Arlington Million International Festival Barn Notes - (8/9/11)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
MISSION APPROVED HAS EASY TUESDAY AT ARLINGTON
Grade I Manhattan winner Mission Approved had the day off Tuesday and walked the shedrow after a leg-stretcher on Monday.
Trainer Naipaul Chatterpaul, who also co-owns the 7-year-old with his brother Terikchand, was at the barn early Tuesday tending to the son of With Approval, whom they claimed for $35,000 in June 2010 at Belmont Park. The Grade I Arlington Million will serve as his fourth meeting against Gio Ponti, and his second against import Cape Blanco.
“This is a really smart horse,” Chatterpaul said, “and he will run off on his own to get the lead and really naturally slows up once he knows he has it.”
Mission Approved will be ridden again by jockey Jose Espinoza, and the team is hoping for some added give in the ground.
“We wouldn’t mind seeing rain given the way he runs,” said Chatterpaul. “The cutback should also suit him well with a shorter stretch and less ground to cover.”
Mission Approved had his last strong morning work in Saratoga before shipping to Arlington, and Chatterpaul reported he is likely to only gallop the rest of the week.
QUIET CONFIDENCE FROM TAJAAWEED CAMP
Shadwell Stable’s Tajaaweed, winner of the Grade III Arlington Handicap as the local prep for the Arlington Million, is set to make his second consecutive start in the race, a year after finishing sixth beaten more than seven lengths by Debussy.
Trainer Dan Peitz was out of town Tuesday morning, and assistant Jock McNeil was reserved with his comments today.
“Dan will be here later today, but all I can say is that I wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone else,” said the soft-spoken McNeil.
MOTION LIKES ADDED DISTANCE WITH CHECK THE LABEL
Beverly D. starter Check The Label, owned by Lael Stables, will likely carry the banner of the barn for 2011 Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Graham Motion after he announced that Secretariat Stakes candidate Crimson China is expected to run in Friday’s Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga.
While the two worked together at Fair Hill on Monday, Motion is quite pleased with the preparation of his 4-year-old filly by Stormin Fever.
“I brought her back a bit quick in her last race at Parx,” said Motion. “We are pleased with how she has been since and want to get her back to her Grade I form from last year.”
In 2010 Check The Label recorded four consecutive graded stakes wins on grass, capped by the Grade I Garden City at Belmont.
“At this point in her career,” Motion said, “getting her over extra distance seems to be the right move to get her back on track, and this race should suit her well.”
STIDHAM PREDICTS POSSIBLE PACE SCENARIO FOR WILLCOX INN
Trainer Mike Stidham has the 9-2 morning-line third choice for the Secretariat Stakes All In Stable’s Willcox Inn and Beverly D. 20-1 longshot Upperline, owned by Stone Farm, John Adger, Oak Crest Farm and Stidham, worked together on the Arlington turf course Sunday and Stidham reflected on their performance Tuesday.
Upperline broke off ahead of Willcox Inn, who settled about five to six lengths off his stable companion, according to Stidham, “but they finished together and both got what they needed out of the work.”
As for Willcox Inn’s tactics in the Secretariat, Stidham was nonplussed. “If no one wants the lead, we might be there, and Robby [jockey Albarado] could slow them right down. He is happy to be wherever.”
Reflecting on the nine-post draw for the Arlington Classic and American Derby winner added, “He has tactical speed. He can drop over and be in a great spot.”
Upperline comes into the Beverly D. off a win in the Trillium Stakes over Polytrack at Woodbine.
“At one point in the race, I thought she was in big trouble, and then she kicked it in and came home strong,” he said of the Canadian race
A daughter of Maria’s Mon, Upperline has three wins in six starts this year, including two turf stakes wins at Fair Grounds, before a dull ninth in the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs in May.
“That race had us scratching our heads. I’m a big fan of the Ragozin Sheets and she was coming off a lifetime top before that Churchill race,” Stidham added, “so maybe that was it.”
ROMIN ROBIN TURNS IN FINAL WORK FOR BEVERLY D.
Butterfly Stable’s Romin Robin, set at 30-1 on the morning line for the Beverly D., worked four furlongs in 51 seconds flat, which was ranked 21st fastest from 25 over the Polytrack this morning. Second in the Grade III Modesty Handicap here at Arlington, Jozbin Santana will once again be on board.
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