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Barn Notes: Saturday, Aug. 6
In Today's Notes: Ten Top Turf Runners Pre-Entered for Arlington Million XXIX; Eleven Grass-Favoring Fillies and Mares Set for Beverly D.; Secretariat Stakes Pre-Entries Attract 12 Turf Sophomores
TEN TOP TURF RUNNERS PRE-ENTERED FOR ARLINGTON MILLION XXIX
Pre-entries for the 2011 editions of the Grade I Arlington Million, Grade I Beverly D. Stakes and Grade I Secretariat Stakes closed Friday with 10 older horses named to the 29th running of the Arlington Million, 11 fillies and mares available for the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes and 12 contentious 3-year-olds slated as probable for the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes.
To be run Aug. 13, the only three Grade I races contested in Illinois make up Arlington's one-day International Festival of Racing. Arlington Million XXIX gets additional prestige once again with its "Win and You're In" provision for the Grade I Breeders' Cup Turf, while the 21st renewal of the Beverly D. allows that same provision for the Grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf for the fourth straight year.
This year's Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held Nov. 4-5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Post positions for all three International Festival races will be drawn Tuesday at WGN Studios in Chicago at Noon (CDT). WGN and WGN America will televise the Arlington Million live Saturday 5-5:30 p.m. (CDT).
European invaders for Arlington Million XXIX, in alphabetical order, are Mrs. Fitriani Hay, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's Irish-bred Cape Blanco, Mark Hawtin's Irish-bred Wigmore Hall, and Mathieu Offenstadt, Sylvain Fargeon, Patrick Offenstadt and Mikel Delzangles' French-bred Zack Hall.
North American-based Million pre-entries are dominated by the star power of Castleton Lyons' Gio Ponti, winner of the 2009 Arlington Million and now in the position to become the second horse in history – along with Dotsam Stable's legendary John Henry – to win the centerpiece race of Chicago Thoroughbred racing season twice.
Alphabetically, the other North American-based Million pre-entries are Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Dean's Kitten, Pasquale Vizzoni's General Perfect, Naipaul and Terikchand Chatterpaul's Mission Approved, William Stiritz' Proceed Bee, Robert Courtney Jr.'s Rahystrada and Shadwell Farm's Tajaaweed.
ELEVEN GRASS-FAVORING FILLIES AND MARES SET FOR BEVERLY D.
Eleven fillies and mares, including one South African-based invader coming to America for the first time and another European trainee from last year who has become something of a hybrid this summer, have been pre-entered for the 22nd running of the Grade I Beverly D. Stakes as the Arlington Million's sister race during the International Festival of Racing on Aug. 13.
The South African-bred is the 8-year-old mare River Jetez, owned by Barbara and Cedrick Amm and Marsh Shirtliff and conditioned by South African superstar trainer Michael de Kock. River Jetez could inherit the Beverly D. favorite's mantle at post time based on her form all over the globe since the beginning of the year.
Michael Deegan's Pachattack, the European Beverly D. invader from 2010, is still conditioned by Irish-born British-based trainer Gerard Butler but has been based at Arlington this summer and captured the Grade III Arlington Matron over the Polytrack in her last start.
The North American-based Beverly D. group, once again in alphabetical order, includes Lael Stables' Check the Label; Robert Scarborough's British-bred Cheetah; Neville Callaghan, Clodagh McStay, Michael Magnier and Annabel Wyatt's British-bred Dubawi Heights; Richard Duchossois' German-bred defending Beverly D. champion Éclair de Lune; Augustin Stable's British-bred Fantasia; Team Block's Never Retreat; Butterfly Stable's Romin Robin; Martin Schwartz's French-bred Stacelita; and Stone Farm, John Adger, Oak Crest Farm and Mike Stidham's Upperline.
SECRETARIAT STAKES PRE-ENTRIES ATTRACT 12 TURF SOPHOMORES
All In Stable's Willcox Inn, who won the prestigious Arlington Classic May 28, the Grade II American Derby July 9 and is now in the position to become the fourth horse in history to sweep Arlington's Mid-America Triple, heads a dozen sophomore grass stars pre-entered for the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes as the final leg of Arlington's Triple to be run Aug. 13.
Three European-based 3-year-olds are among Willcox Inn's challengers in the Secretariat, and alphabetically they are Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and the Sangster Family's Irish-bred Roderic O'Connor, winner of the Group I Irish Two Thousand Guineas; Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's British-bred Treasure Beach, hero of the Group I Irish Derby; and His Highness the Aga Khan's Studs' Irish-bred Ziyarid, winner of France's Group III Prix Daphnis at last asking.
North American-based sophomores pre-entered for the Secretariat Stakes in alphabetical order are Stuart Janney III's Air Support, Glen Hill Farm's Banned, Gary and Mary West's Casino Host, Team Valor International's Crimson China, Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Derby Kitten, Raut LLC's L'Aiglon, James Karp's Newsdad, and Team Block's Suntracer.