Arlington Million International Festival Barn Notes (8/7/11)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
WIGMORE HALL, ZACK HALL, RIVER JETEZ ON GROUNDS AT ARLINGTON
The first of three transatlantic equine charters bringing European invaders to Arlington Park’s International Festival of Racing this Saturday touched down at O’Hare International Airport one week prior to the upcoming showcase day.
Assuming there are no unanticipated complications, its three equine passengers, now in residence at the south end of Arlington’s International Barn, should clear quarantine sometime Monday.
Most familiar to Arlington’s perennial Festival fans aboard this year’s initial Air France charter was Mark Hawtin’s Wigmore Hall, slated for Saturday’s Grade I Arlington Million as the centerpiece race of International Festival. The Irish-bred 4-year-old finished second in last year’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes as part of the 2010 Festival.
The other Arlington Million candidate aboard that first flight was the French-bred Zack Hall, owned by Mathieu Offenstadt, Sylvain Fargeon, Patrick Offenstadt and Mikel Delzangles. That colt finished fourth in France’s Group I Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at last asking June 26 but was second beaten less than a length in the Group III Prix d’Hedouville in his previous start May 5 at Longchamp.
Barbara and Cedrick Amm and Marsh Shirtliff’s River Jetez, a South African-bred mare who is one of the headline attractions for Saturday’s Grade I Beverly D. as the sister race to the Arlington Million, completed the European-based troika aboard Air France’s initial transatlantic equine charter. That globetrotting 8-year-old, who often races against males, was most recently fifth in Great Britain’s Group I Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket July 8 following an extended layoff after finishing second by a half-length against males in the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji May 22. Before that she was beaten less than three lengths, also against males, in the Group I Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on May 1.
SUNDAY’S WORK TAB AT ARLINGTON FULL OF FESTIVAL FLAVORING
All In Stable’s Willcox Inn, bidding to become the fourth horse in Thoroughbred racing history to sweep Arlington Park’s Mid-America Triple with a win in Saturday’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes, breezed four furlongs in 50.80 over Arlington’s world famous turf course Sunday morning under assistant trainer Hilary Pridham in preparation for the event. The sophomore son of Harlan’s Holiday trained by Mike Stidham galloped out five-eighths in 1:03.
Willcox Inn worked in company with Saturday’s pre-entered Grade I Beverly D. runner Upperline, owned by Stone Farm, John Adger, Oak Crest Farm and Mike Stidham and trained by Stidham, who had jockey James Graham in the irons and got the half in 51.40 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.60.
Glen Hill Farm’s Banned, one of Willcox Inn’s main rivals in the Secretariat who won Churchill’s Grade III Jefferson Cup and Grade III American Turf earlier this year, worked five furlongs over the grass in 1:05 and galloped out three-quarters in 1:19.
Following a brief but sudden shower that caused some Festival candidates’ scheduled turf works to be transferred to the Polytrack, Team Block’s Beverly D. pre-entry Never Retreat went five furlongs in 1:03.80 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:17.20 under jockey Eddie Perez.
Team Block and Richard Ege’s Secretariat Stakes pre-entry Suntracer went five-eighths in 1:01.80 with an exercise rider aboard and then galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.
Michael Deegan’s Pachattack, pre-entered for the Beverly D., went six furlongs in 1:12 after early splits of 36 and 1:06 flat, and Naipaul and Terikchand Chatterpaul’s Arlington Million pre-entry Mission Approved galloped once around the Polytrack.
ARLINGTON’S FAB-5 ACTIVE JOCKEYS FINALIZED TO FACE RETIRED RIVALS
Arlington’s “Fab-5” active riders slated to face five retired jockey greats in a Friday’s special race as part of Arlington’s “Dining with the Dynasty” festivities became official at the conclusion of Saturday’s race day.
Heading that list of active jockeys was Arlington’s leading jockey at the time – J. Z. Santana – who was followed closely by James Graham, runner-up with one less win at the conclusion of Saturday’s races. The top five jockeys were completed by Eddie Perez, E. T. Baird and Junior Alvarado, third, fourth and fifth respectively at the time.
Alvarado, Arlington’s jockey champion in 2009 and runner-up rider in 2010, lost five weeks of activity with a broken collarbone earlier this summer.
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