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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/12/04)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
For want of a shoe, the most recent race was lost when Michael B. Tabor's Magistretti finished a disappointing fourth in the listed Steventon Stakes at Newmarket July 17.
The 4-year-old colt by Diesis out of a Deputy Minister mare tracked the leaders most of the way in the 10-furlong Steventon, but threw a shoe about one furlong from the wire and weakened steadily thereafter.
Because of that disappointing outing, and two indifferent performances earlier this summer when asked to go 12 furlongs in group competition, Magistretti is listed at 30-1 in the morning line for Saturday's Grade I Arlington Million, but his connections remain optimistic that he is ready for a top effort.
"We are putting blinkers on him this time, he will run on Lasix for the first time, and he seems to have adapted well to the track here," said Simon Callaghan, son of Newmarket-based conditioner Neville Callaghan. The younger Callaghan has been overseeing the preparations of Magistretti in the final days prior to Saturday's main event.
"Obviously, losing a shoe compromised his form last time," said Callaghan. "But he traveled well, and it helps that your weather these last few days is basically colder than he's been used to. We would have preferred to have his post (#12) inside a little more toward the middle, but he comes from off the pace so that should not cause too much of a difference in our plan.
"It also helps that we have secured jockey Edgar Prado to ride Magistretti," said Callaghan. "He rides for Mr. Tabor a lot in this country and we think it is a big advantage to have him. This horse was a very good 3-year-old last year. He won the Group II Dante Stakes and then had a rough trip in the (Group I Epsom) Derby, or he would have been placed in there.
"He's absolutely 'spot on' now," concluded Callaghan. "He's got to come back to last year's form but we think he will, and this is a very open race Saturday. I give him a big chance."
Magistretti galloped seven furlongs on the main track Thursday morning during Arlington Park training hours.
Thomas Mohan's Hazyview, one of the strong group of European contenders slated for Saturday's Grade I Secretariat Stakes, galloped six furlongs on the main track Thursday at Arlington Park.
Simon Callaghan, 21, an assistant to his father trainer Neville Callaghan, also has experience in the United States as a student under trainer Todd Pletcher, and offered some views on Hazyview's chances in Saturday's fixture restricted to grass favoring sophomores of international caliber.
"In his last race (the Group II Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Laffitte July 14) he (Hazyview) finished third but the race had a slow pace that doesn't suit him," said Callaghan. "In France they tend to go very slow, but he'll get a stronger pace Saturday and that should suit him much better.
"Hazyview has won four races this year, and the horse that beat him last time finished fourth in the French Derby," Callaghan said. "This race has been our target for quite a while. We thought he'd adapt to the firm turf conditions here because he handles firm turf well at home. I walked it (the turf course) yesterday. It's fast but it has a good cover.
"Frankie Dettori will ride Hazyview in the Secretariat," said Callaghan. "He's one of the best jockeys worldwide, of course, and we consider it a big plus to get him."
Gary A. Tanaka's Epalo, one of the European invaders for Saturday's Grade I Arlington Million, had a semi-serious move over the local lawn Thursday in preparation for his upcoming engagement in the centerpiece race of Chicago's Thoroughbred racing season.
Timed from the half-mile mark by Arlington clockers, Epalo came home in :57 with the "dogs" well out from the rail, but picked it up in the last eighth to register :12 flat. The German-bred 5-year-old then galloped out an additional furlong in :12.80.
"It was just our usual routine," said trainer Andreas Schutz. "We just give the horse a little blow of 300 to 400 meters to stretch his legs out a little bit. He couldn't be better. His preparations have been brilliant. I'm very pleased with his form.
"He's as good as he was in Singapore," said Schutz of Epalo, who won the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup May 16, "but I'm not sure he's good enough for Arlington Park. The Arlington Million is going to be a much tougher race."
The Singapore Cup served as the second leg of the 2004 World Series Racing Championship, and the Arlington Million will be the fourth leg in that Series.
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