Arlington International Barn Notes (7/25/15)
Contact: Michael Adolphson
In today's notes:
CRUCERO POSSIBLE FOR AMERICAN ST. LEGER
Big Chief Racing’s Crucero is leaning toward running in the Grade III $350,000 American St. Leger, according to trainer Keith Desormeaux. A 5-year-old Florida-bred by Admiral’s Cruise, Crucero shocked the field last out in the Grade III $150,000 San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita on June 28 and will attempt to win his second stayers’ race of the season on Aug. 15. At 1 11/16 miles, the American St. Leger is about a sixteenth of a mile shorter than the San Juan Capistrano’s about-1 3/4 miles.
Crucero has been a project of sorts for his connections. In 10 starts for his previous connections, including trainer John Sadler, the bay horse finished in the top four in eight of those, but failed to graduate.
Claimed by Desormeaux for $40,000 out of a one-mile main track maiden claiming event on Jan. 16 of this year, he won his first race for said operation when dropping to maiden $20,000 in another two-turn dirt event. Winning by 1 1/2 lengths, he was quickly moved to the grass and proceeded to improve, finishing third in allowance and starter conditioned races and then finishing a distant fifth in the Grade II $200,000 Charlie Whittingham Stakes at Santa Anita on May 24. Second next out in allowance company going 1 1/4 miles, Desormeaux decided to try him going a true marathon distance in the San Juan Capistrano.
Said decision paid dividends, as Crucero out-fought big favorite Going Somewhere in the final yards by a neck and returned a healthy amount to his supporters at odds of 23-1. In 17 starts, the long-striding horse has 12 top-three finishes and $190,380 in earnings.
NUN THE LESS WORKS WELL, NEXT START TBD
Lothenbach Stables’ Nun the Less has exited his third-place finish in the Grade III $100,000 American Derby in fine form for trainer Chris Block and returned to the work tab on Saturday morning, negotiating a half-mile in :48 flat.
The son of Candy Ride was on the pace – something out of the norm for the chestnut colt – under Florent Geroux on July 11, set glacial fractions, but was still unable to fend off the charges of Live Oak Plantation’s World Approval and Godolphin Racing’s Crittenden as they sprinted clear in a nail-biting battle in the final furlong.
According to Block, Nun the Less is under consideration for the Grade I $450,000 Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 15 – a race into which he gets a free roll because of his top-three finish in the American Derby – but is more likely for the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby on Aug. 29 at Canterbury Park.
TOUTSIE RULES RETURNS IN THURSDAY FEATURE
Highly regarded and lightly raced sophomore filly Toutsie Rules returns to the races after a six-month break in Thursday’s featured allowance race at Arlington International Racecourse. The five-furlong event will be the initial time the daughter of Roman Ruler has raced on the grass and first time since Jan. 15 when she finished unplaced in the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
As a 2-year-old, the Mike Stidham trainee was an ultra-impressive maiden winner first out at Keeneland on Oct. 17 and then returned Nov. 28 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots to win in allowance company going the same six furlongs. That day, she beat Brereton C. Jones’ future Grade I $1,000,000 Kentucky Oaks winner Lovely Maria in a spirited battle. Owned by Hilary Pridham, Haynes Stables, Angela Ellis and Marette Farrell, the compact filly will be making her fourth lifetime start.
Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s Prado’s Sweet Ride, who has not started since winning the Grade III $100,000 Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 13, worked five furlongs on the grass in 1:02.20 for trainer Chris Block in advance of her date with the Grade III $100,000 Pucker Up Stakes on Arlington Million Day, Aug. 15.
Graded stakes-placed Tulira’s Star, who made her sophomore debut when third in allowance company on June 27, worked a half-mile in :48 flat for trainer Jimmy DiVito and owner Team Valor International.
Lisa Lex’s graded stakes-placed Lots o’ Lex worked a half-mile in :47 flat for trainer Gerald Aschinger. The move was her first since finishing a dull eighth of nine in the Grade III $100,000 Modesty Handicap on July 11. Aschinger confirmed earlier this week that the daughter of Kitalpha was likely to start before the end of the meet.
Stakes-placed multiple allowance winner Sir Applesolutely worked six furlongs on the grass in 1:12 flat for trainer Chris Block and owner Hill ‘N Dale Farm.
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