Arlington Park Road to the Million (8/1/12)
Contact: Graham Ross
ARLINGTON’S INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF RACING LOOMS ON AUG. 18; LARGEST LIST OF EUROPEAN RUNNERS IN ITS HISTORY APPEARS LIKELY
With the inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes now joining the Grade I Arlington Million, Grade I Beverly D. and Grade I Secretariat Stakes as part of Arlington’s International Festival of Racing, the largest group of European-based equine invaders in the Festival’s history appears to be almost a certainty.
The list of those European marathon runners being considered for the 1 mile and 11/16ths American St. Leger has ballooned to an even dozen in recent days, with four North American-based runners currently set to join them.
At this time there are eight European-based horses on tap for the 30th anniversary edition of the Arlington Million, while the connections of five fillies or mares based in Europe have expressed interest in the $750,000 Beverly D. as the Arlington Million’s sister race.
While only four European-based 3-year-olds are mentioned as under consideration for the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes at this time, that group is expected to increase as more European horsemen make their intentions known.
Four Irish-breds, three British-breds and one French-bred make up the list of European runners for the Arlington Million, centerpiece race of Chicago’s Thoroughbred racing season.
Hailing from the Emerald Isle with Arlington Million intentions are Darley Stud Management’s duo of Colombian and Questioning – both trained by British-born John Gosden – EFFEVI and ABT’s Crackerjack King, conditioned by Italian-born Marco Botti; and Mark Hawtin’s Wigmore Hall, trained by Great Britain’s Michael Bell.
The troika of British-bred Million candidates is made up of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid al Maktoum’s Afsare, trained by Italian-born Luca Cumani; Juddmonte Farms’ Famous Name, conditioned by Irish-born Dermot Weld; and Mrs. Fitriani Hay, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s Treasure Beach, trained by Irish-born Aidan O’Brien.
O’Brien, who trained that same ownership’s now-retired Cape Blanco to win the Million last year, also captured last year’s Secretariat with Treasure Beach.
Gosden saddled HRH Princess Haya of Jordan’s Debussy to win the Arlington Million two years ago.
Qatar Bloodstock’s Vadamar, who was bred in France, is trained by French-born conditioner Mikel Delzangles.
A quintet of European-based members of the distaff set is currently under consideration for the 22nd renewal of the Beverly D. They are Andrew Stone’s Irish-bred I’m A Dreamer, trained by British-based conditioner David Simcock; His Highness the Aga Khan’s Studs Ltd.’s British-bred Sagawara, trained by French-born conditioner Alain de Royer-Dupre; Darley Stud Management’s British-bred Joviality, trained by Gosden; Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s Irish-bred Up, trained by O’Brien; and Gestut Karlshof’s German-bred Kapitale, conditioned by German-born Andreas Wohler.
His Highness the Aga Khan’s Studs, Ltd.’s French-bred Bayrir, conditioned by de Royer-Dupre; Darley Stud Management’s Dark Stranger, trained by Gosden; Moyglare Stud Farm’s Irish-bred Speaking of Which, trained by Weld; and Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier’s Kentucky-bred but European-based Daddy Long Legs, trained by O’Brien make up Europe’s representatives in the Secretariat Stakes at this time, although the International Racing Bureau advises that more names are likely to be added shortly.
The 12 European-based marathoners that make up the list of those currently under consideration for the American St. Leger includes Eastwind Racing and Martha Trussel's Bridge of Gold, trained by Swedish-born conditioner Mikael Magnusson; Mrs. Fitriani Hay’s Irish-bred Distant Memories, trained by Irish-born Tom Taaffe; Crone Stud Farms’ Irish-bred Ithoughtitwasover, trained by Scottish-born Mark Johnston; Gestut Ittlingen’s British-bred Lacateno, trained by German-born Waldemar Hickst; and Vincenzo de Siero’s Italian-bred Sant’alberto, trained by French-born Fabrice Chappet.
Also on that list are Augustin Stable’s British-bred Aiken, trained by Gosden; Darley Stud Management’s German-bred Zuider Zee, also trained by Gosden; Dr. Ronan Lambe’s Irish-bred Galileo’s Choice, trained by Weld; Moyglare Stud Farm Ltd.’s Irish-bred Sense of Purpose, also trained by Weld; Australian TB Bloodstock Jakkalberry SYN’s Irish-bred Jakkalberry, trained by Botti; K K AL Nobooda and Kamal Albahou’s Irish-bred Joshua Tree, also trained by Botti; and Gestut Ittlingen’s British-bred Scalo, trained by Wohler.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 90-day meet in 2012 from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, Sept. 30. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 12 off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities – Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Waukegan, Tavern on North featuring Trackside Villa Park, Shooters Bar & Grill at Don Carter Lanes featuring Trackside Rockford, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Stanley’s Ale House featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry, TADS Sports Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit, Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins and Sam’s Triple Crown featuring Trackside Orland Hills. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.