Arlington International Barn Notes (7/30/15)
Contact: Michael Adolphson
In today's notes:
STEPHANIE’S KITTEN POSSIBLE FOR BEVERLY D.
According to Arlington International Racecourse officials, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Stephanie’s Kitten is under serious consideration for a return to the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D. at the Chicagoland course over which she debuted and graduated in the summer of 2011 while under the care of Wayne Catalano.
A subsequent Grade II $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf winner and multiple Grade I victress under said conditioner, she was turned over to trainer Chad Brown prior to her 5-year-old season and has won two races in nine starts for said conditioner, including the Grade I $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont last fall. Two of her runner-up finishes in 2014 include the Beverly D. to Euro Charline and Grade I $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf astern Brown trainee Dayatthespa.
The homebred daughter of Kitten’s Joy exits a fifth-place finish in the Grade I $500,000 Diana Stakes at Saratoga in which she made up 7¼ lengths in the stretch to lose by less than three lengths to multiple Grade I winner Hard Not to Like.
In three lifetime starts at Arlington, the 6-year-old mare has a first-, second- and third-place finish. A victory in the Beverly D. would hoist the nine-time winner over the $3 million mark in earnings.
CALVADOS SEEKING BREAKTHROUGH AMERICAN WIN IN ST. LEGER
One of the likely entrants for the International Festival of Racing with perhaps the most to atone for is Ignacio Correas, IV-trained Calvados, who had an extremely unlucky trip when third in the Grade III $100,000 Stars and Stripes on Million Preview Day, July 11. Next up for the bay horse is the 1 11/16-miles Grade III $350,000 American St. Leger, for which the Stars and Stripes was the local prep and provided automatic entry for its top-three finishers.
After manifesting a menacing rally in mid-stretch in the Stars and Stripes, the Argentine-bred had to alter course after being blocked at the eighth-pole – losing nearly all momentum – and re-rally to grab third-place at the finish. Many believe he would have proven victorious, had he not encountered such trouble.
“He’s working really well and he’s coming,” Correas reported on Thursday morning. “He just breezed and we’ll work him one more time before the race and then ship (to Arlington). Hopefully he’ll get (a better) trip this time. He ran good and that’s the most important thing. He’s a good horse. One day it will be for him. If he runs good again, we’ll be happy (in the American St. Leger). I think (the extra distance) is better for him and fits him better than a lot of the other horses.”
After the son of Snipewalk commenced his career in his native country, he made his first start in America in August 2014 for Correas and his father’s Mom Celine, LLC. Though he has yet to win in the United States, he has twice been stakes-placed – including a game second in last fall’s Listed $100,000 Laurel Turf Cup at its namesake track and his aforementioned effort at Arlington. He also has finished fourth in two conditioned allowance events at Gulfstream Park behind the likes of graded stakes horses Middleburg, Tricky Hat and Amen Kitten. A six-time winner in South America, he has earned $123,111 and capped his tenure in the southern hemisphere with a game second – by a nose – in the Group III $22,000 Porteno Stakes at San Isidro.
“The horse belongs to me, my father and a friend and my father bred him,” Correas elaborated. “He was a stakes winner for my father in Argentina and is from the same family as a very good filly Campagnarde. His mother is a sister to her. She was trained by (Hall of Famer Charlie) Whittingham and my father had horses with him in the eighties.”
Calvados’ once-raced dam Compagne is a half-sister to the aforementioned Campagnarde, who was champion 3-year-old filly in Argentina in 1990-1991, topped by her victory in the Group I Argentine Oaks. She would go on to join Whittingham in America and win the Grade I Ramona Handicap at Del Mar the following year. As a broodmare – mostly for the late Allen Paulson – she produced three stakes winners, including Grade II Honeymoon Handicap winner Lovely Rafaela and Grade II Phillip H. Iselin Handicap winner Rize – one of the few offspring of Paulson’s great turf champion Theatrical to excel at the graded level on the dirt.
CUSTOM CUT REMOVED FROM MILLION CONSIDERATION
Gary Douglas and Pat Breslin’s Custom Cut is now out of consideration for the 33rd running of the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million on Aug. 15, according to the International Racing Bureau. An 11-time winner who has scored three Group wins in his last eight starts, the son of Notnowcato had long been pointed to the Million by trainer David O’Meara.
Last week, Custom Cut failed to deliver in the Group II $155,000 York Stakes at its namesake racecourse in England over 1 5/16 miles. The race was a step up in trip for the accomplished miler who impressed in the Group II $143,000 Sandown Mile by 1½ lengths to kick off his 6-year-old season on Apr. 24. The York, in recent years, has been a key European prep for the Million.
After finishing a game second to highly regarded Arod in the Group III $108,000 Diomed Stakes on May 7 over 1 1/16 miles at left-handed Epsom, the Million was established as a serious goal until his aforementioned poor showing on July 25. Arod would return Wednesday to finish an ultra-impressive half-length second to Solow, who is currently considered by many to be the best miler in the world, in the Group I $1,561,000 Sussex Stakes.
Perhaps the most unfortunate byproduct of Custom Cut’s withdrawal is that it precludes the participation of O’Meara-trained Group I-winning filly Amazing Maria from the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D. Stakes on the Million undercard, where she would have been among the favorites. As is often the case with European racing interests, they are often more likely to ship en mass than with a solo charge.
CRITTENDEN CONTINUES TO IMPRESS IN MORNINGS
Godolphin Racing’s Crittenden once again looked impressive in the morning at Arlington International Racecourse when negotiating five furlongs in 1:01 flat for trainer Eoin Harty on Wednesday morning. The move impressed onlookers and was indicative of a horse moving in the right direction. Under locally based jockey Jesse Lantz, the son of Distorted Humor galloped out in 1:13.60 with ease.
Crittenden, who won the $75,000 PDJF Stakes on May 30, ran a sharp race when second by a neck in the Grade III $100,000 American Derby on July 11, Million Preview Day. Next up for the chestnut charge is the Grade I $450,000 Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day, Aug. 15.
Also highlighting this week’s work tab was Fortino, Inc.’s Sweet Luca, who worked a half-mile in :50 flat on Monday in advance of his defense in Saturday’s $50,000-added Addison Cammack Handicap for trainer Chris Block.
Monday’s tab also featured the return of Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ stakes-winning grass filly Notte d’Oro, who exits two consecutive runner-up finishes in stakes company at Canterbury Park in the $75,000 Minnesota HBPA Distaff on June 6 and the $100,000 Lady Canterbury on July 11. The Mike Stidham trainee worked four furlongs in :50.60.
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