|Arlington Park Stakes results
EUROPEAN-BREDS RUN ONE-TWO IN GRADE II AMERICAN DERBY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 20, 2003) -- Moyglare Stud Farm's Evolving Tactics made his first start in North America a winning one by capturing the Grade II $250,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, by a neck over Californian on Sunday at Arlington Park.
The Irish homebred son of Machiavellian is trained by Dermot Weld, Ireland's all-time leading conditioner who won this race in 2000 with Highland Farm et al.'s Pine Dance, and was ridden by Irish-based reinsman Patrick Smullen. He covered the mile and three-sixteenths over good turf in 1:59.04 and paid $4, $2.80 and $2.20.
Evolving Tactics earned $150,000 for the American Derby victory to bring his bankroll to $173,852 from a record of two wins and two seconds in six starts.
Smullen kept the European invader just off the pedestrian pace of 25.11, 51.08, 1:17.16 and 1:41.48 set by longshot Gato Gato Gato, began to pick it up at the top of the lane, rallied to the lead in mid-stretch and was all out to hold off the late charge of Californian.
"We were a little bit worried beforehand that there was going to be no pace," Smullen said. "I delivered my challenge as soon as we straightened up in the stretch and he went away and won quite well. This horse has got a good turn of foot. We used that to our advantage and got away from the second horse and held on to win."
Evolving Tactics will be shipped back to Europe on Tuesday but will likely return to Arlington to run in the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 16.
"The plan would be to bring him back for the Secretariat," said Weld, who also detailed his other plans for Arlington's International Festival of Racing. "I'll probably bring my filly Dimitrova who won the American Oaks at Hollywood Park the other day here for the (Grade I $700,000) Beverly D. and see if we can find one for the (Grade I Arlington) Million."
Californian was a bit farther back in the early going, mounted a furious late rally to come up just a neck short at the finish. The second choice in the wagering, Californian returned $3 and $2.40.
"Pat turned the tables on me today," said Californian's jockey Kent Desormeaux. "I just got him by a nose on the wire in the Secretariat last year (when Desormeaux rode Chiselling to beat Smullen aboard Jazz Beat), but his horse got me today. It was a really big effort by my horse today, but the other horse ran a tremendous race to beat us. We'll just have to come back and beat him in the Secretariat this year."
Locally-based Scottago, who ran fourth in the Grade II Arlington Classic last time out, improved his position by one to finish third in the American Derby. He paid $2.60.
"He got beat by two better horses," said Carlos Marquez Jr., who rode Scottago. "There was no pace so I had to move early but he's better when I can wait. He tried very hard. I was very pleased with his effort."
Pacesetter Gato Gato Gato and Rapid Proof completed the order of finish.
Also on Sunday, Randy Hamelers' Nicole's Dream led from gate to wire en route to a four-length score in the $45,000 J J'sdream Handicap. Jorge Rivera rode the Orin Londono Jr.-trained daughter of Northern Trend who covered the five furlongs over good turf in 56.79 seconds and paid $49, $25.80 and $11.
Arlington Park -- host to the record-breaking 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- runs a 104-day meet in 2003 through Saturday, Sept. 27. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates seven off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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