Arlington Million & International Festival of Racing Barn Notes (8/22/10)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
JOCKEY MICHAEL BAZE LEADS ARLINGTON STANDINGS AFTER 5-WIN DAY
Jockey Michael Baze, riding at Arlington Park for the first time this summer, surged to the front in the local standings following five trips to the winner’s circle during Saturday’s showcased Arlington Million Day.
Defending Arlington jockey champion Junior Alvarado, who won Saturday’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes aboard Richard Duchossois’ Éclair de Lune, dropped two wins behind Baze entering Sunday’s nine-race program following the new leader’s quintet – the first such accomplishment by any jockey at Arlington this season.
Baze, 23, born in Renton, Washington, was based on the Southern California circuit before switching his tack to Arlington this summer. He won Saturday’s opener aboard Greg Besinger’s Summer Upcountry for trainer Wayne Catalano, the third on Frank Calabrese’s Prairie Fever for conditioner Ron Faucheux, the fifth astride Calabrese’s Gaelic Storm for trainer Nick Canani, the $60,000 Hatoof Stakes on Steve Maril, Mike Porcaro and Brinker Hill Farm’s Silent Candy for trainer Andy Hansen, and the finale aboard Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Kitten Love to give Catalano a training double.
EUROPEAN INVADERS FOR INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL ALL WELL SUNDAY
HRH Princess Haya of Jordan’s Irish-bred Debussy, half-length hero of Saturday’s Arlington Million XXVIII, was placidly grazing outside Arlington Park’s International Barn Sunday morning following his upset victory in the centerpiece event of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season.
“He’s enjoying himself right now,” said Scottish-born exercise rider Sally Mitchelhill speaking from the other end of the shank. “He came out of the race very well.”
A short distance away, Shadwell Stable’s Tazeez, who finished third in the Million after making much of the pace, grazed under the watchful eye of exercise rider Barry Savage. “He’s doing fine this morning,” Savage said.
John Gosden, trainer of both Debussy and Tazeez, returned to England Saturday night while the Million’s first and third place finisher – as well as the rest of the European equine entourage – have their return charter scheduled for Monday.
On the other side of the International Barn, trainer Luca Cumani’s head traveling lad Charlie Henson reported that the Irish-bred Summit Surge, fifth in Saturday’s Million, came out of his race without problems.
“The horse is fine, he just didn’t like the ground,” said Henson. “He was running well but he couldn’t really dig in. All week long we were hoping for firmer ground, but it just didn’t work out for us this time.”
PACHATTACK CONNECTIONS REVIEW REPLAYS OF AWKWARD START
Owner Michael Deegan, trainer Gerard Butler and their wives visited Arlington’s television department Sunday morning to study replays from all angles of Pachattack’s troubled start in Saturday’s Grade I Beverly D.
“She dwelt big-time,” said Butler, who spent a number of years in North America as an assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Wayne Lukas. “Then the rider (Kieren Fallon) rushed her to get her into contention early. I wish he’d just accepted it (the bad start) and let her pick up the others on her own.
“I don’t know what will be next for us,” Butler added, “but we’ll probably take a look at the (Grade I) E. P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine (Oct. 16).”
GENERAL QUARTERS LEAVES TOM MCCARTHY LOOKING FOR ANSWERS
Owner-trainer Tom McCarthy of the Million’s seventh-place finisher General Quarters was still scratching his head after 8 o’clock Saturday night outside his horse’s stall in Barn 9A.
“I still don’t know what happened,” said McCarthy. “He just quit. He moved up to second turning for home and James (jockey Graham) told me he thought he was going to win it because he was sitting on a lapful of horse. Then he just stopped. I thought he might have flipped his palate but that wasn’t it. We scoped him and couldn’t find a thing. I just finished doing up his legs and they were cold. At this point, everything looks clear except my mind.”
JUST AS WELL SUFFERED CUTS BEHIND
Owner-trainer Jonathan Sheppard of the Million’s eighth-place runner Just as Well reported that his 7-year-old second choice in the wagering suffered extensive cuts on both hind legs and was very sore Sunday morning.
“It happened during the race,” Sheppard said. “Those European jockeys ride too rough. I say that even though I’m European myself.”
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