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Barn Notes: Sunday, July 13, 2014

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/13/2014 #
  • Finnegan's Wake drives to victory in the Grade III Arlington Handicap.

In Today’s Notes: 
I’m Already Sexy Exits Modesty Well, Beverly D. Probable; 
Finnegans Wake Comes out of First Graded Win in Good Shape; 
Divine Oath Possible for Secretariat

I’M ALREADY SEXY EXITS MODESTY WELL, BEVERLY D. PROBABLE

Hit the Board Stable’s I’m Already Sexy has emerged from her big win in Saturday’s Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap at Arlington International Racecourse in good shape, according to her connections.  The Wayne Catalano-trained daughter of Ready’s Image is now undefeated in four local starts, including wins in the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes and Hatoof Stakes, in addition to yesterday’s victory. 

“She came out good and we will definitely look at the Beverly D. with her,” Catalano confirmed.  The 11-time champion Arlington conditioner was also pleased with Gary and Mary West’s Highball, a lightly raced colt who ran a gaining third in the Grade III $200,000 American Derby one race earlier in only his third career start.

“He probably should have won,” Catalano said.  “He was a little green and didn’t know what to do, but he ran excellent.  We are going to point toward the Secretariat with him.”  The son of Lemon Drop Kid was making his first start out of maiden ranks. 


FINNEGANS WAKE COMES OUT OF FIRST GRADED WIN IN GOOD SHAPE

Donegal’s Stable’s Finnegans Wake won his first graded stakes on Saturday in fine style in the Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap at Arlington International Racecourse, giving fans a thrill as he hit the wire inches in front of Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s 2013 Grade I Secretariat Stakes winner Admiral Kitten.  The son of Arlington Million winner Powerscourt was in fine shape on Sunday morning, according to trainer Dale Romans. 

“He’s good.  I was really happy with the win,” Romans said.  “He deserved to win a graded stakes.”

The sturdy 5-year-old bay had finished in the top four in no less than 10 graded stakes – five of those Grade I – over the last three seasons, including a runner-up finish in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes in 2012 and a fourth in the Grade I Arlington Million in 2013.  The Arlington Handicap is a course and distance prep for the Million and allows the first three finishers automatic entry and waived fees for the meet centerpiece. 

“Most likely,” Romans said in reference to a return to the Million.  “That’ll be up to Jerry (Crawford of Donegal Racing).”

Romans was also pleased with the performance of O’Prado Ole in the Grade III $150,000 Stars and Stripes one race later.  Sent off as a 14-1 outsider, the son of English Channel chased another son of that sire – Midwest Thoroughbreds’ The Pizza Man – the length of the 12-furlong event to finish a very game second. 

“I sent him up there to run (that well), but I never expected him to get beat,” Romans said.  “He’s just a horse who has finally come into his own.  He was training like a really good one and I gave him a chance and he showed he fits.”  As to the prospects of a return for the Listed $400,000 American St. Leger, for which the 4-year-old earned an automatic berth and waived fees, “He would fit, yeah.”


DIVINE OATH POSSIBLE FOR SECRETARIAT

Let’s Go Stable’s Divine Oath, a hard-charging victor of yesterday’s second leg of the MidAmerica Triple – the Grade III $200,000 American Derby – could return for the final leg, the Grade I $500,000 Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day, Aug. 16.  The Todd Pletcher trainee was the champion conditioners first win in the race and earned the connections automatic entry and fees waived for the third leg.

“He came out well,” reported Pletcher.  “We are considering the Secretariat as his next race.” 

The son Broken Vow was ridden by meet-leading rider Florent Geroux and gamely passed five horses in the final three-sixteenths of a mile to post the victory.  “It was a good ride.  He saved ground, guided him through and rode a perfect turf race,” added Tristan Berry, Pletcher’s assistant.  “We were very happy with the win.”

 

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