Beach Patrol Presses Past in Grade I Arlington Million
James Covello, Sheep Pond Partners and Head of Plains Partners’ Beach Patrol again proved his affinity for the turf course at Arlington International Racecourse when finishing best in a frantic finish in Saturday’s 35th running of the Grade I Arlington Million. By virtue of his win in the million-dollar event, Beach Patrol earned automatic, paid entry into the Grade I $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar in November by capturing the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” event.
A Grade I winner over the local lawn in last year’s Secretariat Stakes, Beach Patrol was seeking his first victory in 2017 in his fifth start after hitting the board three times in Grade I company this season. The Chad Brown trainee broke well under Joel Rosario and pressed the early pace set by Virginia Tarra Trust’s Brian Williamson trainee Oak Brook through splits of 24.45, 49.53 and 1:14.38. Still a length back from the leader after a mile in 1:38.92, the 4-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid turned in a game effort in the lane to cross the wire a half-length in front in 2:02.39 for the 1¼-miles turf trip.
“They told me I had to get him out of the gate, get into a good position and let him find himself,” Rosario said. “It took a little bit of time, but he really found his way after. I appreciate the chance and the opportunity to be able to ride him today.”
“This was the spot and the race we’ve been waiting for for a year,” said Sol Kumin, who won the Grade I Beverly D. just one race prior with Dacita. “He loves it here, Joel gave us a great ride, obviously Chad and his team had the horse ready and we’re super happy. It’s funny – I’ve seen the trophy and Chad always talked about this as the best trophy in horse racing. It’s always been on the bucket list and I’m super-fortunate to be here with my kids and dad. It doesn’t get much better than this.”
Touch Gold Racing’s Marco Botti-trained Fanciful Angel (IRE) settled off the early splits and made a sharp late rally under Daniel Muscutt to finish second at 73-1, a neck ahead of Mrs. Fitri Hay, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith’s post-time favorite Deauville (IRE), who was ridden by Ryan Moore for trainer Adian O’Brien. Deauville finished third in the Million for the second consecutive year.
“We had a good spot on the rail and he cruised around,” Muscutt said. “Got space at the right time, but they were just one better at the end. I’m delighted.”
“I think he ran a very good race,” Moore offered. “He had his chance. Maybe the trip stretched him.”
Beach Patrol won for the fourth time in 15 starts and earned $564,000 for the victory, boosting his career bankroll to $1,456,945 and making him racing’s newest millionaire. He returned $11.80, $6 and $4. Fanciful Angel paid $51.40 and $10.40, while Deauville returned $2.80.
Enterprising, Ascend, Oak Brook, Divisidero, Oscar Nominated, Kasaqui (ARG), Mekhtaal (GB), Ghost Hunter and The Pizza Man completed the order of finish. Scottish (IRE) was withdrawn from the Million earlier in the week.