Arlington Million updates
|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Juddmonte Farms, Inc.'s Mizzen Mast, the Kentucky-bred but European-campaigned gray sophomore who is one of the prime candidates for Saturday's Grade I Secretariat, worked three-quarters of a mile from the gate in 1:13 4/5 over the muddy Arlington Park main track Thursday at 7:40 a.m. Exercise rider Willie Eon was aboard for the move.
The $400,000 Secretariat, a mile and a quarter grass test restricted to 3-year-olds of world-class caliber, is one of three Grade I races, along with the Arlington Million and the $700,000 Beverly D., that make up Saturday's one-day International Festival of Racing at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval.
"He moved well and did it effortlessly, even though the track was muddy," said Rupert Pritchard Gordon, assistant to Mizzen Mast's trainer Criquette Head-Maarek. Pritchard Gordon arrived in Chicago Wednesday to supervise the morning move. "When he came back (to the barn), he wouldn't have blown out a candle."
Among other things, Mizzen Mast's move was designed to acquaint the Cozzene colt with the local starting gate, and the mentally precocious sophomore was unfazed.
"He went through his stalls and broke about two seconds later," said Pritchard Gordon. "In fact, I almost missed the break (watching from the stands) because he did it so quickly. Nothing seems to bother him, which is unusual for a horse that young. He ships well. He's just a very intelligent horse and finds all this very interesting."
Mizzen Mast recorded splits of :25 2/5, :36 4/5, :48 4/5, and 1:01 2/5 prior to the 1:13 4/5 six furlong marking, and galloped out seven-eighths in 1:27 3/5.
"He's used to long, right-handed works," said Pritchard Gordon, "but has had left-handed works before at the Les Aigles training center near Chantilly."
Illinois State Clocker Bobby Belpedio said of Mizzen Mast's Thursday outing: "He was impressive. He broke well, and came across a little bit of the chute really well. He really picked it up."
Nautically, a mizzenmast, on a yawl or ketch, is the third mast back from the bow of the ship, but Mizzen Mast has been more toward the front than that in his two most recent outings. On May 17 at Longchamp, he won the Prix de Guiche by six lengths. In his last trip to the post on June 26, he finished second, beaten a length and a half for all of it, in the Group I Grand Prix de Paris at that same French oval.
Austrian jockey Andreas Suborics arrived in the Windy City for the first time in his life on Tuesday, but by the time he made his way to the Arlington Park press box later in the day, he was already sporting a baseball cap emblazoned with the words: "Chicago, Illinois."
"I bought it in the hotel gift shop," said Suborics, who speaks excellent English and has made a habit of acclimatizing himself quickly in new surroundings all over the world. As the regular rider for Silvano, a German-bred globetrotting 5-year-old who is considered Europe's best hope for a winner in the Grade I Arlington Million on Saturday, Suborics has been quickly racking up his own expanding total of frequent flyer miles.
Since March, Silvano and Suborics have traveled from Germany to Singapore for a win in the Singapore Cup at Kranji Race Course. From there the duo traveled to Dubai for a third-place finish in the Grade II Dubai Sheema Classic on the Dubai World Cup undercard at Nad Al Sheba. Then it was out to the Far East again for an emphatic victory over Jim and Tonic in the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin in Hong Kong in April. The Far East visit culminated with a return visit to Singapore. There his valiant bid to add a further victory was compromised by a foot injury in the week before the race for a fifth-place finish in the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup in May, although only beaten two lengths for all of it.
Suborics, who turned 30 last weekend, celebrated his birthday with a win in Germany aboard Silvano's half-brother Subiango in the Group I Credit Suisse Pokal. Suborics is currently second behind Andrasche Starke in the race for leading German rider honors this year.
"This is a beautiful race course," said Suborics Tuesday afternoon as he looked out over the Arlington grounds. "I only have been to America once before in my life, but that was a trip to New York in the wintertime and no racetrack was running at the time."
The athletic Suborics is also "a keen soccer player," according to Alastair Donald of the International Racing Bureau. "He once considered football (American soccer) as a career, and played for a club in Vienna, but his size made him more suitable for his chosen profession as a jockey."
Suborics, who broke his maiden April 4, 1988 aboard a horse named Donjan, has now amassed more than 800 career wins. He won the Austrian Derby in 1999, captured his first Group I astride A Magicman in the Prix de la Foret, and also accounted for a pair of Group I wins aboard Tiger Hill in the Grosser Preis von Baden and the Bayerisches Zuctrennen in 1998.
Last year, he finished fourth in the German jockey championship with 104 wins earned for the year 2000.
Appearing on the track at Arlington Thursday morning during training hours were a number of horses that jogged or galloped in final preparations for Saturday's International Festival of Racing at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval.
Among them was Grade I Arlington Million candidate Caitano, owned by Gary A. Tanaka, who was getting his first American exercise, under rider Lazlo Seres, since arriving from Europe. Also on the track was Million prospect Takarian, owned by John J. Greely III, Tom Nichols and Columbine Stable. That Irish-bred but recently American-campaigned 6-year-old was second in the Grade III Arlington Handicap here July 28 in his last trip to the post.
Exercising for upcoming engagements in Saturday's Grade I Beverly D., sister race to the Arlington Million, was projected favorite Astra, owned by Allen E. Paulson Living Trust, who won the Grade I Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park by four lengths June 24 in her most recent outing.
Also appearing on the track prior to Saturday's co-feature was The Seven Seas, owned by Charles Kenis, a victress in her last two starts leading up to the Beverly D., but making her first local appearance since arriving from Southern California Wednesday.
A third Beverly D. candidate, Only to You, who races in the silks of Sam-Son Farm, was third, beaten a length and a half for all of it, in the Grade III Dance Smartly Handicap at Woodbine in her last start July 7. She also galloped at Arlington Thursday after arriving from Canada.
Jockey Robby Albarado, who went over the $1 million mark in earnings at Arlington this summer on Sunday, had a riding double on Wednesday.
Also with a riding double on Wednesday's program was jockey Rene Douglas, currently the leading rider at Arlington this season.
Apprentice jockey Zoe Cadman lost her apprentice allowance following Wednesday's program, and begins her career as journeyman Thursday.
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