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Arlington Park

Arlington Million & International Festival of Racing Barn Notes - PM (8/18/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


William Bellew’s Summit Surge, one of three European invaders for Saturday’s Grade I Arlington Million, stepped onto Arlington’s main track at 7:10 Wednesday morning, backed up to the seven-eighths pole and cantered once around under exercise rider Marcel Koran.

On his way back to Arlington’s International Barn, the 6-year-old Irish-bred gelding stopped off in the paddock for a brief schooling session conducted by Charlie Henson, European trainer Luca Cumani’s head travelling lad.

Also observing the schooling and available to chat briefly a short time later was Bill Bellew, whose wife and two daughters are with him on this trip to Chicago. Younger daughter Niamh will observe her 16th birthday Saturday on Arlington Million Day, and the Irish owner is hoping the day turns into a double celebration.

“The family often travels with me to see Summit Surge run,” said Bellew. “We are enjoying all this together. They were with me at York (July 24) to watch him win the (Group II) Sky Bet York Stakes and they also went to Italy with me for his race before that (San Siro’s Group II Premio Carlo Vittadini at one mile May 30).

“However, the York Stakes was the first time we asked him to go over 10 furlongs,” Bellew said. “We threw him in the deep end for that race, but he responded for us. He’s a well-seasoned traveler and he traveled well here.

“Luca (trainer Cumani) is very keen on running in the Arlington Million, so we’re going to have a go at it and look forward to another great ride from Kieren Fallon,” Bellew said.

Also galloping on the main track in advance of Saturday’s Arlington Million was Jean and Ted Barlas and Michael Porcaro’s Quite a Handful, a locally based 4-year-old trained by Andy Hansen who finished sixth in last year’s Secretariat Stakes. That colt appeared on the track at 6 am, backed up to the quarter pole and turned and galloped a mile and a half.


Michael Deegan’s Pachattack, one of two invaders for Saturday’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes as the Arlington Million’s sister race, cantered once around Arlington’s main track Wednesday morning under exercise rider Andrew Morris.

On hand to observe his 4-year-old filly’s move was Michael Deegan, an Irishman who is engaged in the construction business on the Emerald Isle but also has raced a number of stakes quality horses over the last decade.

“This is what racing is all about,” said Deegan. “I enjoy traveling around the world to see my horses run. This is my first trip to Arlington, and I’m very impressed. It is an absolutely beautiful facility. I’m looking forward to the Beverly D. This is a very nice filly we have brought for your race and we’re looking forward to having a crack at it. However, it’s not going to be easy. It looks like there are a lot of good fillies and mares in the race.”

Pachattack won her last start at Great Britain’s Newbury in the listed EBF Chalice Stakes on Aug. 1 and captured the listed EBF Hoppings Stakes before that at Newcastle June 24 under the tutelage of Gerard Butler.

Over most of the past decade, Deegan raced Jack Sullivan as part of the International Carnival Partnership.

“We ran Jack Sullivan at Belmont Park in the (Grade I) Breeders’ Cup Classic, went to Japan to run him in the (Group I) Japan Cup Dirt, and we also finished fourth in the (Grade I) Dubai World Cup with him in 2005 when Roses in May won it.”

Also on the track Wednesday morning in advance of Saturday’s Beverly D. was the locally based Romacaca, who races in the black and white silks of Arlington’s perennial leading owner Frank Calabrese and is trained by Nick Canani. The 4-year-old filly was backed up to the quarter pole at about 6:50 am and galloped a mile and three-eighths.

Richard Duchossois’ Éclair de Lune, runner-up in the Grade III Modesty Handicap on July 17 as the designed prep for the Beverly D., galloped on the main track shortly before 8 am Wednesday under the supervision of Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally.


Mark Hawtin’s Wigmore Hall, an Irish-bred sophomore who is the lone European invader for Saturday’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes, appeared on the main track at 7:10 am Wednesday under exercise rider Gillian Dolman, backed up to the seven-eighths pole, galloped once around the oval and stopped in the paddock for a brief schooling session before returning to Arlington’s International Barn.

Wigmore Hall won the Newmarket Nights Conditions Stakes at Great Britain’s Newmarket course on Aug. 6 and the $226,000 John Smiths Cup at York before that on July 10.

Estrorace LLC’s Workin for Hops, who won the 75th renewal of the $100,000 Arlington Classic May 22 and came back to capture the Grade II American Derby July 17, could become the fourth horse in history to sweep Arlington’s Mid-America Triple with a win in Saturday’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes. The last horse to sweep the Triple was Robert Schaedle III’s Honor Glide, who accomplished the feat in 1997.

Workin for Hops, trained by Mike Stidham, came on the track at 6 am Wednesday, backed up to the three-sixteenths pole and galloped a mile and three-eighths in advance of the Secretariat Stakes.

Lothenbach Stable’s Mister Marti Gras, runner-up to Workin for Hops in the American Derby, appeared on the track at 6:50 am Wednesday, backed up to the quarter-pole and then galloped a mile and three-eighths as a tune-up for Saturday’s Secretariat.


Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires, Arlington Park’s all-time leading rider who retired from active competition at the end of the 2008 local season, worked two horses during training hours, ah, early Wednesday morning to warm up for Saturday’s special “Young Guns vs. Cagey Veterans” race on Saturday’s Arlington Million Day.

Fires, 63, will be one of the members of the “Cagey Veterans” team. The native of Rivervale, Arkansas, worked one horse for leading trainer Wayne Catalano and another for cagey veteran conditioner Spanky Broussard.

- END -

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