Arlington International Festival of Racing Notes (8/16/15)
Contact: Michael Adolphson
In today's notes:
ALL FOUR FESTIVAL STAKES WINNERS EXIT WELL
The quartet of winners from the International Festival of Racing featuring the Arlington Million presented by LiftMaster have all come out of their respective victories in good shape, according to their connections.
Midwest Thoroughbreds’ homebred The Pizza Man exited his popular victory in the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million “perfect,” according to trainer Roger Brueggemann. The son of English Channel is on his way back to Churchill Downs. A next start, which would presumably be his last before a trip to Keeneland for the Grade I $3,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Turf, has yet to be determined.
Trainer Chad Brown reported that adjudged Grade I $700,000 Beverly D. winner Watsdachances has exited her win well. The daughter of Diamond Green will now head back to New York to rejoin Brown’s string for owners Michael Kisber, Nelson McMakin and Bradley Thoroughbreds.
Highland Reel, owned by Coolmore principals Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, has come out of his impressive Grade I $450,000 Secretariat Stakes romp in good shape and will now be possibly pointed toward the Group I Cox Plate in Australia. Trainer Aidan O’Brien took a similar path with Adelaide last year, who landed both events.
Grade III $350,000 American St. Leger winner and track record-setter Lucky Speed was in top shape on Sunday morning after his sharp victory. The race was his first win since taking the Group I $642,000 German Derby in 2013. Currently under sale consideration, the son of Silvano may change hands soon. Otherwise, the plan is to race in the Grade I $300,000 Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine in September, as well as the Grade I $1,000,000 Canadian International at that same course in October.
POST-FESTIVAL ODDS AND ENDS
In a move foreign to American or English training styles, both of the French-trained International Festival of Racing entries – Papillon Stables’ Bookrunner and Joseph Allen’s War Dispatch – went to the track today. The remainder of the euros did little more than walk the shedrow.
Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the conditioner of WinStar Farm’s Closing Bell, was finishing second for the record sixth time in the Grade I $450,000 Secretariat Stakes. Such was in the trainer’s 18th try in the race and comes a year after Tourist, who was also owned by WinStar.
Qatar Racing and Newsells Park Stud, the owners of disqualified Secret Gesture from the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D., are appealing the decision. Demoted to third-place for interfering with original third-place finisher Stephanie’s Kitten in the final furlong, the Ralph Beckett trainee was in excellent shape Sunday morning and is under consideration for the Grade I E. P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine this fall.
Arlington International Racecourse-based jockeys made up two-thirds of the trifecta in the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million when Florent Geroux guided Midwest Thoroughbreds’ The Pizza Man to victory and Chris Emigh piloted Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s rabbit Shining Copper to a game third-place finish.
The International Festival of Racing crowned horseracing’s two newest millionaires with the victories of Michael Kisber, Nelson McMakin and Bradley Thoroughbreds’ Watsdachances in the Beverly D. and The Pizza Man in the Million.
Godolphin Racing’s John Gosden-trained Maverick Wave, who was vanned off after the Million, was in good shape on Sunday morning and will be flying home later in the afternoon after being cleared for travel. Fancied by many as the proverbial wise-guy horse, the son of Elusive Quality may have had an adverse reaction to Lasix, though such has not be confirmed.
Lucky Speed’s victory in the Grade III $350,000 American St. Leger established a new track record (2:46.50) for 1 11/16 miles on the grass at Arlington, eclipsing The Pizza Man’s mark the year prior (2:47.44).
Big Blue Kitten and Shining Copper’s second- and third-place finishes in the Million make it five times since 2005 that Ken and Sarah Ramsey charges have hit the board in the race. With Real Solution’s adjudged victory in 2013 after finishing second, they have yet to cross the wire first in the race.
Team Valor International’s Andy Oliver-trained Panama Hat exited his excellent second in the American St. Leger in great shape and is now under consideration for the Group I Irish St. Leger.
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