|Arlington Park Barn Notes
In today's notes:
Tom R. Durant's Most Feared, hero of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity here three weeks ago, worked a bullet move of 1:12 1/5 for six furlongs Saturday morning at Arlington Park, one week prior to his upcoming engagement in the Grade I Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile October 26.
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile is one of eight championship races that will be contested on the last Saturday in October when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Chicago and Arlington Park for the first time in their 19-year history next week.
In the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity, final local prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Most Feared's ownership earned the $90,000 winner's share of the purse. Should he parlay that victory with one in the Juvenile, owner Durant would collect not only the $600,000 winner's share of that purse, but an additional $250,000 under the conditions of the Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge.
When working handily for trainer Ronny Werner under the guidance of Arlington jockey Ray Sibille Saturday morning, Most Feared accomplished the early splits of the three-quarter mile distance in :11 3/5, :23 3/5, :34 4/5, :46 4/5 and :59 2/5 before galloping out seven-eighths in 1:26 1/5.
Earlier in the morning, Werner breezed Durant's Touch Tone three-quarters in 1:13 in preparation for an upcoming engagement in the Grade I NAPA Breeders' Cup Sprint next Saturday.
Touch Tone, who finished third in the Grade III Phoenix Breeders' Cup in his only start of this year October 5, earned early splits of :12 4/5, :25, :37 1/5, :49 and 1:01 on the way to his six-furlong marking, and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:27 1/5. Arlington-based jockey Frank Lovato Jr. was up for Touch Tone's breeze.
"I was happy with Touch Tone's work," said Werner. "Then, when I saw the one posted by Most Feared, I was really surprised. The 2-year-old worked really exceptional. I've been high on him all along. I'm really excited about him.
"We had to press Touch Tone a little bit," Werner said of his candidate for the Sprint, who will be making only his second start of the season. "He needed that last race (Phoenix against Xtra Heat), and we're looking toward a rematch with her. We won't try to eyeball her this time. I'm pleased with the way we're moving forward."
Last season, while still a 3-year-old, Touch Tone was stabled at Arlington during the summer and journeyed to Prairie Meadows from the local oval to win the $250,000 Iowa Derby. The colt then journeyed to the Jersey Shore and finished second beaten a half-length to eventual Horse of the Year Point Given in Monmouth's Grade I Haskell Invitational Handicap.
"When the baby (Most Feared) came back and I saw the time, I could hardly believe it," said Werner. "Ray told me, 'Ronny, I swear I thought we were going the same way throughout.' I thought he'd done it in about an easy '14.'
"I believe in both horses," said Werner, "and I believe I've got a good shot in both races. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here. This is my first (Breeders' Cup) big dance. I know we're going to meet 'the best of the best' in both races, but I like my chances."
The Tin Man needed a heart, right? It wasn't courage. It was the Cowardly Lion that needed courage.
But The Tin Man who is coming to Arlington Park to contest the Grade I John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf on October 26 has plenty of heart and plenty of courage.
The 4-year-old gelding conditioned by Hall of Fame Trainer Richard Mandella proved that in his last start in Santa Anita's Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship October 6. After breaking on top in that mile and a quarter test, The Tin Man led every step of the way and held on gamely when challenged to win by a length.
When the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Chicago and Arlington Park for the first time in their 19-year history next Saturday, the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf will be the penultimate of eight championship races run that day.
In order to get the mile and a half distance of that race over Arlington's lawn, The Tin Man will have to relax, and to help him do that, Mandella wanted to give him a window to succeed.
Since 1995, the first of three years that the California-based Mandella came to Arlington with Sierra Thoroughbreds' Sandpit, Mandella has stabled his horses at Arlington Park trainer Gene Cilio's barn during the International Festival of Racing. However, in advance of The Tin Man's arrival next Wednesday, Mandella phoned ahead with a special request.
"Do you have a stall with a window in it?" said Mandella in his transcontinental call to Cilio. "The Tin Man likes to look through a window to see the horse next to him. It helps him relax."
"I don't have one like that, but I can sure get one," said Cilio, when answering his friend in the conversation that took place about a week ago.
Saturday morning during training hours, Cilio informed that the request had already been granted.
"I had a carpenter come in and put in a window the day after Mr. Mandella asked for it," Cilio said Saturday morning during training hours. "The stall is ready now, even though I believe the horse doesn't get here until Wednesday."
Equine passengers aboard a "Tex Sutton" charter from Southern California that arrived at O'Hare International Airport Saturday morning one week before the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships were vanned through the gates at Arlington Park at 11:11 a.m.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Arlington Park and Chicago for the first time in their 19-year history on October 26.
Included on the flight manifest to arrive Saturday were Flaxman Holdings Ltd.'s Good Journey, being trained by Wally Dollase for the Grade I NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile, and Herrick Racing's Nuclear Debate, being conditioned by Darrell Vienna for the Mile. Also listed on the flight: David & Rita Milch's Disturbingthepeace, being trained by Vienna for the Grade I NAPA Breeders' Cup Sprint.
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