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|Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Beverly D. (GI)
Contact: David Zenner
GRADE I WINNERS BLACK MAMBA AND PURE CLAN TAKE ON EUROPEANS ALNADANA AND MAD ABOUT YOU IN STAR-STUDDED BEVERLY D.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Aug. 4, 2009) – An international line-up of eight fillies and mares headed by the North American-based Pure Clan, who races in the colors of Lewis Lakin, and Black Mamba, owned by Doubledown Stables Inc., plus the well-regarded European invaders Alnadana, owned by His Highness the Aga Khan’s Studs, Ltd. and Moyglare Stud Farm’s Mad About You, are set for Saturday’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes.
The $750,000 race, the sister race to the Grade I Arlington Million, will be run at a distance of a mile and three-sixteenths on turf. In addition to its lucrative purse, the Beverly D. offers the winner an automatic starting position in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf under the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” format, with the winner of each of the Challenge races automatically qualifying for the corresponding divisional race in the Breeders' Cup World Championships to be held at Santa Anita Park Nov. 6-7.
Pure Clan, a winner over this course when she captured the Grade III Modesty Handicap on Million Preview Day July 11, seeks to become the first distaffer to win the Modesty and the Beverly D. in the same season. (Baron Edouard de Rothschild’s England’s Legend took down the 2001 Beverly D. and came back the following season to win the Modesty.)
A 4-year-old daughter of Pure Prize, the Bob Holthus-trained filly ran second in her only other start this season, the Grade III Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs June 6. Last year during her sophomore campaign, Pure Clan won the Grade I American Oaks Invitational at Hollywood Park. Julien Leparoux, who won the 2006 Beverly D. with Gorella, has the call Saturday aboard the 3-1 morning line favorite.
Winner of the Grade II Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park for the second straight year in her most recent start, the New Zealand-bred Black Mamba comes in off her best effort of the season, a gutsy head victory in that 10-furlong test over the California turf. The late closing daughter of Black Minnaloushe will be making her first start outside of the Golden State since she arrived in the United States in the summer of 2007.
The 6-year-old mare, installed as the second choice at odds of 7-2, is trained by John Sadler and will be ridden by 1997 Arlington jockey champion Garrett Gomez.
Irish-bred Alnadana comes into the Beverly D. off a three-length victory in the Group III Prix Messidor in France in her last start July 18. Previously, the daughter of Danehill Dancer was a good second after a poor start in the Group III Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom. Trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, the 4-year-old filly will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon.
Mad About You, an Irish-bred daughter of Indian Ridge, finished third in her last start, the Group III Minstrel Stakes at The Curragh July 11. Earlier this year, the 4-year-old filly won the Group III Gladness Stakes in her native country and finished a good second in the Group III EBF Athasi Stakes on the Emerald Isle.
Though neither her trainer Dermot Weld nor her jockey Patrick Smullen have ever captured a Beverly D., each is quite familiar with the Arlington Park winner’s circle having taken numerous editions of the Grade II American Derby, and Weld also won last year’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes with Winchester.
One other European-based runner – the 3-year-old filly Mrs. Alec Head’s Denomination – has made the transatlantic journey for the Beverly D. The daughter of Smart Strike was third in the Group III Prix Chloe at Chantilly in her last start and earlier this year she took top honors in the Group III Prix Vanteaux at Longchamp. To be ridden by Dominque Boeuf, Denomination is trained by Christiane (Criquette) Head, who saddled 1994 Beverly D. victress Hatoof.
The North American contingent for the Beverly D. also includes Live Oak Plantation’s Points of Grace, wire-to-wire winner of the Grade II Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine Race Course near Toronto. A victress in five of her eight starts, the daughter of Point Given is trained by Malcolm Pierce and will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez.
Completing the field for Beverly D. Stakes are Darley Stable’s Tizaqueena and Dr. John Chandler’s Dynaforce, the two-three finishers in the Modesty Handicap over this course July 11. Arlington Park mainstay E. T. Baird has the mount aboard the Mike Stidham-trained Tizaqueena while two-time Beverly D. winning jockey Kent Desormeaux has been named to guide Dynaforce, who is conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 98-day meet in 2009 from Friday, May 1 through Sunday, Sept. 27. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 10 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, Tad’s Sports Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit and Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins. Information on Arlington Park can be found online www.arlingtonpark.com.
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