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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/25/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Early indications are that HRH Princess Haya of Jordan’s Debussy, half-length hero of last weekend’s 28th running of the Grade I Arlington Million, will try to take advantage of the “Win and You’re In” provision of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Challenge.

For the fourth straight year as the showcase event of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season, the Arlington Million serves as one of the qualifying races of the Grade I Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs.

“I’ll be freshening Debussy up and aiming him at the Breeders’ Cup Turf as he seems suited by a turning, left-handed track,” trainer John Gosden told England’s Press Association shortly after the Million. “He could have a run in the (Group I Emirates Airline) Champion Stakes on Oct. 16 at Newmarket beforehand.”

Gosden, 59, British-born and British-based, has also trained extensively in the United States during his career. He took out his American license in 1979 and trained two Eclipse Award winners – Bates Motel (1983 handicap horse) and Royal Heroine (1984 turf mare), who won the inaugural Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile that year.

He returned to England in 1988 to train at Newmarket, won the Group I St. Leger in 1996 with Shantou and in 1997 won the Group I Epsom Derby with Benny the Dip.

“I’ve been trying to win this race (the Million) for 28 years,” said Gosden, who finished second in 1984 with Royal Heroine and was once again runner-up with Sharrood in 1987.

In addition to her Thoroughbred ownership, Princess Haya is a world-renowned equestrian and became the first and only Arab woman to compete in the equestrian events and only member of an Arab royal family to compete in the Olympics when she rode in Sydney, Australia, in 2000.


Norwegian-born jockey William Buick, who rode in Great Britain Friday and then crossed the Atlantic Ocean to win Saturday’s Arlington Million XXVIII in Chicago, returned to Europe Saturday night and rode Khalifa Dasmal’s Dream Ahead to a length-and-a-half tally in the Group I Darley Prix Morny at Deauville Sunday.

Dream Ahead, a 2-year-old son of Diktat who was bred in Kentucky by Darley, is trained by David Simcock and has now established himself as an early contender for next spring’s European classics.


Richard Duchossois’ Éclair de Lune, length-and-a-half heroine of last weekend’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes as the Arlington Million’s sister race, has earned “Win and You’re In” status for the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs Nov. 5.

Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally left Chicago on a flight back to Southern California early Sunday morning, and Éclair de Lune was vanned to Louisville, Kentucky, Monday evening to be placed aboard an equine charter for a return trip to the West Coast.

No decision on Éclair de Lune’s next start has been made, the owner inferred over the weekend, indicating that the decision would be left entirely up to McAnally.

Although he is tied with the late Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham with three wins apiece in the Arlington Million, McAnally had never previously won a Beverly D. – which is named for Duchossois’ late wife, who died of cancer in 1980.

From seven previous Beverly D. starters, McAnally best finishes came from four third-place runs, one of which was with Duchossois’ Let’s Elope in 1993.


Fair Grounds racing secretary Jason Boulet is visiting Arlington Wednesday and Thursday in pursuit of stall applications for the upcoming meeting at the New Orleans oval.

“We’ve been very successful so far,” said Boulet mid-morning Wednesday. “A lot of Chicago horsemen have expressed an interest in coming down to race with us this winter.”

Boulet visited several East Coast tracks last week, including Delaware Park, Monmouth Park and Saratoga. The Louisiana-born Boulet returned home briefly over the weekend before coming to Chicago.

- END -

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