Arlington Park Stakes Advance
Contact: Brian W. Spencer
STAKES WINNERS CRITTENDEN, WORLD APPROVAL, FIRESPIKE HEADLINE 101ST AMERICAN DERBY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 8, 2015) – A trio of stakes-winning sophomores head a field of seven runners entered in Saturday’s 1 1/8-miles Grade III $100,000 American Derby at Arlington International Racecourse. The American Derby is the first graded stakes race of the season at Arlington and is the first leg of an All-Stakes Pick 4.
Godolphin Racing’s Crittenden owns the field’s only stakes win against open company, having captured the $75,000 PDJF Stakes last out at Indiana Grand. The Eoin Harty-trained son of Distorted Humor has won three of his four career turf starts and has been working locally in advance of the American Derby. Flavien Prat will ride Crittenden for the first time from the rail.
World Approval, a Live Oak Plantation homebred, brings a royal pedigree that makes him a half-brother to Breeders’ Cup Mile champion Miesque’s Approval into the American Derby. A restricted stakes winner on the Tampa Bay Downs lawn in April, the son of Northern Afleet exits a pair of respectable efforts behind Divisidero in the Grade II $250,000 American Turf at Churchill Downs and the Pennine Ridge at Belmont in his two most recent starts. Mark Casse trains and Jose Lezcano will ride from post six.
Skychai Racing et al.’s Firespike is a two-time stakes winner with victories in the $100,000 Juvenile Turf and $100,000 OBS Championship Stakes at Gulfstream Park and Ocala Training Center. Mike Maker trains the son of Flower Alley who exits a disappointing effort in the American Turf after a wide trip. One race prior, he was in contention throughout and missed by just 2 1/2 lengths in the Grade III $550,000 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park. Firespike will be ridden for the first time by Julien Leparoux and will break from the outside post seven.
Trainer Ken McPeek sends out Harold Lerner’s intriguing class riser King of New York. The consistent son of Street Boss has missed the board just twice in an 11-race career – and never on the turf – and scored last out from well off the pace in a first-level allowance at Churchill Downs. Robby Albarado, who was aboard for that win, gets the return call from post five.
Lothenbach Stables’ Nun the Less is a three-time winner with placings in a pair of open stakes to his credit for trainer Chris Block. Second in the $58,000 Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs last October, he later missed by 1 1/2 lengths in the $75,000 Texas Glitter Stakes at Gulfstream to kick off his 2015 campaign. Last seen finishing an even sixth in the American Turf, the Candy Ride colt will be ridden by Florent Geroux from post four.
Completing the field are Shadwell Stable’s Dan Peitz-trained Raagheb, who will be making his turf debut under Manny Esquivel from post three, and Glockenburg LLC’s Slope, trained by Pavel Vashchenko and ridden by Constantino Roman from post two.
Arlington International Racecourse – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 77-day meet in 2015 from Friday, May 1 through Saturday, Sept. 26. Arlington International Racecourse, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates ten off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities in Arlington Heights, Aurora, Chicago, Waukegan, Villa Park, Rockford, South Elgin, Hodgkins, McHenry and Orland Hills. Arlington International Racecourse is a proud member of America’s Best Racing. Information on Arlington International Racecourse and Trackside OTB can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arlingtonpark and www.facebook.com/tracksideotb, and on Twitter at @Arlington_Park for the latest happenings, @arlingtonracing for the latest racing news and @tracksideotb for all things pertaining to off-track wagering.