International Festival of Racing Pre-Entries Announced
In Today's Notes: Eleven Top Turf Runners Pre-Entered for Arlington Million XXX; Ten Grass-Favoring Fillies and Mares Set for Beverly D; Secretariat Stakes Shaping Up With Nine Sophomores Likely; Inaugural American St. Leger Attracts Full Field of 14
ELEVEN TOP TURF RUNNERS PRE-ENTERED FOR ARLINGTON MILLION XXX
Pre-entries for the 2012 editions of the Grade I Arlington Million, Grade I Beverly D. Stakes, Grade I Secretariat Stakes – as well as Arlington's inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes – closed at noon Friday with 11 older horses named to the upcoming 30th anniversary edition of the Arlington Million on August 18.
Ten grass-favoring fillies and mares were pre-entered for the $750,000 Beverly D. as the Arlington Million's sister race, and nine turf-preferring sophomores were pre-entered for the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes restricted to grass-favoring sophomores.
The Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat Stakes are the only three Grade I races contested in Illinois on an annual basis and are all contested over Arlington's world famous turf course.
However, added to Arlington's one-day International Festival of Racing on the third Saturday in August this season is the inaugural running of $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes. With a full field of 14 marathon runners named during the pre-entries process, that mile and 11/16ths grass endurance test has proved the most popular of the Festival races at pre-entry time.
Arlington Million XXX gets additional prestige once again with its "Win and You're In" provision for the Grade I Breeders' Cup Turf, while the 22nd renewal of the Beverly D. allows that same provision for the Grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare turf for the fifth straight year. This year's Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita.
Leading up to the Arlington Million, the position draw will take place at the WGN-TV Studios and be seen on "WGN Midday News" on Wednesday, August 15. WGN and WGN America will televise the Arlington Million live that Saturday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. (CDT).
Slated as the British-bred star among the European-based Million runners is Mrs. Fitriani Hay, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's Treasure Beach, hero of last year's Secretariat, who could join Michael Tabor's Marlin and Brushwood Stable's Kicken Kris as the third horse in history to win the Secretariat and the Million in successive seasons.
Other European Million invaders are Mark Hawtin's Irish-bred Wigmore Hall, second in the Secretariat two years ago and fourth in last summer's Million, Darley Stud Management's duo of British-bred Afsare and Irish-bred Colombian, as well as EFFEVI and ABT Crackerjack King Syndicate's Irish-bred Crackerjack King.
Expected to draw support among the American-based representatives pre-entered for the Million are Robert Courtney Jr.'s Rahystrada and Phipps Stable's Boisterous, first and second respectively in the Grade III Arlington Handicap on Million Preview Day July 14. Other Americans pre-entered are Lael Stable and All In Stable's Willcox Inn, Priscilla Vaccarezza's Little Mike, Joseph Allen's Vertiformer and Millard Seldin Revocable Trust and the Estate of Hoss Inman's Cherokee Lord.
TEN GRASS-FAVORING FILLIES AND MARES SET FOR BEVERLY D. STAKES
Ten fillies and mares, including four European invaders, have been pre-entered for the Beverly D. Stakes, sister race of the Arlington Million.
Europe's quartet of equine ladies is made up of Andrew Stone's Irish-bred I'm A Dreamer, Darley Stud Management's British-bred Joviality, Gestut Karlshof's German-bred Kapitale and Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's Irish-bred Up.
The North American distaffers for the Beverly D. are Frank Calabrese's Romacaca, heroine of Arlington's Grade III Modesty Handicap, Flaxman Holdings' Aruna, Glen Hill Farm's Marketing Mix, Cheyenne Stable's Mystical Star, Stone Farm et al's Upperline and The Grange House Partnership's Canadian representative Stars to Shine.
SECRETARIAT STAKES SHAPING UP WITH NINE SOPHOMORES LIKELY
European sophomores coming for the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes include His Highness the Aga Khan's Studs' French-bred Bayrir, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier's Daddy Long Legs, and Darley Stud Management's Dark Stranger.
The Americans for the Secretariat are Mark Bacon and Dana Wells' Silver Max, Albaugh Family Stable's Cozzetti, Donegal Racing's Finnegans Wake, Jim Tafel's All Stormy, Reddam Racing's Handsome Mike and Waterford Stable's Summer Front.
INAUGURAL AMERICAN ST. LEGER ATTRACTS FULL FIELD OF 14
European-based long distance specialists pre-entered for the American St. Leger are the Kentucky-bred Bridge of Gold, Australian TB Bloodstock Jakkalberry SYN's Irish-bred Jakkalberry, and Darley Stud Management's German-bred Zuider Zee.
Americans pre-entered for the American St. Leger are Team Block's duo of Ioya Bigtime and Suntracer, Frank Mancari's Free Fighter, Dorothy Gentner's Game Ball, Richard Ravin and Christine Wagner's Helicopter, Team Valor International's Lake Drop, Richard Otto Stables' Lemonade Kid, Eagle Valley Farm's Lethal, Joel Meredith and T. C. Stable's Lumberyard Jack, Jim and Susan Hill's Miami Deco and Joseph Allen's cross-pre-entered Vertiformer.