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Contact: David Zenner
MAURALAKANA POWERS HOME IN GRADE I BEVERLY D. STAKES
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Auguest 9, 2008) – Robert Scarborough’s Mauralakana sat comfortably in fourth place throughout the early stages, then swung out with a powerful three-wide move turning for home to capture the Grade I, $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes by a decisive length and one quarter on Saturday at Arlington Park before an international racing crown of 31,463.
Mauralakana is trained by Christophe Clement, who today became the first to saddle three Beverly D. winners. He won the event last year with Royal Highness and in 2001 with England’s Legend. Patrick Biancone, Bobby Frankel, and Charlie Whittingham are the trainers with two Beverly D. winners to their credit.
Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux was in the saddle aboard the French-bred daughter of Muhtathir, who ran the mile and three-sixteenths over firm turf in 1:55.18. The 2-1 second choice in the field of nine, Mauralakana returned $6.80, $4.00 and $3.40. With the win, Mauralakana will receive an automatic starting berth in the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on October 24.
The locally based Dreaming of Anna made all the early running, setting fractions of :24.27 for the opening quarter, :48.64 for the half mile, and three quarters in 1:12.71. Mauralakana remained in fourth place, tucked two-wide behind Precious Kitten throughout those first six furlongs.
Dreaming of Anna did not relinquish the lead until the eighth pole when Precious Kitten drew alongside her. Just as Precious Kitten posed her threat, however, Mauralakana came strongly with her winning move outside them both. Communique closed from dead last to secure second place, while no threat to the winner. Another late runner, the France-based Toque de Queda got up for third, three-quarters of a length behind Communique and a half-length ahead of Dreaming of Anna, who dug in to retain fourth over Precious Kitten by a head.
“I was pretty confident in her turn of foot,” said Desormeaux of Mauralakana, “so I wasn’t worried about the ones in front of me. I just didn’t want anyone coming from behind to get me.”
For Desormeaux, today’s win was the second Beverly D. victory of his career. He guided Kostroma (IRE) to a winning effort in the race’s 1992 renewal.
Mauralakana’s victory was her fourth in a row and 11th from 26 lifetime starts. It was also her first-ever Grade I score. Last time out on June 21, Mauralakana won the Grade II New York Handicap under Desormeaux. Saturday’s $436,500 winner’s check boosts her lifetime bankroll to $1,449,512.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 96-day meet in 2008 from Friday, May 2 through Sunday, Sept. 21. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 11 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, The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit, Rookies featuring Trackside OTB in Homewood and Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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