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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Secretariat Stakes (GI)

Contact: David Zenner


Virginia Derby Hero Takes on Winners of Mid-America Triple’s First Two Legs

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Aug. 8, 2007) – Peachtree Stables’ Red Giant, recent victor of the Grade II Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs, heads a field of nine sophomore grass specialists that includes the winners in the first two legs of Arlington Park’s Mid-America Triple and three European invaders in the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes Saturday at Chicago’s premier Thoroughbred oval.

The mile and a quarter Secretariat Stakes serves as the final leg of the Mid-America Triple and carries additional weight this year as the winner will receive an automatic starting position in the $3 million John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf under the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” format, which automatically places the winners of the 24 stakes at six of the nation’s premier racetracks into a corresponding divisional race for the 11-race, $23 million Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Monmouth Oct. 26 and 27.

A son of champion Giant’s Causeway, Red Giant burst onto the national scene last month with a gutsy nose victory as a 37-1 outsider in the $1 million Virginia Derby at the 10-furlong distance of the Secretariat. Trained by three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, Red Giant has come into his own as a 3-year-old with four victories in six trips to the post this season. Garrett Gomez, winner of the 1997 Secretariat aboard Honor Glide, will be astride the 5-2 morning line favorite who will start from post five.

Adele B. Dilschneider & Claiborne Farm’s Lattice rebounded from a fourth-place finish in the Grade II Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs to get up in time for the victory in the Grade II American Derby, the second leg of the Mid-America Triple, on July 21. The son of Arch is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who saddled Derby Wish to win the 1985 Secretariat and 20 years later sent Gun Salute to capture the 2005 edition of the race. Robby Albarado has the mount aboard Lattice, who leaves from post four.

Edward Evans’ Pleasant Strike took top honors in the Triple’s first leg, the Grade III Arlington Classic at a mile and a sixteenth on June 23, but was unable to repeat in the American Derby, finishing fourth as the 8-5 favorite in that mile and three-sixteenths event. Also trained by Pletcher, the son of Smart Strike will break from post nine with four-time Arlington Park riding champion Rene Douglas in the irons.

Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor & Flaxman Holdings Ltd.’s Admiralofthefleet invades from Great Britain where he is trained by that country’s top trainer, Aidan O’Brien. The son of Danehill ran fifth when facing older runners in the Group I Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park on July 7 but earlier this year defeated fellow sophomores in the Group III Dee Stakes at Chester. Leaving from post two, Admiralofthefleet will be ridden by Michael Kinane.

Shamdinan, a French-bred colt who races in the colors of H.H. the Aga Khan, will make his North American debut in the Secretariat Stakes. The son of Dr. Fong was third in the Group I French Derby at Chantilly in June but disappointed when attempting to tackle the extremely soft going in the Group I Budweiser Irish Derby last time out. Now trained by Californian Doug O’Neill, Shamdinan will leave from post eight under Julien Leparoux.

Dr. Ronan Lambe’s Fleeting Shadow, an Irish-bred Danehill colt, completes the European trio of Secretariat entrants. Trained by Ireland’s all-time leading conditioner Dermot Weld, Fleeting Shadow comes into the race off a second-place run in a race at Fairyhouse on the Emerald Isle. Regular rider Patrick Smullen comes in for the mount aboard Fleeting Shadow, who drew post three for Saturday’s test.

Kindred Thoroughbred’s Going Ballistic, second in the American Derby last time out; Everett Stables Inc.’s Mostacolli Mort, first through the line but disqualified and placed fourth in a Hollywood Park allowance race July 1; and LLC’s Love Dubai, eighth in the Virginia Derby last out, complete the field for the Secretariat Stakes. Cliff Berry retains the mount on the Donnie K. Von Hemel-trained Going Ballistic, Victor Espinoza gets the call astride the Julio Canani-trained Mostacolli Mort and Corey Lanerie will pilot Love Dubai.

Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 94-day meet in 2007 from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, Sept. 16. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates nine off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry and The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at

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