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|Arlington Park Stakes Advance: The Grade I Beverly D.
Contact: David Zenner
FRANKEL-TRAINED PAIR TOPS INTERNATIONAL CAST OF 10 TURF DISTAFFERS ASSEMBLED FOR GRADE I BEVERLY D.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 10, 2005) -- Two distaffers from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel who will compete as separate betting entities, T N T Stud's Melhor Ainda and Michael Bello's Megahertz, have been installed as the top two choices in the morning line at odds of 3-1 and 7-2, respectively, when they face off against an international cast of eight other fillies and mares for Saturday's $750,000 Beverly D. at Arlington Park.
The Grade I race, at a mile and three-sixteenths over Arlington's world famous turf course, is one of three Grade I races contested as part of the track's International Festival of Racing that also includes the $1 million Arlington Million for male turf horses and the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-old grass horses of international caliber.
Melhor Ainda brings a four-for-five record to the Beverly D. in an attempt to become first 3-year-old filly to win the sister race to the Million. A daughter of Pulpit, the Frankel-trained sophomore had her unblemished record tarnished when she was second in the Grade I American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 3. Previously, the well-traveled filly rattled off three consecutive stakes scores topped by a 2 ¾-length tally in the Grade III Sands Point Stakes at Belmont in June.
Megahertz closed from last to win the Grade II Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 25 in her most recent start. The 6-year-old daughter of Pivotal employed similar strategy in her two other races this year, the Grade II Santa Ana and the Grade II Santa Barbara handicaps at Santa Anita. Alex Solis has the mount.
Frankel has won the Beverly D. twice, capturing the 1995 edition with Possibly Perfect and the 2003 running with Heat Haze.
Slated to line-up against the top two choices Saturday are American-based distaffers Martin S. Schwartz' Angara (Gary Stevens); Llers Corporation Halo Ola (Jose Valdivia Jr.); Carol & Charles Hammersmith's Miss Terrible (Patrick Valenzuela); Claiborne Farm's Wend (Jerry Bailey); and Joan G. & John W. Phillips' Wonder Again (Edgar Prado); and European invaders Michael Tabor's Mona Lisa (Kieren Fallon); Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Sundrop (Mark Guidry) and Abdullah al Khalifa's Tarfah (Darryl Holland).
Of the Americans, Wend invades from Belmont Park off a gutsy neck victory in the Grade II New York Handicap on July 2, the fifth straight victory for the daughter of Pulpit whose win skein dates back to her first start on grass in January. After failing in her debut late last year on the dirt at Aqueduct, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott moved the 4-year-old filly to the turf where she is undefeated.
Though winless this year, Wonder Again hasn't failed to hit the board in two starts this year. In her last start, the James Toner-trained daughter of Silver Hawk finished just a neck behind Wend in the New York Handicap.
Among the foreign contingent, the Japanese-bred Sundrop looks to give the powerful Godolphin Stable a second consecutive Beverly D. victory after having won last year's edition with the South African-bred Crimson Palace.
A daughter of 1989 Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Sunday Silence, Sundrop was a Group I placed filly as a 2- and 3-year-old and a Group III victress this year in her 4-year-old campaign. The Saeed bin Suroor trainee was second in the Group II Windsor Forest Stakes during the Royal Ascot at York meeting in June and most recently finished seventh in the Group I Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last month.
Mona Lisa, a 3-year-old British-bred by European champion Giant's Causeway, has been flirting with top competition in England and Ireland, finishing third in the Group I Coronation Stakes at York in June and third in the Group I Irish Oaks at The Curragh. Last time out, the Aidan O'Brien-trained filly defeated her elders in the Listed EBF Give Thanks Stakes at Cork in Ireland.
Arlington Park -- the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- is running a 94-day meet in 2005 from Friday, May 13 through Sunday, Sept. 18. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Lucky's featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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