Arlington Million

Barn Notes: Thursday, August 15, 2013 – 1st edition

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/15/2013 #

In Today’s Notes: $1 Million Purse Attracts Indy Point to Arlington Million

When Richard Mandella says “Math” is the reason Indy Point is running in the Arlington Million on Saturday, the Racing Hall of Fame trainer isn’t talking about speed or pace or time between races.

No, Mandella is talking about the numbers to the left of the decimal point on the purse total: a one and six zeros. Despite being a three-time Group I winner in his native Argentina, Indy Point has only earned $559,061 lifetime, meaning a win in the $1-million Arlington Million would be more lucrative than his entire 13-race career.

“He looked good out there today,” Mandella said of Indy Point’s 1½-mile gallop on the Arlington main track Thursday morning. “We worked him a mile last week, and he galloped out 1 1/8 miles, so the fancy stuff is done. Now we just have to keep him happy.”

Indy Point runs for Felipe Lovisi’s GusMay-Fer, which bred the Indygo Shiner colt and raced him 12 times in 2012 in Argentina before exporting him to Mandella’s stable in Southern California. Mandella said Indy Point was ready to run in the American Handicap (GII) on May 25 at Hollywood Park, but a virus caused Mandella to reroute to Del Mar where he won the Wickerr Stakes.

“He always gave me a good feel, but I always give [my imports] 4-5 months, and it wouldn’t have been surprising if he had needed a race to shake off the cobwebs,” Mandella said. “The way he ran I was thinking maybe we’d need an extra week, but I trained him the next week, and he wasn’t set back at all.”

This will be the ninth Million starter for both Mandella and Indy Point’s jockey, Gary Stevens. Mandella has one win with The Tin Man in 2006, and Stevens has won the race twice: Golden Pheasant in 1990 and Marlin in 1997. Indy Point was a few lengths off the pace in the one-mile Wickerr, and Mandella expects similar tactics stretching out to 1¼ miles.

“So far that’s worked, so there’s no need to get creative,” Mandella said. Indy Point has won at distances from six furlongs to 1½ miles, including a 1 3/16-mile score in a Group I on turf.