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Arlington Classic Winner Workin for Hops Returns in Grade II American Derby
Estrorace LLC's Workin for Hops, winner of the $150,000 Arlington Classic, the first leg of the Mid-America Triple, returns to the local oval in pursuit of that series' second leg, the Grade II $200,000 American Derby on Saturday.
The American Derby serves as the final local prep for the Grade I Secretariat Stakes, which will be held Aug. 21, and will be run at a mile and three-sixteenths over Arlington's world famous turf course.
The race is one of three major stakes that comprise the track's Million Preview Day program. In addition to the American Derby, the 11-race card includes the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Handicap and the Grade III $150,000 Modesty Handicap. As an added bonus, the 1-2-3 finishers in the American Derby will have their entry and starting fees waived for the Secretariat should they elect to run in that event next month.
A son of City Zip, Workin For Hops would become only the fourth horse to sweep the Triple and the first since Honor Glide in 1997 if he can take Saturday's American Derby and next month's Secretariat. The Mike Stidham-trained gelding followed his Arlington Classic score with a second-place run behind Paddy O'Prado in the Grade II Colonial Turf Cup in Virginia June 19. A winner of four of seven starts, Workin for Hops will reunite with his Arlington Classic-winning rider Robby Albarado Saturday.
Mr. & Mrs. A. C. Asbury's Gleam of Hope and Joseph Riccello's Asphalt invade from Kentucky where they were the 1-3 finishers in the Grade III Jefferson Cup June 12. The former, also a son of City Zip, finished third in the Arlington Classic in his start prior, while the latter, by War Chant, was runner-up in the Grade II American Turf at Churchill in April. E. T. Baird rides Gleam of Hope for trainer Tony Reinstedler while Julien Leparoux has the mount aboard the Eddie Kenneally-trained Asphalt.
Others of note in the American Derby include (with jockey listed): Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey's Dean's Kitten (Rafael Bejarano), winner of the Grade II Lane's End at Turfway in March; graded stakes placed Peachtree Stable's Marcello (Corey Nakatani); Deburgh, Hollendorfer & Todaro's Dream Nette (Jesus Castanon), victor in the $100,000 La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita earlier this year; and Lothenbach Stables' Mister Marti Gras (Eduardo Perez), winner of the $200,000 Oliver Stakes.
Completing the field for the American Derby (with jockey listed) are: Robert Trussell's Formulaforsuccess (Junior Alvarado); and Green Lantern Stables' Mint Chip (James Graham).