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Current Odds: 5-1 B. g. 6, by Spanish Steps - Hay Jude, by Wavering Monarch
Race HistoryDownload Past Performances
July 6, 2013 - Mth
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March 30, 2013 -Mey
Dubai Duty Free
|1||1 1/8 Miles (T)||11||Chart||Replay|
March 9, 2013 - Mey
Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3
|1||1 1/4 Miles <A>||8||Chart||Replay|
Nov. 3, 2012 - SA
Breeders' Cup Turf
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Aug. 18, 2012 - AP
|1||1 1/4 Miles (T)||1||Chart||Replay|
Dale Romans grew up on the Churchill Downs backstretch learning his trade from longtime trainer and father Jerry Romans. The Louisville, Ky native just missed winning the 2010 Kentucky Derby when Paddy O' Prado finished a game third. In 2011 he won his first Classic race when Shackleford captured the Preakness. He saddled Court Vision to an upset win in the Breeders' Cup Turf Mile in 2011 and captured the Breeders' Futurity with Dullahan.
Joel Rosario has yet to ride a horse in the Arlington Million but he did finish second in the 2011 Beverly D. with Dubawi Heights. He enrolled in jockey school for six months in his native Dominican Republic and by the age of fourteen had his jockey’s license. He won the Del Mar riding title in 2009-10-11. Joel won his first graded stakes race in 2008 aboard Zappa in the San Pasquel (GII) and his first Breeders’ Cup race in 2009 with Dancing in Silks.
Little Mike is by far the best runner by Spanish Steps, an unraced full brother to multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Unbridled's Song. Spanish Steps' only other multiple stakes winner is Lydia's Last Step, successful in a pair of minor races at Lone Star and Zia Park. The recently-deceased Unbridled's Song was a top-class sire with such representatives as champion Midshipman; Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic stars Unrivaled Belle and Unbridled Elaine; and current Grade 1 heroes Graydar, successful in the Donn, and Cross Traffic, who just landed the August 3 Whitney at Saratoga.
Little Mike is out of Hay Jude, the winner of five races who concluded her career in the low-level claiming ranks. She has also produced multiple stakes winner and Grade 3-placed Little Nick. Interestingly, both Hay Jude and Little Nick are sprinters, but Little Mike does not have their distance limitations.
Little Mike could be drawing more from the rich gene pool of Hay Jude's sire, multiple Grade 1 hero Wavering Monarch. Aside from siring champion Maria's Mon (himself the sire of two Kentucky Derby winners in Monarchos  and Super Saver ), Wavering Monarch factors as the broodmare sire of 1993 Preakness-winning champion Prairie Bayou, Canadian classic victor Stephanotis and millionaire Tejano Run, runner-up in the 1995 Kentucky Derby.
Hay Jude was herself produced by a daughter of the redoubtable Relaunch. Further back in the female line appears Gold Pleasure, a Brazilian Group 1 winner with stamina.
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Six-year-old got away with easy fractions when leading all the way to win last year’s Arlington Million and finished the season by proving he can run from just off the pace when chasing the early pace before winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita. Son of Spanish Steps started this year with two disappointing efforts in Dubai and was last seen when setting the pace before fading to finish fourth in the United Nations Stakes at Monmouth in early July when clearly needing that start. Gelding posted two five furlong works in 1:00 4/5 this month for trainer Dale Romans who wins with 20% of his runners second time off a layoff and appears primed for a top effort here. Bay is unlikely to get away with an easy lead here with the presence of front running Nates Mineshaft but may get a nice trip sitting just off that one with Joel Rosario retaining the mount but will have to overcome a less than perfect wide post.