Arlington International Barn Notes (5/21/15)
Contact: Michael Adolphson
In today's notes:
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF RACING NOMINATIONS CLOSE SATURDAY
Nominations close Saturday, May 23, for the International Festival of Racing on Aug. 15 at Arlington International Racecourse. Highlighted by the 33rd running of the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million – one of the world’s premier international racing events – the Festival also includes the 26th running of the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D., 39th running of the Grade I $500,000 Secretariat Stakes and fourth running of the Grade III $400,000 American St. Leger.
Nominations for the Arlington Million are to be accompanied by a subscription of $300. Late nominations of $2,000 (each horse) may be made on or before Saturday, Aug. 1, while supplementary nominations of $40,000 may be made by 12:00 pm (CDT) on Friday, Aug. 7. Nominations and subscriptions for the Beverly D. ($200 to enter; $1,500 by Aug. 1; $20,000 by Aug. 7), Secretariat ($100, $800, $12,000) and American St. Leger ($100, $750, $8,000) are structured accordingly.
The Grade III $100,000 Pucker Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the grass will also be contested on the same card, with nominations closing on Aug. 5.
Please contact stakes coordinator Gary Duch at (847) 385-7624 for further information.
AMEN KITTEN COMES HOME FOR CONFIDENCE BUILDER
Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Illinois-bred homebred Amen Kitten returns to his registered state of birth for Friday’s featured race at Arlington International Racecourse – a one-turn mile conditioned allowance event for state-breds. A Grade I-placed earner of $224,034, the 5-year-old gelding’s presence did not scare off many, as the event drew 10 other competitors.
“I went over it with Mr. Ramsey and we want him to get back on the right track,” said trainer Wesley Ward. “He’s a really nice horse and had a hock injury that kept him out most of last year. He’s had a couple injuries that have compromised him in his career, so there’s still a learning curve with him and we’re still finding out how good he is.”
After placing fourth or better in five of his six attempts encompassing his juvenile season in 2012, the son of Kitten’s Joy graduated in his sophomore debut in Jan. 2013 at Gulfstream Park. Moved into stakes company in five of his next seven attempts, he ran respectably in most – including a mildly gaining sixth in the local Grade I $500,000 Secretariat Stakes to stablemate Admiral Kitten.
Three races later and after taking the $70,000 Tropical Park Derby at Calder, he was an excellent third in the Grade I $250,000 Hollywood Derby behind Seek Again and then returned to run a solid second to Twilight Eclipse in the Grade II $200,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream in his 4-year-old debut. Next out, in the Grade II $250,000 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland, a lackluster eighth-place performance led to the discovery of the aforementioned hock issue.
Given eight months off, the bay charge was impressive upon return, winning a 1 1/16-miles allowance at Gulfstream on Dec. 28 and then finishing a smart sixth – beaten 1 3/4 lengths – in the nine-furlong Grade I $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap behind Mshawish to kick off 2015. Last out, he was a beaten 13-10 favorite in a conditioned allowance going 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream on Mar. 29. On Friday, he returns to both Polytrack and a one-turn race – two barriers he has not tackled since the early part of his career.
“He had a really good race when he resurfaced with (jockey Joel) Rosario at Gulfstream,” Ward reflected. “He was training well and we ran him in that Grade I and he ran big. Then, I ran him in an allowance and he ran a bad third. It was a good race, but not for how good the horse is. No excuses, really. I gave him a little time and now we are looking to get him back on track.”
Ward also believes the cut back in distance will not be a problem for the three-time winner and three-time graded stakes-placed Amen Kitten.
“It won’t be an issue with him,” he explained. “It’s a long run into the turn and he has been working really well and has speed if you ask him to use it. For the most part, we want a nice win against state-bred competition and then we’ll take him back to Keeneland to train and hopefully look at stakes races for him.”
Ward confirmed that one of those races, with a positive performance on Friday, could be the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Handicap on July 11.
BET SEATTLE RETURNS TO WORK TAB
Multiple stakes-winning sprinter Bet Seattle, last seen impressively beating Delaunay in the $60,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes at Fair Grounds, returned to the tab after a two-month freshening for owner-trainer Hugh Robertson with a three-furlong move in :37 flat.
Grade I-placed stakes winner Her Emmynency worked five furlongs in 1:02.60 for trainer Mike Stidham and owners Ike and Dawn Thrash on Wednesday morning. The move was her third since returning to the tab from a seven-month break. One week prior, she bulleted a half-mile in :47.60.
Promising turf-sprinting filly Sugar Sweet, who defeated next-out Grade I-placed Moonlit Stroll on Mar. 6 in Fair Grounds allowance company, worked a bullet half-mile Thursday morning in :48.80 for owner-trainer Louis Roussel, III.
Novogratz Racing Stables’ multiple turf sprint stakes-placed El Seventyseven worked a bullet half-mile in :48 flat on Wednesday morning for trainer Hugh Robertson.
Regally bred unraced juvenile filly Cosmic Girl, a daughter of Street Cry out of three-time Grade I winner Stellar Jayne, had her first work for owner Godolphin Racing and trainer Eoin Harty when going a simple quarter-mile drill down the stretch in :25.60. Meanwhile, stablemate Moiety – by Bernardini out of Brazilian Champion 2- and 3-year-old Be Happy – negotiated the same trip in :25.40. Harty also unleashed unraced 2-year-old colt Uncle Jerry, a bay half-brother to five-time Grade I winner You by red-hot juvenile sire Uncle Mo who worked three furlongs in :37.40, as well as Transform, a son of Bernardini and swift Grade I winner Dubai Escapade who worked his first career quarter-mile in :25 flat.
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