Arlington Million

Arlington Million-Bound Silverfoot Gets Wednesday Breeze

Churchill Downs Communications | 07/23/2008 #
In Today’s Notes:
  • Arlington Million-Bound Silverfoot Gets Wednesday Breeze
  • Two Stidham-Trained Secretariat Prospects Breeze Wednesday
  • Pletcher Updates International Festival of Racing Plans
  • Father & Son Named on Separate Halves of Entry Thursday

Chrysalis Stables’ Silverfoot, winner of Arlington Park’s Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap July 4, breezed a half-mile over Arlington’s world famous turf course in :51 Wednesday morning in advance of a projected start in the Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 9.

He’s always been a good work horse, and this morning he went exactly the way I wanted him to go,” said conditioner Leigh Bentley, who is handling the daily training chores in Chicago for Silverfoot’s Kentucky-based trainer Dallas Stewart.

Arlington’s champion jockey Rene Douglas, who rode Silverfoot to his two-length tally in the Stars and Stripes on America’s Birthday, was aboard for the move, which was accomplished over firm going but with the “dogs” well out from the rail.

Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein, who heads the North American-based Arlington Million candidates as a proven grass specialist, breezed a half-mile in :52 July 20 over Churchill Downs’ main track. Einstein, a Brazilian-bred son of 1985 Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck, won the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic over the Louisville on Kentucky Derby Day May 3.

Sand and Cee Stables’ Secret Getaway and Barry Golden and Peter Callahan’s Sr. Henry – a pair of Mike Stidham-trained sophomores both being prepared for the Grade I Secretariat Stakes during Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing Aug. 9 – breezed four furlongs in company over the firm Arlington grass course Wednesday morning, getting the half-mile in :50.40 with the “dogs” well out from the rail.

“They went together, and I thought they both went real nice,” said Stidham immediately after the dual move.

Jockey Jesse Campbell, clearly second in Arlington’s current rider standings, was aboard Secret Getaway, while assistant trainer and exercise rider Hilary Pridham was astride Sr. Henry.

In his last trip to the post July 12, Secret Getaway proved three and a quarter lengths the best in Woodbine’s $150,000 Toronto Cup over the Ontario lawn, while Sr. Henry was runner-up to odds-on favorite Tizadejavu in the Grade II American Derby at Arlington on that same afternoon.

Defending four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer was on hand at Arlington last weekend, and offered a preliminary picture of his plans for the International Festival of Racing.

“I don’t have anything for the Arlington Million,” said Pletcher, “and I’m planning on running (Arindel Farm’s) Wait a While in (Saratoga’s Grade I) Diana (Handicap, July 26).

(Worthy of note, three years ago Martin Schwartz’s Angara finished third in the Diana but came back to win the 2005 Beverly D. two weeks later.)

Pletcher was also asked specifically about Let’s Go Stable’s Ready’s Echo as a prospect for the Grade I Secretariat Stakes Aug. 9?

“Maybe there’s a slight chance I’ll run that one there,” said Pletcher, speaking of the final leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple.

Ready’s Echo, who has never started on turf, has not raced since finishing third in the Grade I Belmont Stakes June 7, but worked a half-mile over the Belmont Park grass in :52 on June 29.

In somewhat of a racing rarity, veteran jockey Randy Meier and his apprentice jockey son Brandon Meier were each named on separate halves of an entry in Thursday’s eighth race at Arlington.

The Richard Glander-owned coupling of Brunzer and Fast N Ready – with the latter listed as an also-eligible – are both named to the six and a half-furlong claiming test.

Kerry Zavash trains the duo, with Randy Meier slated for the tack on Brunzer and Brandon listed for the irons on Fast N Ready.

The younger Meier, who turned 20 earlier this month, is currently sixth in the Arlington Park jockey standings, while his father is all-time leading rider at Hawthorne Race Course and Sportsman’s Park.