Arlington International Barn Notes (7/12/15)
Contact: Michael Adolphson
In today's notes:
QUIET FORCE TO MILLION AFTER ARLINGTON HANDICAP WIN
Grade III $100,000 Arlington Handicap winner Quiet Force will be pointed to the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million after his solid victory on Saturday afternoon in the former. The son of Dynaformer has exited said race in good shape, per trainer Mike Maker, and is likely to return in five weeks’ time.
Owned by Kevin Warner’s Warner Thoroughbreds, the dark bay 5-year-old won for the sixth time in 13 starts and claimed his first stakes. A $40,000 claim from a rained-off Santa Anita claiming race in March 2014, he was making his second start off an 11-month layoff. He is a son of multiple Group/Grade I-placed Royal Academy mare Quiet Royal and hails from the family of super sire Quiet American and Cigar conqueror Dare and Go.
THE PIZZA MAN EXITS STARS AND STRIPES WELL, EYES MILLION
Midwest Thoroughbreds’ The Pizza Man has exited his second consecutive victory in the Stars and Stripes at Arlington International Racecourse in fine order, according to his connections. After being cross-entered in both the Stars and Stripes and the Arlington Handicap – both Grade III, $100,000 events – the son of champion turf horse English Channel chose the former as a springboard to next month’s marquee meet event – the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million.
The Pizza Man, an Illinois-bred champion, provided a fitting end to the day’s card with his nightcap victory. A local favorite, the crowd roared when his head edged out longshot Roman Approval. The odds-on victory was the sizable bay gelding’s 14th in 22 starts, ninth in 12 Arlington attempts and pushed his earnings just over the $900,000 mark for his connections.
The year-end goal of The Pizza Man, as stated by Rich Papiese – principal of Midwest – is the Grade I $3,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Turf. A victory in that event would not only emulate the homebred’s sire, but would provide Midwest with a Breeders’ Cup victory two consecutive years after Work All Week’s win in the 2014 Grade I $1,500,000 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
WORLD APPROVAL TO BE POINTED TO SECRETARIAT
Mark Casse-trained World Approval will take advantage of his free roll into the Grade I $450,000 Secretariat Stakes after his gritty win in Saturday’s Grade III $100,000 American Derby at Arlington International Racecourse, according to his conditioner. Owned and bred by Live Oak Plantation, the half-brother to champion Miesque’s Approval exited his race in good shape, according to assistant trainer Norman Casse, and returned to his Churchill Downs base Saturday evening.
A son of Northern Afleet, the gray gelding won for the third time in seven lifetime starts. Raced in the American Derby in lieu of the Grade I $1,250,000 Belmont Derby a week prior – a race in which he finished fourth in the preparatory $200,000 Pennine Ridge Stakes in late May – World Approval rewarded his astute connections with a confidence-building victory and his first open and graded stakes.
WALK CLOSE CONNECTIONS UNDECIDED ON BEVERLY D.
Highland Yard’s Walk Close was no worse for the wear after her impressive victory in Saturday’s Grade III $100,000 Modesty Handicap at Arlington International Racecourse, according to her connections. Ridden to perfection by 2014 meet champion rider James Graham, the fashionably bred daughter of Tapit scored the first graded stakes of her career and second stakes overall in the process.
Victory, as well as a second- or third-place finish, results in a free roll into the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D. on Aug. 15 at Arlington going the same 1 3/16-miles distance completed Saturday. Assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul reported that it is too soon to know if Walk Close will return in five weeks’ time.
While the waters are obviously deeper in one of the country’s most prestigious events for turf females, winners of the Modesty have held their own in the Beverly D., including Shadwell Stable’s Ausus – third in 2014 – and Hit the Board Stable’s I’m Already Sexy – fifth in 2014, losing by less than three lengths. Additionally, Hernandez Racing Club’s La Tia – third in the 2013 Modesty – would go on to finish a close fourth last year in a blanket finish.
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