Nine 3-year-old colts and geldings will be sent to post for the Grade I Secretariat Stakes-, which for the first time will be run at a distance of one mile on the Arlington International turf course on Saturday August 10.
Chad Brown will send two to post, hoping to possibly sweep the three Grade I races on International Festival of Racing Day at Arlington.
First of the two will be Peter Brant’s Fog of War who looks to add a second Grade I to his resume in his young four race career thus far. The son of War Front began his career with a victory first out in an $85,000 maiden special weight last summer at Saratoga. In his second career race, he powered home for a 3/4th length victory in the Grade I Summer Stakes at Woodbine last September going one mile on the grass. Fog of War exits the $100,000 Manila at Belmont where he finished an unlucky second to Kentucky Derby and Preakness contender Win Win Win in the July 4 one mile turf event.
Fog of War will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., will break from post 6, and is listed as the 3-1 morning line favorite.
Valid Point, Chad Brown’s other contender, will break just to the outside of Fog of War in Saturdays Secretariat. The son of Scat Daddy is a perfect two for two in his young career as he exits an effortless victory in an allowance race at Belmont on June 7 going one mile on the turf. Valid Point started his career with a first out win in Florida at Gulfstream Park winning a $50,000 maiden special weight race as the 7-5 favorite.
Owned by E Five Racing and Michael J. Ryan, Valid Point was purchased for $140,000 in the 2017 Keenland September sale.
He will break from post 7, will be ridden by Javier Castellano, and is listed at 5-1 on the morning line.
Trainer Aiden O’Brien will be looking to extend his win record in the Secretariat to five when he sends out Van Beethoven and Never No More(IRE). The Ballydoyle-based conditioner previous Secretariat triumphs include Ciro (2000), Treausure Beach (GB)(2011), Adelaide (2014), and Highland Reel (IRE)(2015).
Owned by Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier and Michael B. Tabor, Van Beethoven was eighth beaten five lengths in his most recent start in the Grade I St. James’s Palace Stakes. The son of Scat Daddy has yet to hit the board thus far in 2019, but will look to place himself in the winner’s circle on Saturday as he makes his North American debut. He will be ridden by Wayne Lordan, and will break from post 2. Van Beethoven is listed at 8-1 on the morning line.
Just to his outside, the Aiden O’Brien trained Never No More(IRE) will look to make it three straight wins and four of his last five. Owned by Michael B.Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier, Never No More(IRE) exits a victory at Leopardstown(IRE) in the Ballylinch Stud Red Rocks Two Thousand Guineas Trial going seven furlongs over a soft turf course. A perfect two for two thus far in 2019 after also winning the seven furlong Nass Raceourse Business Club Madrid Handicap in late March, Never No More(IRE) will stretch out to a mile on Saturday in search of his first career Grade I victory as he makes his North American debut. He will break from post 3, and will be ridden by Ryan Moore. Never No More(IRE) is listed at 6-1 morning line.
Brad Cox will look to score his first Secretariat win when he saddles Crafty Daddy Saturday.
Crafty Daddy, the 3-year-old son of Scat Daddy, exits a runner up effort in the local prep Grade III American Derby. The American Derby was Crafty Daddy’s first time facing defeat since March, as he had previously won three straight going into the July 13 race. Owned by Lucky Seven Stable, Crafty Daddy will be one of many in the field who are aiming for their first career Grade I win. He will be ridden by regular rider Florent Geroux, break from post 9, and is 5-1 morning line.
Mike Maker’s Faraway Kitten comes in off his win in the Grade III American Derby last month, and will be looking to make it three in a row and four of his last five on Saturday. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Faraway Kitten stalked the pace and split horses at the 1/4th mile pole to hit the front and just hold off Crafty Daddy and The Last Zip at the wire. The son of Kittens Joy posts a career record of 9-5-0-2 with over $300,000 in career earnings. He will be ridden by John Velazquez, break from post 8, and is 9-2 morning line.
The Last Zip, who was involved in a dead heat with Crafty Daddy in the American Derby, will be looking for his second career victory to be that of a Grade I on Saturday. Trained by Michael Stidham, he will be ridden by Adam Beschizza, will break from post 4, and is 6-1 morning line.
Clint Maroon for trainer Wayne Catalano will be in search of his first victory since April in the Woodhaven stakes at Aqueduct. The 3-year-old son of Oasis Dream(GB) will break from post 1, and is ridden by Channing Hill. He is listed at 20-1 morning line.
Rounding out the field will be Ry’s the Guy for trainer Ian Wilkes. Owned by Lothenbach Stables Inc, Ry’s the Guy exits a salty allowance race at Churchill Downs in June where here handily won by 2 ½ lengths. The son of Distorted Humor takes a step up in class, but comes in sharp riding a two race win streak. He will be ridden by Chris Landeros, and will be breaking from post 5. He is listed at 15-1 morning line.
Saturday’s 12-race card begins with a first post of 12:15 pm, with the Secretariat scheduled as race ten with approximate post time at 5:28 pm.