Arlington International Barn Notes (6/26/15)
Contact: Michael Adolphson
In today's notes:
TRIPLE THREAT SCRATCHES FROM ARLINGTON HANDICAP
Team Valor International and Gary Barber’s Triple Threat has been scratched from the Grade III $100,000 Arlington Handicap. Established as the 5-2 morning-line favorite, the son of Monsun had a temperature on Friday morning and was officially withdrawn by trainer Bill Mott just past 1:00 pm Central time. Mott’s Riposte – owned by Juddmonte Farms – will be the barn’s lone representative on Saturday’s Million Preview Day card in the Grade III $100,000 Modesty Handicap.
THE PIZZA MAN CHOOSES STARS AND STRIPES DEFENSE
After cross-entering in both the Arlington Handicap and Stars and Stripes – both Grade III $100,000 events – Arlington International Racecourse favorite The Pizza Man is slated to run in the latter, according to Richard Papiese, principal of ownership Midwest Thoroughbreds. Trained by Roger Brueggemann, the bay gelding is still targeting the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million, according to Papiese, if all goes well.
Papiese cited the 1 1/2-miles distance of the Stars and Stripes as the main factor – five-sixteenths of a mile farther than the Arlington Handicap. Said trip is the same as his year-end goal, the Grade I $3,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland on Oct. 31.
The distance progression of a 1 1/16 miles, at which The Pizza Man won at last out in the $65,000 Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs, to the 12-furlong Stars and Stripes and ultimately the Million’s 1 1/4 miles is identical to that which Andrew Bentley Stable’s 2015 Million victor Hardest Core took last year.
In other cross-entered news, Greco Racing Stable and trainer Mike Reavis’ Yankee Dealer is likely to stay in the Arlington Handicap in lieu of the Stars and Stripes, according to Reavis. Also cross-entered in those two races, John James Revocable Trust’s Dramedy is leaning toward running in the Arlington Handicap, as well, according to conditioner Gerald Aschinger. The Dramedy camp cited the weight under the allowance conditions (124 pounds; give away between three and 12 pounds to rivals) as one of the factors swaying them said direction.
Trainer Chris Block confirmed that Mister Marti Gras will stay and run in the Stars and Stripes. Also entered in a stakes at Canterbury, the Lothenbach Stables 8-year-old will try his hand at a marathon distance for the first time in his storied career.
Tom Van Meter and trainer Mike Stidham’s Stellaris worked a half-mile in :48 flat. The Grade I-placed turf filly had not been seen since a seventh-place finish in the Listed $100,000 Trillium Stakes at Woodbine on June 13 – a result that necessitated skipping this weekend’s Grade III $100,000 Modesty Handicap.
Doubledown Stable’s reigning Illinois-bred champion 2-year-old Recount worked five furlongs in 1:03.60 for trainer Jimmy DiVito, his first move since June 17.
Margaret Burlingham’s 16-time winner and three-time Arlington Sprint champion Saint Leon worked five furlongs in 1:01 flat for trainer Michele Boyce.
Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s Grade III-winning filly Prado’s Sweet Ride worked four furlongs in :49.80 toward an expected start in the Grade III $100,000 Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington on Aug. 15. A start in the interim has not yet been determined.
Canadian champion Leigh Court worked five furlongs in a bullet :59 flat for trainer Mike Stidham and owner Speedway Stable.
Multiple graded stakes winner Sarah Sis worked an easy half-mile in :50.60 for trainer Ingrid Mason. The daughter of Sharp Humor exits a victory in the Grade III $200,000 Iowa Oaks on June 27 for owner Joe Ragsdale.
Al Shahania Racing’s multiple stakes-winning sprinter Pirate’s Trove continues to work well for trainer Mike Stidham, negotiating six furlongs in 1:12.20 in preparation for her 4-year-old debut.
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