Mondialiste Proves More Than a Miler in Grade I Arlington Million Score
Geoff and Sandra Turnbull’s globetrotting 6-year-old Mondialiste (IRE) proved he was more than just a miler when producing a stout rally down the outside in the stretch to post a neck win in Saturday’s Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million at Arlington International Racecourse. The Million served as a “Win and You’re In” race for the $4,000,000 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Settled in midpack off pacesetter Take the Stand (ARG), who set modest splits of 25.56, 49.74 and 1:14.14, the son of Galileo (IRE) angled out nearing the top of the stretch and was able to outkick his foes in the final yards of the 1¼-miles turf event, turning away a late challenge from Kasaqui (ARG), who finished gamely up the rail, a neck in front of third-place finisher Deauville (IRE).
Ridden by Daniel Tudhope for trainer David O’Meara, Mondialiste tallied the second Grade I win of his career in the Million. He posted his first tally in such an event in his first North American start last year in the Grade I Woodbine Mile before finishing a game second behind Eclipse Champion Tepin in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile. Winless in three starts this season, he turned in an improved effort in last month’s Group II Sky Bet York Stakes at York in advance of his Million triumph.
“We went over the race so many times beforehand, but you just don’t know how it’s going to go, but we couldn’t have asked for a better run, really it was perfect,” Tudhope said. “He seems to love it over here and he thrives over here.”
“We stepped him up to a mile and a quarter at York and he ran a really good race, and once we saw that he handled the trip okay, we had this race in the back of our mind,” O’Meara added. “We thought we’d bring him over because he performed so well this side of the water last year.”
Wimborne Farm’s Kasaqui fell just short of becoming the first Grade III Arlington Handicap winner to use the local prep as a step to a Million victory. Ridden by Robby Albarado for trainer Ignacio Correas, IV, the 6-year old son of Lasting Approval settled inside in midpack, encountered traffic nearing the top of the stretch, and stayed on well to earn his first career Grade I placing.
“I liked my trip until the three-eighths pole,” Albarado said. “I needed to get out a jump and a half earlier and I would have won.”
Mrs. Fitri Hay, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Deauville showed tactical pace to overcome the widest draw from post 11 and briefly led in the stretch for jockey Seamie Heffernan before being overtaken by the top pair. Entered against his elders for the first time by trainer Aidan O’Brien in lieu of a start in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes, the son of Galileo back up his win in last month’s Grade I Belmont Derby with his good showing.
“My horse had a pretty good run,” Heffernan said. “He was the only 3-year-old in the race. In a lovely position, got around the two into the straight and two other horses just came and got me. Solid performance”
Live Oak Plantation’s Mark Casse-trained tepid post-time favorite World Approval tracked the early splits under Florent Geroux but could not keep pace when the tempo quickened.
“I was a little disappointed to be honest, the pace went slow and I was right there into the first turn,” Geroux said. “When they picked it up, he just spit the bit and couldn’t keep up.”
Mondialiste completed the trip in a final time of 2:01.87 and won for the fifth time in 21 career starts, earning $570,000 for the victory while boosting his career bankroll to $1,676,374. He returned $10.80, $6.40 and $4.80. Kasaqui paid $13.20 and $9.40, while Deauville returned $7.
Greengrassofyoming, Danish Dynaformer, The Pizza Man, World Approval, Tryster (IRE), Pumpkin Rumble, Wake Forest (GER) and Take the Stand (ARG) completed the order of finish.
Decorated Knight (GB) was scratched the morning of the race, and Dubai Sky was a late scratch after refusing to be re-shod in the paddock prior to the race.