Arlington Million

Barn Notes: Sunday, August 12, 2018

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/12/2018 #
  • (Coady Photography)

  • Robert Bruce Delights His Chilean Connections
  • Morley Speaks Volumes of Secretariat Winner Carrick
  • Oscar Performance Sent to Rood and Riddle Following Million


Convento Viejo’s bloodstock advisor Luigi D’Alessandri believes that there is a lot of potential for growth on a worldwide scale for the Chilean breeding and racing industry. Such beliefs were solidified following a victory with Robert Bruce (CHI) in the Grade I Arlington Million on Saturday, the first ever by a Chilean bred horse in the Chicagoland’s marquee race.

Trained by Chad Brown and guided by jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., the 4-year-old son of Fast Company (ARG) broke sharply out the ten hole and sat at the rear of the field outside of horses. Around the far turn, Ortiz began calling Robert Bruce who angled wide and made a charge down the top of the stretch to edge out stable mate Almanaar (GB).

“This is something special,” D’Alessandri said. “Winning the Arlington Million with a Chilean horse has never happened and the way he won the race was absolutely impressive. We are very happy to come here to Arlington and also we are very happy with Chad and Irad. He was very calm and never loses his mind and that is fantastic. So we are very thrilled to be here with the family of the owners and friends so it’s a special day for us, for the farm in Chile and all the people that are working behind the scenes.”

D’Alessandri did not say where Robert Bruce would race next, but indicated that the Grade I $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3 would be the likely goal.

“The winner of the [Arlington Million] has a spot in the Breeders Cup,” D’Alessandri said. “Chad will decide the program of the horse and we’ll do what he feels is best for the horse.”

Following the race, Brown stated that Robert Bruce would race once before the Breeder’s Cup Turf, possibly in the Grade I $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park on Sept. 29.


Trainer Tom Morley believed that Carrick would get a piece of the Grade I Secretariat Stakes, but the 3-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway ended up getting the whole pie.

Owned by Donegal Racing, Carrick laid fifth in the race’s early stages while being patiently ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. He angled to the outside of horses at the top of the stretch and outgunned 4-5 post time favorite Analyze It down the lane to win by a narrow margin.

“He came into the race in super shape,” Morley said. “I felt we had a legit shot of getting a piece of the race and then the race set itself up incredibly well. He relaxed well for Johnny and got in a perfect spot. It was a super ride and a really good race for him.”

Carrick has only made four career starts but has taken big steps up the ladder in his tetrad of performances. He broke his maiden first time out for a $40,000 tag at Belmont Park before winning a starter allowance event at the Elmont oval on June 21. Carrick entered his Secretariat victory with a third-place finish in the Grade III Kent Stakes at Delaware Park on July 14.

“Johnny was confident in yesterday’s race,” Morley said. “It does make a difference with a horse like this when they have a ridden him before. He’s an aggressive horse in the beginning of the race. You have to sit quietly on him and let that stamina kick in at the quarter pole.”

Carrick became Morley’s second Grade I winner when taking the Secretariat. He acquired prosperity at such caliber with Haveyougoneaway who won the Grade I Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga in August 2016.

Morley appears to have some high hopes for Carrick and did not rule out running him outside of the U.S. later on down the road.

“He might be an international campaigner as an older horse and now with yesterday’s win that’s much more realistic,” Morley said. “Next is a flight home from Chicago. We’ll discuss with (owner) Jerry (Crawford) this week, but we’ve got to get him home first. He’s had a long week of travel.”

Carrick was bred in Kentucky by Patricia Pavlish and was consigned by Sheltowee Stables at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2016 where Donegal Racing purchased him for $75,000. He is out of the Distorted Humor broodmare How Far To Heaven.


Amerman Racing’s Oscar Performance did not show any signs of serious ailments following the Grade I Arlington Million, where he was pulled up by jockey Jose Ortiz in the final eighth of a mile. He walked onto the van under his own power and was taken back to the barn as a precaution.

“As far as we’re concerned we couldn’t see anything definitive,” said trainer Brian Lynch. “No lameness, no swelling or anything like that. He wasn’t off a bit anywhere. We sent him down to Rood and Riddle to have Dr. Larry Bramlage take a look at him.”

Oscar Performance was making his second start of the year in the Arlington Million, his first being a victory in the Grade III Poker Stakes at Belmont Park on June 17. It was here that he broke the track record previously set by Elusive Quality when he covered the one-mile in 1:31.23 over a good turf course.