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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/7/07)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
“The Doctor” is in the house, and the 5-year-old horse got his first look at the Arlington Park grounds during a brief gallop Tuesday morning – with exercise rider Eric Gandon aboard – in advance of his upcoming engagement in Saturday’s Grade I Arlington Million.
Doctor Dino is his name, and globetrotting has been his game – at least this year. The French-bred son of Muhtathir arrived on an Air France equine charter Sunday to give Saturday’s silver anniversary edition of the Arlington Million a true international presence.
Doctor Dino’s last start came in Singapore May 20 in the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup, where he finished third behind Japanese superstars Shadow Gate and Cosmo Bulk. Before that, he finished third in France’s Group I Prix Ganay April 29, but the victor that day was Dylan Thomas, winner of last year’s Group I Irish Derby and most recently runner-up in England’s Group I Coral-Eclipse Stakes July 7.
John Murtagh, who won Arlington’s Grade I Beverly D. in 1996 astride His Highness the Aga Khan’s Timarida, gets the mount on Doctor Dino in the Arlington Million.
European Arlington Million invader Danak, owned by His Highness the Aga Khan Studs Ltd., is too well regarded to be considered a “dark horse” in Saturday’s Grade I event, but after making his first appearance over the local grounds Tuesday after arriving from Europe last weekend, he gets visual confirmation as the Million’s darkest horse.
The almost-black Irish-bred son of Pivotal stretched his legs for the first time over American ground during morning training hours, giving Chicagoans their first view of the 4-year-old colt who finished fourth in Ireland’s Group I Tattersalls Gold Cup at last asking May 27 behind European Group I winners Notnowcato, Dylan Thomas and Youmzain.
Danak, who previously won the Group III Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown, had assistant trainer Jimmy O’Neill astride Tuesday at Arlington.
South African-bred Irridescence, the lone foreign invader for Arlington Park’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes this Saturday, made her third appearance over the local ground Tuesday morning after arriving on a KLM equine charter last Friday.
Trevor Brown, assistant to Irridescence’s world-renowned South African trainer Michael de Kock, was aboard for the bay daughter of Caesour’s brief jog.
The 6-year-old mare’s listed ownership is Team Valor Stables LLC and Green Lantern Stables, but also includes Chicagoans Steve and Diana Holland and Ed Weil.
Steve and Diana Holland have raced numerous other horses locally under the umbrella of S. D. Brilie Ltd. Partnerships. Those horses include Chic Dancer, who was a race-day morning scratch out of last summer’s Beverly D. after coughing during the previous night. Chic Dancer had won the 2006 Grade III Modesty Handicap here three weeks earlier in her last local prep for the Beverly D.
Irridescence comes into Saturday’s Beverly D. after finishing second by a length in Great Britain’s Group I Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket in her last start July 11. Previously, she disappointed in the Grade I Dubai Duty Free March 31 at Nad Al Sheba, but was a close third in the Grade II Jebel Hatta at that same United Arab Emirates oval March 1.
It was largely in consideration of her local minor ownership that the bay mare who won Hong Kong’s Group I Queen Elizabeth II Cup last year was brought to the United States for Saturday’s filly and mare turf test. The Beverly D. is considered to be the sister race to Saturday’s Grade I Arlington Million.
Irish-bred Fleeting Shadow, a European invader for Saturday’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes, made his first appearance over the Arlington Park course with a gallop Tuesday morning after arriving on an Air France equine charter last weekend.
Arlington’s Secretariat Stakes, restricted to 3-year-old grass runners of international caliber and run at 10 furlongs over the local lawn, also serves as the final leg of Arlington’s prestigious Mid-America Triple.
Fleeting Shadow, owned by Dr. Ronan Lambe, is conditioned by Dermot Weld, Ireland’s all-time leading trainer and a longtime supporter of Arlington’s International Festival of Racing. Among Weld’s Secretariat starters were Moyglare Stud’s Jazz Beat, who finished second in the 2001 Secretariat Stakes, and Michael Watts’ Casey Tibbs, runner up in the 1997 renewal.
Fleeting Shadow was second by a neck in Ireland’s Rackenstown Race at the Fairyhouse course in his last start July 22.
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