Arlington Million

American St. Leger Result Has A Familiar Feel

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/18/2013 #

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Aug. 17, 2013) – The result of the second edition of the $400,000 American St. Leger provided a sense of déjà vu to the 34,222 on-hand at Arlington International Racecourse as Darren Dance’s English-bred Dandino beat Team Block’s Illinois-bred Suntracer by a half-length in the mile-and-eleven-sixteenths marathon turf event.  In last year’s inaugural running, it was Dance’s Irish-bred Jakkalberry who beat Team Block’s Illinois-bred Ioya Bigtime.

A 6-year-old son of Dansili, Dandino rallied from off the pace to post the victory as the 4-5 favorite under three-time champion British jockey Ryan Moore.  The final time of 2:50.78 was nearly two seconds slower than his stablemate’s 2:49.01 clocking one year ago.  

The win was not without trouble as Dandino had to shift course abruptly in the stretch before re-rallying to overtake Gary and Mary West’s Code of Conduct and draw clear of Suntracer.

“I was locked in the whole race but he was the best horse. He picked it up natural. I thought I’d keep it simple, but they were on top of me the whole race,” said Moore, who scored the first of his two stakes victories in the St. Leger.  He later won the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D. aboard James Wigan’s Dank.

The St. Leger winner’s share of $237,600 boosted his bankroll to $985,399 while improving his overall record to eight wins from 25 starts.
    
Suntracer, who was scratched the morning of last year’s St. Leger, rallied from last place after more than a mile to get up for second in the seven-horse field. “I got stuck the whole way on the rail, said Suntracer’s rider Eddie Castro.  “The pace was slow.  I needed more space.  I’m happy with his run.  The horse pushed me a little bit out and he worked very hard.”

Another locally based horse, Shadwell Stable’s Najjaar, was another three-quarters of a length back in third.  “Tough as nails, that guy. I love him,” said jockey James Graham of the Dan Peitz-trained colt. “He quickened, but they did too. They just stayed on better.”

Code of Conduct, Wigmore Hall and Ioya Bigtime completed the order of finish.     Longshot Ojos de Hielo who set the early fractions of 26.28, 53.82 and 1:18.01 was distanced but walked off the course under his own power.

Dandino paid $3.60, $3 and $2.40.  Suntracer returned $5.40 and $4.60.  Najjaar paid $3.60