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Arlington Park

Arlington Million & International Festival of Racing Barn Notes (8/21/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Following intermittent showers Friday evening that continued through the night in the northwest Chicago area, the turf course that will be used for Saturday’s Arlington Million, $750,000 Beverly D. and $400,000 Secretariat Stakes was listed as “good” by track management.

Arlington’s inner turf course, also to be employed during the afternoon in which 11 events on the 12-race program will be run over grass, was rated “yielding” Saturday morning.

The invading European horsemen for Arlington Million XXVIII, the 20th renewal of the Beverly D. and 34th running of the Secretariat Stakes have been expressing a desire for “good to firm” conditions all week, and the overnight rains were not a source of encouragement.

However, they would be encouraged by the words of Daily Racing Form columnist and handicapper Marcus Hersh, who walked the course late Saturday morning.

“The turf seems excellent,” said Hersh after returning to the press box. “The Million lanes could not be in better shape. The outer turf is on the ‘firm’ side of ‘good’ and the inner turf is on the ‘good’ side of ‘yielding.’”

Representing Europe in the Million are the John Gosden-trained pair of Darley Stud Management’s Debussy and Shadwell Stable’s Tazeez, as well as the Luca Cumani-conditioned Summit Surge. Europeans in the Beverly D. are the Gerard Butler-trained Pachattack, owned by Michael Deegan, and the Mikel Delzangles-conditioned Biased, owned by Marquesa de Moratalla.

The lone European-based representative in the Secretariat Stakes is the Michael Bell-trained Wigmore Hall, owned by Mark Hawtin.

Castleton Lyons’ Gio Ponti and Jonathan Sheppard’s Just as Well finished first and second in last summer’s Arlington Million over ground rated “good” but Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters won Churchill’s Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day over ground rated “yielding.”


Ten years ago, retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey put his personal stamp on the International Festival of Racing at Arlington Park when he became the first and only jockey in history to win the Grade I Arlington Million and the Grade I Beverly D. in the same year.

Since then, of course, the ultimate afternoon for a jockey during the one-day International Festival of Racing at Arlington would be to sweep the Million, the Beverly D. and the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on the third Saturday in August. Together, they are the only three Grade I races offered in Illinois on an annual basis.

Following late program changes, only French-born but American-based jockey Julien Leparoux is in a position to sweep Saturday’s Festival.

Leparoux rides Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Dean’s Kitten in the Secretariat and was scheduled to ride Augustin Stable’s Rainbow View in the Beverly D. before that horse was scratched due to a tendon injury. However, Leparoux picked up the mount on Helen Alexander’s Acoma in the Beverly D. following a late jockey change, and concludes his chance for a “hat trick” aboard Jonathan Sheppard’s Just as Well in the Arlington Million.

Jockey Michael Baze was originally scheduled to ride all three races but his mount in the Secretariat – James Hackman and Glenn Thompson’s Two Notch Road – was scratched off the program. However, he is still scheduled to ride Frank Calabrese’s Romacaca in the Beverly D. and Shadwell Stable’s Tajaaweed in the Million.

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