de Justice in 1996 at Woodbine, Elmhurst in 1997 at Hollywood Park, and Reraise in 1998 at Churchill Downs.
Reraise was trained by Nakatani's brother-in-law Craig Dollase; and Jewel Princess was trained by his father-in-law, Wally Dollase. Nakatani is married to Wally Dollase's daughter Michele.
Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof's Silvano, perhaps the strongest of four European contestants in Saturday's Grade I Arlington Million, breezed five furlongs from a standing start in 1:02 4/5 over the Arlington turf course Wednesday at 7:40 a.m.
"That was a good work," said Silvano's Arlington Million jockey Andreas Suborics, who was aboard for the Wednesday morning move. "He moved well on the track, and I think that was a good time for him from a standing start."
Illinois State clocker Bobby Belpedio, who recorded the move, was also impressed.
"You had to see it to believe it," Belpedio said later. "Our horses (American) always 'run-and-gun' it between the poles."
Racing manager Simon Stokes, who accompanied Silvano on his flight from Frankfurt to Chicago last Saturday, was also pleased with the work.
"Every thing is well with the horse," Stokes said. "He shipped well, he's happy in himself and eating well, so there are no negatives. I think he's in the sort of form he was in when he won in Singapore. He'll like this track and the distance, and he goes well left-handed."
Silvano won the Singapore Cup at Kranji in March, defeating fellow European Arlington Million rival Caitano, owned by Gary A. Tanaka, by five and a half lengths.
Juddmonte Farms, Inc.'s Mizzen Mast breezed a half-mile in :50 flat over the Arlington turf course Wednesday, with exercise rider/groom Wille Eon in the irons.
The gray colt by Cozzene then galloped out five furlongs in 1:03, according to Illinois State clocker Bobby Belpedio.
"It was just a relatively easy breeze," said Belpedio, "but he was well within himself and looked good doing it."
Mizzen Mast, trained by Criquette Head-Maarek, who won the 1994 Beverly D. with HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum's Hatoof in 1994, arrived in Chicago on a flight from Paris last Saturday night.
In his most recent trip to the post June 26 at Longchamp, Mizzen Mast finished second in the Group I Grand Prix de Paris, beaten a length and a half.
Before that on May 17 at that same oval on the outskirts of Paris, Mizzen Mast won the Group III Prix de Guiche by six lengths.
John Greely III, Tom Nichols & Columbine Stable's Takarian breezed three furlongs in :37 over the Arlington grass course Wednesday in an easy move with the "dogs" up.
An international equine flight from Amsterdam to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport brought five European contestants to the Arlington Park barn area shortly after 8 p.m. Aboard the flight were Grade I Arlington Million contestants Muakaad, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; Caitano, owned by Gary A. Tanaka; and Compton Bolter, who races in the silks of Erik Penser. Grade 1 Secretariat contestants on the same flight from Amsterdam were Aldwych, owned by Newgate Stud (executors of Prince Fahd Salman); and Snowstorm, who races for Lord Blyth & R. P. B. Michaelson.
A second European equine flight from Paris brought Grade I Beverly D. candidate Di Moi Oui, owned by Grundy Bloodstock. That British-bred but primarily French-campaigned filly arrived on the grounds at Arlington at 2 a.m. Wednesday.
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