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Current Odds: 12-1 Dk. b./br. c. 4, by Harlan's Holiday - De Aar, by Gone West
Race HistoryDownload Past Performances
July 22, 2012 - AP
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Mike Stidham was born Dec. 18, 1957 in Neptune, N.J. He has residences in Palatine, Ill., and New Orleans, La. His father, George, was a jockey-turned-trainer on the south Florida circuit. He began training in 1978 when his father sent him to Tampa Bay Downs with the horses that didn’t fit at the Miami tracks. He went to California in the early 1980s to continue his career and though connections established by his father and former rider Bill Hartack.
James Graham was born May 17, 1979 in Finglas, Dublin, Ireland James notched his first Arlington riding title in 2011 with 82 victories topped by graded stakes scores in the Grade III Hanshin Cup with Workin For Hops, and the Grade III Arlington Handicap with Tajaaweed.
Lael Stable is the stable name for Roy and Gretchen Jackson. All In Stable is the non de plume for owners Marette Farrell, a bloodstock advisor who helped pick out Secretariat Stakes contender Willcox Inn; and longtime friends Marty Nixon, Ron Lepinski & Al Lepinski who also operate as the Three Kings Stable.
Willcox Inn's sire, Harlan's Holiday, was favored in the 2002 Kentucky Derby after victories in the Florida Derby and Blue Grass. Although only seventh in the Run for the Roses, he went on to take the Pennsylvania Derby that fall and the Donn Handicap at four.
The son of the Storm Cat stallion Harlan has become a successful sire with offspring of varying aptitudes. He's sired top juveniles like Into Mischief; a true classic horse in Denis of Cork, who placed in both the Derby and Belmont in 2008; Summer Applause, who was prominent on the Kentucky Oaks trail this spring; talented sprinters Majesticperfection and Riley Tucker; Dubai Carnival mainstay Mendip, a synthetic specialist; the versatile Tasha's Miracle; and such solid turf performers as Silver Reunion, Dynamic Holiday and recent Irish Group 2-winning two-year-old My Special J's.
Willcox Inn is out of the multiple Grade 3-placed turf mare De Aar, who is a half-sister to the venerable Cetewayo, winner of the 1998 Sword Dancer Invitational and the 2002 Gulfstream Park Turf at the age of eight; Dynaforce, queen of the 2008 Flower Bowl Invitational and 2009 Beverly D. here at Arlington; 2003 Sky Classic victor Bowman Mill; and five other stakes performers. They were all produced by the prolific Aletta Maria, herself a full sister to Lancashire Oaks winner Pharian.
De Aar is by the outstanding stallion Gone West. A sire of sires, his leading stallion sons include champion sprinter Speightstown, French/English highweight Zafonic and his full brother Zamindar, Elusive Quality, Mr. Greeley, Grand Slam and Proud Citizen. Came Home, Johar and Marsh Side also deserve mention, as does the gelding Da Hoss, who famously won the Breeders' Cup Mile in 1996 and 1998. As a broodmare sire, Gone West factors in the pedigrees of 2005 Epsom Derby hero Motivator, undefeated champion Awesome Feather and this year's Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags.
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Four-year-old has won three of his four starts at Arlington and those wins include a four length score in the American Derby last July. Son of Harlan’s Holiday was last seen when winning here in an optional claimer last month when making his first start since November for trainer Mike Stidham who wins with 26% of his runners making their second start off a layoff and with 20% of his starters in stakes races. Colt is coming in here fresh and posted a five furlong work in 1:00 4/5 two weeks ago but his unplaced finishes against Grade One company in the Secretariat Stakes and Hollywood Derby last year may have exposed him as being a touch below the top class.