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Powerscourt Powers Home First In Arlington Million Once Again -- European Invader Runs Straight For Unchallenged 2005 Victory
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 13, 2005) -- Proving his superior power over some of the world's best grass horses when outrunning Arlington Million rivals for the second straight summer, Mrs. John Magnier's European-based Powerscourt stayed straight in the stretch in this year's renewal for an uncontested and definitive three-length tally in Arlington's showcase race Saturday.
Among those left in the wake of the British-bred Powerscourt in Arlington Million XXIII were Ken & Sarah Ramsey's Kitten's Joy, odds-on Million favorite this season, and Bushwood Racing Partners' Better Talk Now, who defeated Kitten's Joy and Powerscourt in the Grade I John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf last October.
If revenge is sweet, Powerscourt tasted sugar in Saturday's 10-furlong turf test in front of 28,312 Throughbred racing enthusiasts. In last summer's Million, the Aidan O'Brien trainee was taken down from the top spot and placed fourth for swerving in the late stages. Confidently ridden by European jockey champion Kieren Fallon Saturday, Powerscourt drew off from Kitten's Joy in the late stages, doubling his margin in front of the second place finisher in the 2004 Million when a less-experienced Jamie Spencer allowed him to pursue an errant course and impede rivals.
"This little horse deserves this win," said Fallon in winner's circle ceremonies. "He was unlucky last year to be taken down. I think it was a great training performance by Mr. O'Brien. The horse was in great condition today and he was an impressive winner. He had a long year last year before he came here. Aidan kind of freshened him up most of this year. He had a comeback in Scotland where he ran second and he had him peaked for today. They went very quick early on. I was able to get the position I wanted. I was hoping to just be in behind the leaders turning for home.
"When the splits came in the stretch," Fallon said, "he went right through them. I was lucky enough to get the splits right through the middle."
Powerscourt, a son of Sadler's Wells out of the Rainbow Quest mare Rainbow Lake, posted mutuels of $12.40, $4.60 and $3.40. He toured the mile and a quarter in 2:03.38 over a course rated "yielding," after early fractions of :24:38, :48.51; 1:12.84, and 1:38.83.
Kitten's Joy returned $2.40 and $2.20, and third-place finisher Fourty Niners Son, owned by Tom Baxter, paid $5.40 while finishing a nose behind the favorite.
"Kitten's Joy raced super," said his jockey Edgar Prado. "I wish we could have gotten another race in him. He got a hold of the turf okay. He tried hard and they just wore us down in the stretch."
"My horse ran a great race," said jockey Corey Nakatani, who was aboard Fourty Niners Son. "He really stepped it up today but down the stretch the horse Johnny was on (Velazquez aboard Better Talk Now) was next to me and Johnny's whip hit my horse in the face. Otherwise, I think we would have got second."
Better Talk Now, who came to Chicago for the Million following an 11th hour change of plans, was a nose further back in fourth.
"He (Better Talk Now) was not the same horse he usually is," said Velazquez. "He was not very aggressive the way he usually is."
Finishing in order behind the top four Million contestants were Gary Tanaka's Touch of Land, Dominique Bayet's Alost, Red Oak Stable's Sweet Return, Phipps Stable's Good Reward, David Garner's Cool Conductor, and Triple B Farms' Whilly.
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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