Arlington International Barn Notes (7/17/15)
Contact: Michael Adolphson
In today's notes:
BRADLEY POINTS DIVISIDERO TO SECRETARIAT
Trainer William ‘Buff’ Bradley has decided to point multiple stakes-winning sophomore turf colt Divisidero to the Grade I $450,000 Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 15 at Arlington International Racecourse – part of the International Festival of Racing capped by the 33rd running of the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million. Both the Secretariat and the Million are contested at 1 1/4 miles on the grass.
Owned by Gunpowder Farms, Divisidero exits the only poor showing of his five-race career in the Grade I $1,250,000 Belmont Derby Invitational, where he went off as the slight second choice at 5-2. Under Rafael Hernandez, the son of Kitten’s Joy was held up at the tail end of the field after a slow half in :50.30 before launching a bid, but ultimately finishing among other closers in seventh-place – beaten 5 3/4 lengths.
“He came out of the race well,” Bradley said. “Unfortunately we didn’t have the trip we needed in that race. He went his last half in about :46, so I think he was definitely extending himself, he just doesn’t need to be as far back as he was during a slow pace. He was tugging.”
In his first four races, the bay colt with a wicked acceleration took a maiden race at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 7 – closing from 10 lengths back in a 13-horse field – then rallied to just miss in third in the Grade III $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes on Mar. 7 before reeling off two consecutive stakes victories.
On Kentucky Derby Day, he closed from 11th of 13 to win the Grade II $250,000 American Turf under the Twin Spires. Then, four weeks later and five weeks prior to his Belmont Derby performance, he took the Belmont Derby’s course prep – the $200,000 Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont Park. Oddly enough, he has yet to be sent to post as the favorite in his quintet of competitions and has won three of those for earnings of $331,000.
“He trained lightly last week and now is back in full-on training,” Bradley continued. “He’s full of energy right now. I think he can run closer to the pace next time if need be. Hopefully he runs his race (at Arlington) and shows how good he is.”
If he runs in the Secretariat, Divisidero is like to get a rematch with the first two finishers in the Belmont Derby – Richard Santulli’s Force the Pass and His Highness the Aga Khan’s Canndal. Both have expressed interest in coming to Chicagoland for the year’s final Grade I turf race for open 3-year-olds.
SHOGOOD SURE GOOD IN MAIDEN BREAKER
William Stiritz’s Shogood put on a display Thursday afternoon at Arlington International Racecourse, breaking his maiden by 7 3/4 lengths in a hand ride under Chris Emigh. Trained by Scott Becker, the son of Nobiz Like Shobiz was sent off at .90-1 by the betting public on the strength of his debut runner-up finish to Olly Tait’s well-regarded Mike Stidham trainee The Zip Zip Man four weeks ago.
Quickly sprinting clear of his rivals, the mid-sized bay quickly opened up two lengths before Emigh took a slight hold and relaxed him through a quarter in :22.60. Entering the stretch, he opened up a five-length advantage without urging through a half in :45.63 before skipping under the wire by nearly eight lengths in :57.60 – a margin that could have feasibly been doubled had he been asked.
In his previous start, he was trained by Fairmont Park-based conditioner John Wainwright and owned by Sharon Morgan. Now, under the Stiritz stable’s green and red diagonal quarters, Shogood has stamped himself as one of the best juveniles on the grounds and possibly in the region.
“He came out of the race fine. Everything is good so far,” Becker said Friday morning. “The previous owner had someone else interested in buying him and the deal fell through, so they asked us if we were interested and it just kind of fell into our hands. He’s been with us about two and a half weeks and he’s something exciting.
“The first time he ran for (Wainwright) I knew he had only worked three times at Fairmount and I thought he ran a very good race,” Becker continued. “I know that’s a nice horse Stidham ran. When I got (Shogood), I worked him in company with Rosie My Rosie, who is a stakes winner and a good work horse. He worked hand-and-head with her and it seems like since that work he started to want to do more; bucking and jumping when he comes off the track.”
Despite such, Shogood has a placid demeanor, as a whole. Such was on display in the paddock prior to his graduation. While other juveniles were bucking and displaying slightly frenetic behavior in the 11-horse field, he calmly awaited the post parade in his stall.
“He’s very laid back,” Becker said. “Even when I spoke to (Wainwright) he said he is a relaxed colt. He actually laid down for about two hours and slept the day of the race before getting ready to head to the track.
“I’m not sure what we’ll do with him now,” Becker continued. “I’m not going to look for a race yet, but you always obviously first look for the races where you are – like the (Grade III $100,000) Arlington-Washington Futurity (on Aug. 22).”
Amira J, arguably the most impressive maiden winner of any age this season, worked a half-mile in :49.40 for trainer Mike Stidham and owners Ike and Dawn Thrash and Sam and Janet Alley.
Sharp debut maiden turf winner and half-sister to three graded stakes winners Giant Deduction worked a bullet half-mile in :47 flat for trainer Chris Block and owner Team Block.
Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s Prado’s Sweet Ride, who is being aimed toward the Grade III $100,000 Pucker Up Stakes on Arlington Million Day – Aug. 15 – worked five furlongs in 1:00 flat for trainer Chris Block with recent allowance-winning older horse Montana Kid.
Doubledown Stable’s graded stakes-winning sophomore Recount worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 for trainer Jimmy DiVito.
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