Arlington Million

International Festival Barn Notes: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 – PM Edition

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/15/2012 #

MARKETING MIX AFTER GRADE I WIN

Chicago-based horse owner Craig Bernick has spent most of his summer where the Turf meets the Surf at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Southern California, but he has a good reason to come home this weekend: his family's Glen Hill Farm is running Marketing Mix in the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes on Saturday.

Although Bernick is shipping in for the race, Marketing Mix is not, as the Medaglia d'Oro filly returned to trainer Tom Proctor's Arlington barn following her victory in the Grade II Dance Smartly on July 8 at Woodbine.

"It's going to be tough to leave Del Mar, but it's a good thing to leave for," Bernick said of Marketing Mix pursuing her first Grade I win in a career that already includes four graded stakes wins. "I would say we've had this race circled. It's a huge advantage to run out of your own stall. She came out of the Woodbine races great, has ramped up her training, and we expect a big race."

The Woodbine to Arlington move has worked before with Marketing Mix who won last year's Grade III Pucker Up at the Chicago-area track following a win in the Wonder Where Stakes at Woodbine. Marketing Mix has had four published workouts since the Dance Smartly, including a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 on July 30. She then went one mile in 1:46.60 on August 5 and five furlongs around the "dogs" on the turf in 1:04.60.

Marketing Mix has won 7 of 13 starts lifetime and has earned $1,005,518, but she is still without a Grade I win, having finished second to Together by 1 ¼ lengths in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup last October at Keeneland. She capped her 3-year-old season with a win in the Grade II Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill, and she has returned as a four-year-old to win three of four starts with a fourth-place finish in the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill her lone unplaced finish in a stretch of eight races.

"She's been an excellent horse this year," Bernick said. "She has three impressive wins, and I'd throw out the [Distaff Turf Mile] because she didn't run. I gauge a horse's talent by their best race. Sometimes they don't run well and you draw a line through it. She's definitely a Grade I horse and hopefully she'll be a Grade I winner."

That Grade I win could springboard Marketing Mix to a championship in two countries: a Sovereign Award in Canada and/or an Eclipse Award in the United Stakes. Bernick said that the Beverly D. was Marketing Mix's summer goal, but the team has not decided whether to return to Woodbine for the Grade II Canadian and Grade I E. P. Taylor Stakes or to target the Grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf in November at Santa Anita.