Arlington Million

Barn Notes: Thursday, May 10, 2018

| Churchill Downs Communications | 05/10/2018 #
  • Synchrony (Coady Photography)

  • Alternative Route (Coady Photography)

  • Grade I Arlington Million On the Radar for Synchrony
  • Stall Aims Alternative Route to Chicago on Path to Queen’s Plate


The Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million on August 11 is a target spot for Synchrony following his third-place effort in the Grade I Old Forester Turf Classic on Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby undercard, according to trainer Mike Stidham.

Owned and bred by Pin Oak Stable, the 5-year-old son of Tapit started off his 2018 season with a pair of graded stakes wins at Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots in the Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap and Grade II Muniz Memorial Handicap. 

“I would say we probably will [run him once] before the Million,” trainer Mike Stidham said. “He’s had three hard races off the layoff so we’re not looking to cram a bunch of races in. We’re looking for the better races and to be as good as we can. We haven’t really pinpointed anything but we’ll look over the stakes schedule.”

Guided by jockey Joe Bravo over a yielding turf course at Churchill, Synchrony sat well off of a slow pace led by Camelot Kitten and was hung wide around the final turn. The son of Brownie Points, a multiple stakes winning broodmare by Forest Wildcat, was still able to make up enough ground in the stretch to complete the trifecta behind Yoshida (JPN) and last year’s Arlington Million winner Beach Patrol.

“He settled further back than we liked but made a huge move on the turn,” Stidham said. “When he started to make his run, Joe thought he had legitimate chance to win. He hung down the lane because of the going, but otherwise it went well.”

Synchrony has never finished off the board in his six starts on the grass. In March of last year, he made his turf debut a winning one against allowance company at Fair Grounds and earned two second-place finishes in stakes events on the Mid-Atlantic circuit – the Henry S. Clark Stakes at Laurel Park and the Grade III Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth Park.


Trainer Al Stall, Jr. has a plan to get Ontario-bred 3-year-old Alternative Route to the $1,000,000 Queen’s Plate on June 30 at Woodbine Racetrack, and said plans include a start at Arlington International Racecourse this month.

Owned by Spendthrift Farm LLC in partnership with Town and Country Racing LLC, the son of Tiznow is scheduled to make his next start in the Grade III $100,000 Arlington Classic on May 26 over the local turf course. A victory in this race would give Alternative Route a win over all three surfaces. Guided by Mitchell Murrill last time out, he won over the Polytrack in Turfway Park’s Rushaway Stakes on March 17 in addition to breaking his maiden on the main track at Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots in January.

“He didn’t get into the (Grade II) American Turf (at Churchill Downs, May 4) and we didn’t want to ship to Canada twice – the prep for the Queen’s Plate is three weeks before,” Stall said. “We landed on the Arlington Classic. His full sister (Enstone) is a graded stakes winner on the turf. He worked nice on the turf at Churchill (a half-mile in 51.80 on April 29). [It was] kind of slow but finished up well. It’s the logical spot for us, if it rains and gets taken off the turf then that’s fine with us.”

Out of the Storm Cat mare La Suena, Alternative Route was bred by 2014 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Bill Graham. Graham’s breeding program at Windhaven has produced multiple graded stakes winners such as Joyful Victory and Uncaptured.  Alternative Route was purchased last year for $265,000 by his current owner partnership at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale from the Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds consignment operation.