|Arlington Park Stakes Results
Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535
MANANAN McLIR WINS GRADE II AMERICAN DERBY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 21, 2002) -- Michael Jarvis, Gary Margolis, et al.'s Mananan McLir made a four-wide move at the top of the stretch en route to a 3/4-length victory over Irish invader Jazz Beat in the Grade II $225,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, Sunday at Arlington Park. Trained by Wally Dollasse and ridden by Rene Douglas, the son of Royal Academy covered the mile and three-sixteenths over firm turf in 1:57.11.
Under a patient ride by Douglas, Mananan McLir saved ground along the rail and edged to the outside leaving the second turn. He rallied wide in the stretch to overtake Jazz Beat, an Irish-bred colt making his first start in the United States who took a short lead in the stretch, to score the victory. The win was the first this year and second overall for Mananan McLir, who earned $135,000 to elevate his bankroll to $174,227.
"My main thing was to try to relax him," said Douglas, who has now won four of the five graded stakes raced at Arlington this season. "He relaxed perfectly. I covered him up the whole way. It was a slow pace. I was following (Jazz Beat). You can take nothing away from Jazz Beat. He was running at the end. I knew where he was the whole way. I was right behind him. I wanted to wait a little longer but I knew I had to go around him because I knew he'd have a lot of horse left."
"I knew he'd like the longer distance and I thought he'd like the turf course here," said Dollase. "I was a little concerned (early) because he was a ways back but halfway through the race, he was only five lengths off the lead and I knew he can make that up."
Extra Check was third in the eight-horse field, followed by Robin Zee, Scooter Roach, Seainsky, pacesetter Cappuchino and Afleet Buck.
"I was happy enough with the pace," said Ireland-based jockey Patrick Smullen of his trip aboard Jazz Beat. "It could have been a little bit quicker and that would have helped us, but the winner was a little bit too tough for us today. I had to move a little sooner than I would have if there had been more pace, but I thought the horse ran a good race."
"I thought I had my second American Derby in the bag for a moment there, but the winner had a shade more pace on the day," added Jazz Beat's trainer Dermot Weld, Ireland's all-time leading conditioner. "A faster pace would have suited us better. I think it cost us the race, but I thought the horse ran well enough. We'll take him home now, but we'll look at coming back for the Secretariat."
Dollase indicated that Mananan McLir could run next in the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes, a mile and a quarter turf race, during Arlington's International Festival of Racing on August 17.
"He's out of a St. Jovite mare and that's pure stamina," the California-based conditioner said. "I think he'll get the mile and a quarter. We'll see how he comes to the race and go from there."
Mananan McLir paid $6.60, $3.80 and $3.20. Jazz Beat, the slight favorite in the wagering at odds of 2.20 to $1, paid $4.20 and $3.20. Extra Check returned $4.20.
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