Arlington International Barn Notes (7/25/15)
Contact: Michael Adolphson
In today's notes:
THE CORSICAN SCRATCHES FROM KING GEORGE, MILLION-BOUND
Mrs. Fitriani Hay’s The Corsican scratched from the Group I $1,652,000 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot Racecourse today in England and will now aim directly toward the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million on Aug. 15, according to the International Racing Bureau. Citing the softer ground, the David Simcock trainee will enter the Million with hopes of firmer ground for connections that have proven success over the Chicagoland oval.
While Simcock won the Grade I Beverly D. in 2012 with I’m a Dreamer, Hay was part-owner of Grade I Secretariat Stakes winner Treasure Beach and Million victor Cape Blanco – both in 2011. The likely plan, as well, is to come two-pronged in her 2015 Arlington attack. Hay’s Scotland, an Andrew Balding trainee, is probable to be entered in the Grade III $350,000 American St. Leger on the Million undercard – one of the four races comprising the International Festival of Racing.
Lightly raced, The Corsican exits the best effort of his career when a game fourth in the Group I $822,000 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting last out on June 17. A winner of his three preceding races against considerably softer company, he has flourished at Million’s 1 1/4-miles distance. Getting better with each event, his Official Rating – according to the British Horseracing Authority – has progressed with a pattern of 82-86-93-101-111 in his previous five efforts.
In seven career starts, the 4-year-old bay son of Galileo has four wins and a third, with roughly $143,800 in earnings.
Today’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was won by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid al Maktoum’s Luca Cumani-trained Postponed after a gritty battle with Lady Bamford’s homebred Eagle Top, from the barn of John Gosden. Overwhelming favorite and world’s top-rated horse Golden Horn was also withdrawn.
CRITTENDEN AIMING TO SECRETARIAT
Godolphin Racing’s stakes-winning sophomore Crittenden is likely bound for the Grade I $450,000 Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 15 – part of the International Festival of Racing that is topped by the 33rd running of the Arlington Million. Trained by Eoin Harty, the gelded son of Distorted Humor exits a hard-charging second in the Grade III $100,000 American Derby – a placing that earned him a free roll into the 1 1/4-miles summer sophomore turf fixture.
“As of right now we are aiming toward the Secretariat,” Harty confirmed. “He had a nice work the other day and I’ll be up there (at Arlington) early next week to see what’s going on. He will work again Wednesday.”
The handsome gelding was a sharp victor of the $75,000 PDJF Stakes at Indiana Grand on May 30 and showed the same menacing turn of foot when shifting off the rail and rallying to lose by a neck to Live Oak Plantation’s Mark Casse-trained World Approval last out. His first work back was a half-mile move in :49 flat on July 22.
“He’s a young horse and you always want to win, of course,” Harty reflected. “He ran against a very good horse in World Approval and at the end of the day there wasn’t much separating the two. If you can’t win, you want your horse to run their race.
“I like the way he finished,” he continued. “The (1 1/4-miles) distance (of the Secretariat) shouldn’t be a problem for him. He was moving forward at the end and I think the course was a little softer than he prefers – but a real runner runs when it comes down to it.”
PEAKING SUMMER AGAIN TOPS ISAAC MURPHY NOMS
Richard Otto Stables’ Summer Again looms large in the nominations for next weekend’s $50,000-added Isaac Murphy Handicap at Arlington International Racecourse. Contested over six furlongs on the main track, the 36th running of the Illinois-bred filly and mare sprint attracted 14 nominations.
Summer Again is in top form for trainer Tony Mitchell. The regally bred daughter of Empire Maker and multiple stakes winner Summer Mis exits a good-looking victory in allowance company on June 27 over highly regarded Mike Stidham trainee Colour Party and graded stakes-placed Tulira’s Star and returned to work a bullet half-mile on Saturday morning in :46.40 – best of 40. The beaten favorite in that race was Patricia’s Hope’s Case Cracker, who is also nominated to the Isaac Murphy.
Raced only 14 times in four seasons, Summer Again has a quartet of wins and has been a part of the exacta in nine of those efforts. One of those runner-up finishes was behind fellow nominee Royal Posh, an 11-time winner from the barn of Steve Manley for owner Larry Owens.
Royal Posh exits a fifth over 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf behind next-out stakes winner and fellow nominee Richies Sweetheart on July 4. A winner of just short of $300,000, the 7-year-old daughter of Posh owns a stakes victory four back in the $75,000 Powerless Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course and a sharp win in claiming company over this trip in September 2014. At her best, the dark bay mare is very tough at this level.
While Larry Rivelli-trained Richies Sweetheart is not likely after winning the open Brandywine Stakes at Indiana on July 17, aforementioned Case Cracker from the same barn is still possible. The 5-year-old daughter of Margie’s Wildcat impressively took two races earlier this meet at the Isaac Murphy’s six-furlong trip by a combined nine lengths.
Another under serious consideration is Lamont Nienast’s consistent Dolly Peach, who was a close fourth – beaten less than two lengths – in last year’s running. In the top three in five of her last nine races and fourth in the other four, the daughter of Chapel Royal exits a fourth over the dirt in a Canterbury Park allowance race and was third in both the $50,000 Third Chance Handicap behind fellow nominee Win ‘em All at Hawthorne on Mar. 28 and Royal Posh’s Powerless.
Other nominees include Algonquin Posse, Canette, Dreamofjean E., Exquisite Lady, Karla With a K, Keeker, Puntsville and Rosie My Rosie.
SARAH SIS AND PIRATE’S TROVE HIGHLIGHT WORK TAB
Multiple graded stakes-winning sophomore filly Sarah Sis worked a half-mile in :48.60 for trainer Ingrid Mason and owner Joe Ragsdale. When last asked, Mason confirmed that the Grade I $500,000 Test Stakes at Saratoga was her likely next start.
Al Shahania Racing’s multiple stakes winner Pirate’s Trove zipped a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 flat for trainer Mike Stidham. The multi-surface sprinter is aiming toward a (yet to be named) 4-year-old debut.
Lothenbach Stables’ graded stakes-placed sophomore Nun the Less worked a half-mile in :48 flat for trainer Chris Block two weeks after finishing a front-running third – beaten 2 1/4 lengths – in the Grade III $100,000 American Derby.
Tom Fedro and Team Block’s graded stakes-placed Afortable worked a half-mile in :48 flat for trainer Chris Block. Said effort comes two weeks after a poor effort in the Grade III $100,000 Stars and Stripes over a marathon grass distance of 1 1/2 miles.
Richard Otto’s homebred mare Summer Again displayed the good form that saw her win an allowance last out by 5 1/2 lengths on June 27, working a bullet in :46.40. Next up for the Tony Mitchell trainee is the $50,000-added Isaac Murphy Handicap next weekend.
Graded stakes-winning sophomore Recount worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 for trainer Jimmy DiVito and owner Doubledown Stables. The son of Limehouse has not raced since the $75,000 Golden Circle Stakes at Prairie Meadows on May 1.
Well-regarded unraced 2-year-old filly Pomodoro continues to impress in the mornings for Godolphin Racing and trainer Eoin Harty. With assistant Whit Beckman looking on, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro worked five furlongs in 1:01 flat.
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