|Arlington Park Stakes Results
Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535
ENGLAND'S LEGEND WIRES RIVALS IN GRADE I BEVERLY D. STAKES
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, I ll. (August 18, 2001) -- Edouard de Rothschild's England's Legend, proved to have an affinity for off going as she got off to an early lead and cruised to a 7¾-length victory in the 12th running of the Grade I Beverly D. Stakes Saturday at Arlington Park.
With its $700,000 purse, the Beverly D. is the richest distaff event ever to be contested in the state of Illinois, and along with the Arlington Million and $400,000 Secretariat Stakes, Illinois' only three Grade I races, comprise Arlington's one-day International Festival of Racing.
Corey Nakatani rode the French-bred daughter of Lure who set fractions of :24.85, :49.29, 1:13.97 and 1:37.77 en route to a final time of 1:56.75, second slowest time in the 10 previous runnings at the current 1 3/16-mile distance (the 1987 inaugural edition of the race was a 1 1/6-mile race). The turf course was officially listed as yielding following intermittent showers earlier in the day.
"She's a very special filly," said Nakatani, who won the 1995 edition of the race with Possibly Perfect. "She's done everything Chris (trainer Clement) has asked her, and everything I've asked her. I was trying to get them to bring her out to California to run against (race favorite) Astra earlier. You can throw anything at her and she can handle it. She's a filly with a lot of style."
The Beverly D. was the third straight win and fifth victory in eight starts overall for the Christophe Clement-trained 4-year-old, who earned $420,000 for the score to nearly triple her bankroll to $638,128.
The Seven Seas, who broke from the far outside post in the nine-horse field, rallied from eighth position on the second turn to finish second. Despite the runner-up finish, jockey Alex Solis was pleased with his filly's performance.
"We had an awesome trip, she relaxed very nice," he said. "At the quarter pole, I saw them all dead in front of me and thought I was going to win easy and then I looked up and saw another horse way in front of me and said, 'Well, I'm going to be second.' I don't think any of the other horses were capable of going with Corey's horse early. Going :24 and :49 on a yielding course like this is like going :23 and :46 on a firm track. She was the best filly today, that's all."
Spook Express, the South African-bred but East Coast-based 7-year-old mare, as is her custom was far back in the early going and closed well to run third.
"The pace was slow, and the ground was soft," said her jockey, Mike Smith. "She tried over it, but she couldn't really handle it. She's got so much heart."
Astra, the 7-10 betting favorite, could not get a hold off the soft course and finished last.
"She's such a magnificently built mare," said Astra's rider, Kent Desormeaux. "She's probably 1,200-1,300 pounds and every stride she's going six feet into the ground instead of a couple of inches like a lighter framed filly. She's just too big and she dug herself a trench around herself and she couldn't climb out of it. She spent the entire race just trying to keep her legs under her. She was just trying to maintain her balance. She just didn't care for the going."
The 9-2 second choice, England's Legend paid $11.00, $6.00 and $4.60. The Seven Seas returned $8.60 and $6.40. Spook Express paid $7.00.
Todd Kabel (Only To You, 4th):
Robby Albarado (Solvig, 5th):
Craig Perret (Megans Bluff, 7th):
Chris McCarron (Kalatiara, 8th):
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