Arlington International Barn Notes (8/2/15)
Contact: Michael Adolphson
In today's notes:
WATSDACHANCES TAKES AIM ON BEVERLY D.
Talented 5-year-old four-time stakes-winning turf mare Watsdachances is primed and ready to return to Grade I company in the $700,000 Beverly D. on Aug. 15, according to her connections. A two-time graded winner, including the Grade III $150,000 Gallorette Handicap on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico in May, the Irish-bred daughter of Diamond Green was second in the Grade I $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2012 and fourth in both the Grade I $500,000 Garden City Stakes (now refashioned as the Belmont Oaks) in 2013 and the Grade I $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational in 2014 – both at Belmont Park. Her 2015 Grade I try comes on the heels of a strong effort in the Grade II $200,000 Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine on July 5 in which she was given too much to do and missed by a diminishing head at the wire.
“She’s doing very well,” said Peter Bradley, whose Bradley Thoroughbreds owns the bay mare with Michael Kisber and Nelson McMakin. “I spoke to (trainer) Chad (Brown) this week and he said she worked nicely and galloped out really well. At this time, the Beverly D. is our raison d’être.
“She has run two exceptional races this year and is rounding into form,” Bradley continued. “There was a bit of pilot error last time, but those things happen in turf racing. It’s always a tough field (in the Beverly D.), but she’s as good as she’s ever been and we’re happy with her. If she gets a ride like the way (jockey Javier) Castellano rode her at Pimlico, she’s going to be tough.”
This is not the first time Bradley has been involved with a talented Chad Brown-trained turf filly or mare. The accomplished bloodstock agent was also part-owner of Dayatthespa, whose brilliant front-running tactics under Castellano in last year’s Grade I $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf earned her a victory and consequently the Eclipse Award for champion turf filly or mare. Bradley is also the mind behind the yearling purchase of Brown-trained Lady Eli – considered by many to be one of the top turf fillies in the world – whom he then resold to ultimate principal owner Sheep Pond Partners.
“Dayatthespa is one of my all-time favorites,” Bradley said. “It’s hard to compare (Dayatthespa and Watsdachances). ‘Spa had more tactical speed, which makes you deadly in turf racing. If you have that and a kick, you have a real shot at being first or second almost every time – at least in my opinion.
“With a filly like Watsdachances, you have more traffic problems,” he continued. “But, as far as pure heart and being game and genuine, she’s a bit of an overachiever. She always tries and finishes and that’s all you can ask of a racehorse.”
HIGHLAND REEL EXPECTED FOR SECRETARIAT
Three-time Secretariat Stakes-winning trainer Aidan O’Brien is expected to enter Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s Highland Reel in the 2015 edition of the Grade I $450,000 1 1/4-miles grass event for top sophomores. A son of Coolmore’s top stallon Galileo, the bay colt exits a win in the Grade III $156,000 Nepture Investment Management Stakes at the Glorious Goodwood meeting in England.
Bred in Ireland, the talented charge was fifth in the Group I $1,396,000 Irish Derby on June 27 at The Curragh. One race prior to that – and arguably the Ballydoyle pupil’s best performance – Highland Reel was a game second in the Group I $1,649,000 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) on May 31 at 1 5/16 miles – the closest he has come to running the Secretariat distance, losing by 1 1/2 lengths to New Bay.
In seven lifetime starts, Highland Reel has three victories and a pair of runner-up finishes. As a juvenile, he won the Group II $136,000 Vintage Stakes to close out his 2-year-old season.
O’Brien won the Secretariat in 2000 with Ciro, 2011 with Treasure Beach and last year with Adelaide.
PUMPKIN RUMBLE LOOKING TO MIX IT UP IN THE MILLION
Al and Bill Ulwelling’s Pumpkin Rumble is being aimed toward Arlington Million XXXIII, according to trainer Gary Scherer. Exiting a victory in the $100,000 Mystic Lake Mile at Canterbury Park, the son of champion English Channel is in sharp form for his connections.
“We are definitely looking at the Million,” Scherer said. “I think he’ll do fine. The competition is a little stiff, but if he relaxes and runs like he did last time, he won’t disappoint me. He’s impressive with the heart he has and he can run all day.
“He ran against some stiff competition as a 3-year-old and the freshening did him wonders,” Scherer continued. “I think he’ll get the distance and handle everything well. You can’t win unless you’re in there and we’ll give him a chance. I wish the race was right now because he’s doing so well. We’ll get him in town on the eighth (of August) to get him acclimated.”
In 2014, as a 3-year-old, the smallish chestnut gelding was a game fourth in the Grade III $500,000 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park behind Grade I winner Ring Weekend, as well as the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury behind subsequent graded stakes winner Long on Value. Throughout his 13-race career, he has kept salty company, despite never racing above the Grade III level. He boasts a record of 3-3-2 with $181,806 in earnings and won his lone start at Arlington when breaking his maiden in May 2014 over subsequent stakes performer Galton.
BALLYDOYLE HAS BEVERLY D. DUO
Trainer Aiden O’Brien and the Ballydoyle-based Coolmore team has two possibles for the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D. on Aug. 15, according to the International Racing Bureau. Outstanding and Together Forever, both 3-year-old fillies by Galileo, are being aimed toward the race and both exit game finishes in Grade/Group I company.
Outstanding, a full-sister to 2013 Grade I $3,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner and 2014 Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million runner-up Magician, won two minor races in Ireland at Naas before venturing to Belmont Park on July 4 to finish a respectable third in the Grade I $1,000,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational behind Lady Eli and Itsonlyactingdad. In five starts, she has a lone stakes victory in the $61,000 Naas Oaks Trial on June 24.
Slightly more seasoned, nine-time starter Together Forever was fourth last out – beaten just over four lengths – in the Group I $433,000 Irish Oaks on July 18. A Group I winner as a juvenile when taking the $378,000 Fillies Mile at Newmarket last October, she has started three times in 2015, with her best finish being a photo-finish loss in the Group III $157,000 Musidora Stakes at York on May 13. Sandwiched between that effort and the Irish Oaks was a seventh-place finish (of 11) in the Group I $691,000 English Oaks at Epsom.
MAIMARA TO PASS ON BEVERLY D.
Trainer Mikel Delzangles has decided to pass on the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D. with his promising filly Maimara, according to the International Racing Bureau. Owned by Alain Louis-Dreyfus, the daughter of Makfi exits a good second to improving filly Wekeela in the Gropu III $89,000 Prix Chloe at Chantilly going nine furlongs.
Maimara, a 3-year-old, would have been looking to become only the second sophomore filly to take the Beverly D. after Euro Charline – another European – did so in 2014 for Team Valor International and trainer Marco Botti. Delzangles, according to the International Racing Bureau, still plans on running His Highness the Aga Khan’s Canndal in the Grade I $450,000 Secretariat Stakes and Papillon Stables’ Bookrunner in the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million.
MISS CHATELAINE POSSIBLE FOR PUCKER UP
On the Arlington Million undercard on Aug. 15, the Grade III $100,000 Pucker Up Stakes is congealing for Arlington International Racecourse racing officials. Chief among the possibles for the race is Highland Yard’s Miss Chatelaine, from the barn of Christophe Clement.
Raced only four times, the daughter of Pulpit was eighth last out – by 5 1/4 lengths – in the Grade I $1,000,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational at Belmont Park on July 4. Losing that race to Lady Eli, the chestnut filly also finished astern that multiple Grade I winner in the $200,000 Wonder Again Stakes one race prior on May 31 at the same course. As a juvenile, the Kentucky-bred was undefeated in two starts, including a victory in the $100,000 Chelsea Flower Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 25.
Miss Chatelaine hails from the identical connections as Grade III $100,000 Modesty Handicap winner Walk Close on July 11. That bay filly is still under consideration for the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D., but is currently not likely to run, according to racing officials. The Modesty is the course and distance prep for the Beverly D. and provides its top-three finishers with a free roll into the marquee event.
RECOUNT AND ROYAL POSH EXIT STAKES WINS WELL
Both Doubledown Stables’ Recount and Larry Owens’ Royal Posh have exited their victories in Saturday’s stakes at Arlington International Racecourse in fine order, according to their conditioners.
Recount, trained by Jimmy DiVito, won the third stakes of his six-race career when taking the $54,100 Addison Cammack Handicap and has yet to finish out of the money.
“He’s doing really well today and I’m really happy with his race,” DiVito reported. “We may look at the ($50,000-added) Bruce Duchossois Memorial race (on Aug. 15, Arlington Million Day), but that may be coming back too quickly for him. I like to give him more time.”
Steve Manley-trained Royal Posh was winning her second stakes in her last five starts when annexing the $52,700 Isaac Murphy Handicap, while also taking her 12th victory in 48 lifetime starts.
“She’s great today and looks good,” Manley said. “This will likely be her last year of racing. We may run her here again and then go look at a stakes at Hawthorne (Race Course) before we retire her.”
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