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Barn Notes: Friday, May 23, 2014
In Today’s Notes: Suntracer on Schedule for Summer Arlington Marathons; Global View to Head to Arlington after Penn Mile; Giant Oak Full-Brother to Springfield Stakes
SUNTRACER ON SCHEDULE FOR SUMMER ARLINGTON MARATHONS
In addition to Arlington International Racecourse’s graded stakes tripleheader Saturday, May 24, fans of Arlington have a rooting interest in the Grade III Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs, as popular Illinois-bred Suntracer takes on a field of formidable foes in the turf marathon.
"The Stars & Stripes will be next for him, if all goes well,” said trainer Chris Block, who conditions the son of 2013 leading sire Kitten’s Joy. In 2012, as a 4-year-old, Suntracer was third in the Stars and Stripes to stablemate Ioya Bigtime and in 2013 was second to Dark Cove. Block and company hope the horse can progress one more placing to the winner’s circle in the July 12 event.
“When there’s a 12-furlong race that fits a horse like this, you kind of have to go. Those races are few and far between and usually don’t take a lot out of them if they handle that distance,” Block explained. “So as long as he’s happy, healthy and ready to go, we’ll probably run him.”
One of the ultimate targets this year is the Listed $400,000 American St. Leger on Arlington Million Day. Last year the homebred ran arguably the best race of his life when second – beaten a half-length – to world-traveling distance specialist Dandino in the Festival fixture.
GLOBAL VIEW TO HEAD TO ARLINGTON AFTER PENN MILE
Glen Hill Farm’s talented colt Global View will be headed to Arlington International Racecourse after a planned start in next week’s $500,000 Penn Mile at Penn National. According to trainer Tom Proctor, the son of world champion sire Galileo – while taking it one race at a time – is possibly aiming toward the Grade I $500,000 Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day (Aug. 16).
“Our goal right now is the Penn Mile – then we’ll worry about the Secretariat afterwards,” Proctor said. “Our train of thought is right now he’s at Churchill, he’s going to run in the Penn Mile next week and then he’s coming (to Arlington).”
A $500,000 Keeneland purchase by the world’s leading turf sire out of a Storm Cat mare, Global View last out was an impressive closing winner in the Grade II American Turf Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard. As a juvenile, and before shipping out to break his maiden in California, the striking bay did his early training on the Arlington Polytrack – including some sharp moves which belied his endurance-laden sire line.
“I think he’ll want to go farther (than a mile),” Proctor stated. “He’ll come along with another – a filly named Famous Alice owned by George Krikorian in California – who placed in a couple stakes out west.” A start between the Penn Mile and a possible Secretariat attempt has not been decided.
GIANT OAK FULL BROTHER TO SPRINGFIELD STAKES
Virginia H. Tarra Trust’s A Step Ahead – a full brother to dual Grade I-winning Illinois champion Giant Oak – is taking dead-aim on the Illinois-restricted $100,000 Springfield Stakes May 31. “He breezed this morning and looked good. I believe we’ll look at the Springfield next for him,” trainer Chris Block confirmed.
The Springfield will be a step back in distance for the long-winded son of the Crafty Prospector mare Crafty Oak. “I think he’s a two-turn horse and the race is a one-turn mile and can be difficult, but I’m going to try to set him up for it and take a shot,” Block continued. The chestnut is exiting a disappointing sixth in the Grade III Illinois Derby.
Speaking of talented sophomores trained by Block, he unveiled another talented two-turn specialist in Team Block and Moabo Stable’s Bold Rally on Thursday afternoon. The gray son from the first crop of the Block-trained Fort Prado easily beat a field of older turf maidens in the nightcap under leading jockey Florent Geroux.
“Next out we’ll move him up to a conditioned Illinois allowance and go from there,” said Block. “He’s got a lot of learning to go and that might have been a pretty moderate group he was running against, but we will bring him along the way we bring all the other ones along. He’ll go through his conditions and then he’ll tell us how good he is. I knew he would run like that. He was running against better horses at Gulfstream and I expected him to run like that.”