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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/13/06)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Saturday’s Arlington Million XXIV was safely in the books, but owner Ralph Todd woke up suddenly at 5 o’clock Sunday morning as if he was coming out of a dream.
“Then, I told myself: ‘You just won the Arlington Million. Go back to sleep!’” Todd said as he stood outside The Tin Man’s stall during training hours Sunday morning with members of The Tin Man’s human family. “We are still flying high – and look at him. He’s a very happy horse – especially right now – because he’s eating.
“You know, everybody should have days like we had yesterday,” Todd said. “I know that everybody won’t, because life’s not like that – but I’d like it if they could. Yesterday will always be fun to remember.
“We had our secret weapon working yesterday,” Todd said. “His name is Victor (The Tin Man’s jockey Espinoza). This horse has to have a jockey on him that really knows what he’s doing, and Victor fits this horse better than anybody.
“But you know what?” Todd added. “The horse was late getting to the paddock because Felipe (groom) said he kept stopping during the walk to the paddock to look around at everything going on around him. This horse can get like that. Normally, he’s a very mellow fellow, but he’s not always so mellow when he wants to go to the track.
“He’s become much more relaxed as he’s gotten older,” Todd said. “I began to notice it when he had all that time off. One day I was looking at him and I told Richard (Hall of Fame trainer Mandella), ‘You know, this horse is beginning to look like new money.’ He doesn’t really need that window in his stall anymore (like The Tin Man did when he came to Arlington for the Breeders’ Cup in 2002 and for the Arlington Million in 2003). But you see he’s got one anyway in this stall. I don’t know if Mike (Arlington trainer Stidham) had that put in for him or what, but he still enjoys having it.
“Everyone here at Arlington has been really nice to us every time we’ve been here,” Todd concluded, “and we’d like them to know how much we appreciate it. Our group is leaving later this afternoon. We’ll be in California tonight. Maybe all this will all begin to sink in a little more after we get home. I think the horse leaves tomorrow, but I don’t know what Richard has planned for him. Maybe we’ll just give him some time off and wait for Santa Anita.”
All the contestants in Saturday’s International Festival of Racing were reported doing well Sunday morning, and many had already returned to their various home quarters.
Among them – Saturday’s Grade I Beverly D. heroine Gorella, owned by Martin Schwartz and trained by Patrick Biancone, as well as the Biancone-conditioned Cosmonaut, owned by Flying Zee Stable and fifth in Saturday’s Grade I Arlington Million.
The Todd Pletcher-trained duo of James Scatuorchio’s English Channel, fourth in the Million as the favorite, and Glencrest Farms LLC’s Honey Ryder, fourth in the Beverly D. as the co-second choice, have also returned to the East Coast.
Lael Stables’ Showing Up, impressive winner of Saturday’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes for trainer Barclay Tagg, also left for the East Coast early Sunday morning after projecting himself into the picture as one to watch in next summer’s Arlington Million.
English-born but American-based trainer Graham Motion’s pair of Courtlandt Farms’ Film Maker, runner-up in the Beverly D., and Bushwood Stables’ Better Talk Now, seventh in the Million, also departed for their East Coast home base early Sunday morning.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel’s International Festival tandem of Juddmonte Farms Inc.’s Cacique, runner-up in the Million, and Gary Tanaka’s Proudinsky, fourth in the Secretariat, have also returned to the East, as did Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s duo of Claiborne Farm’s Wend, eighth in the Beverly D., and Peter Vegso’s Go Between, sixth in the Secretariat.
Gestut Park Wiedingen’s Soldier Hollow, third in Saturday’s Grade I Arlington Million, and Gary Tanaka’s Touch of Land, eighth in that same event, were scheduled to leave on their transatlantic return journey Sunday midday, as was Tanaka’s Rising Cross, 10th in the Grade I Beverly D.
Set for departure at 8 p.m. this evening is the Aidan O’Brien coupling of Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Mrs. Harry McCalmont’s Ace, sixth in the Million; and Mrs. Magnier, Tabor, and Irving and Marjorie Cowan’s Ivan Denisovich, second in the Secretariat.
Winterbeck Manor Stud’s Phoenix Reach, 10th in the Arlington Million, as well as Highclere Thoroughbred Racing Ltd.’s Primary, third in the Secretariat, are scheduled to leave for Europe Monday morning.
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