Competitive Baker's Dozen Assembled for Secretariat Stakes
Thirteen sophomores will line up for the 42nd running of the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes – a mile-and-a-quarter turf test for 3-year-olds at Arlington International Racecourse on Saturday, Aug. 11.
Chad Brown will saddle William H. Lawrence’s ultra-talented Analyze It for the colt’s sixth career start. The son of Point of Entry has only lost twice in his five-race career, both of which were hard fought efforts behind Catholic Boy in the Grade III Pennine Ridge Stakes and the Grade I Belmont Derby Invitational. Analyze It dazzled in his first three career starts, which include a 6¼-length maiden special weight win at Belmont Park last October and wins in the Cecil B. DeMille at Del Mar and the Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland – both Grade III events. He will break from the nine hole under jockey Jose Ortiz who guided Oscar Performance to victory in last year’s Secretariat. Analyze It will look to give Brown his second Secretariat victory. In 2016, Brown won the Secretariat with Beach Patrol who went on to capture the Arlington Million the following year.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien will be looking to extend his win record in the Secretariat to five when he sends out Hunting Horn (IRE) and Lucius Tiberius (IRE). The Ballydoyle-based conditioner boasts Secretariat triumphs with Ciro (2000), Treasure Beach (GB) (2011), Adelaide (2014) and Highland Reel (IRE) (2015).
Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, Hunting Horn was third beaten 1¾ lengths in the Grade I Belmont Derby Invitational in his most recent effort which was his first race in North America. The son of Camelot (GB) entered the Belmont Derby off of a 4½-length victory in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot. Third time was the charm for Hunting Horn when breaking his maiden in sophomore debut at Naas on April 13 where he defeated eventual Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Latrobe by a neck. Hunting Horn will break on the far outside in post 13 under Ryan Moore.
To the inside of Hunting Horn is stablemate Lucius Tiberius, who makes his North American debut in the Secretariat. Also sired by Camelot, he will be aiming for a third straight win after scoring a pair of victories in his native Ireland. Named in honor of the fictional ancient Roman Procurator that appeared in multiple Arthurian novels, Lucius Tiberius defeated older horses in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Nasrullah’ Handicap at Leopardstown on July 12 last time out. He sat at the back of the pack in the 1¼-mile event and made a last-to-first move at the top of the stretch to win by a nose. His prior effort took place at The Curragh in the Paddy Power Onside Handicap, which he won by 2¼ lengths under Ryan Moore. Owned by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier, the colt will be ridden by Wayne Lordan in the Secretariat from gate 12.
O’Brien’s son Joseph has managed to get the better of his father in the prestigious Melbourne Cup and Irish Derby, both Group 1 events, and could do the same in the Secretariat with Ming (IRE). Owned by Mohammed Hamad Khalifa Al-Attiyah, the son of Pour Moi (IRE) has made four career starts and won his last two, which took place in respective three and four-horse fields. In his penultimate effort, Ming bested a pair at Gowran on June 24. Jockey Seamie Heffernan tracked the early leader and began asking Ming at the top the stretch, where he would go on to win under a hand ride by 1¾ lengths. Last out at Navan on July 14, Ming defeated three others while sitting just off the pace under rider Billy Lee. At the top of the stretch, Ming did not need much asking from his rider and went on to score by 2½ lengths. He will again be guided by Lee and breaks from post six.
Two other Secretariat contenders will be carrying the European banner. Breaking from post two under Joel Rosario, Yuesheng Zhang’s Platinum Warrior (IRE) will be attempting to make amends after a ninth-place finish in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on June 30 behind Latrobe, who he defeated one start prior in the Group 3 Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes. The son of Galileo (IRE) has been up against some of the best 3-year-olds in Ireland all year. Prior to his Gallinule Stakes triumph, he was fourth in the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown behind Hazapour, Ballydoyle’s Delano Roosevelt (IRE) and The Pentagon (IRE). Platinum Warrior will give trainer Michael Halford his first starter in the United States when he races in the Secretariat.
Ten years ago, trainer Dermot Weld shipped Winchester to Arlington for a victory in the Secretariat and could do the same when he saddles Calumet Farm’s Bandua for this year’s running. The Irish-based, American-born son of The Factor won his first two career outings, both at the Secretariat’s 1¼-mile distance. He stretched out even further for his next two starts – an eighth-place finish in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby prior to being beaten only 1½ lengths when running fifth in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Vinnie Roe Stakes on July 26. He breaks from post three and will be ridden by William Buick, who seeks his first Secretariat triumph.
Locally-based Chris Block is currently tied with the late Harry Trotsek for the most stakes victories at Arlington with 44 apiece. He trains Lothenbach Stables’ Captivating Moon who breaks from post seven. The son of Malibu Moon has hit the board in nine of his ten career starts, which includes runner-up finishes in the Grade III American Derby at Arlington on July 7, the Grade II American Turf Stakes on May 5, and the Grade III Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland on April 6. He owns a career debut win at Arlington last summer and an allowance win over the turf at Tampa Bay Downs on February 11. Captivating Moon will be ridden by Florent Geroux, who has taken the mount in four of the colt’s last five starts.
Trainer Ignacio Correas, IV will send out Grade III American Derby winner Real Story as well as Pont Du Gard who was beaten 2¼ lengths behind his stable mate when finishing fourth in the local prep for the Secretariat. A gelded son of the late-sire Fast Bullet, Jeffrey Amling and Merriebelle Stable’s Real Story will look for his third win in succession after two wire-to-wire victories on the Arlington turf, the latter of which took place in the Grade III American Derby. His only other career win came in his debut at Tampa Bay Downs last December when traveling a mile on turf. A half-brother to stakes winner My Afleet, the Correas trainee will stretch out to ten furlongs for the first time in Saturday’s Secretariat. He breaks from the rail under Arlington’s current leading rider Jose Valdivia, Jr.
Pont Du Gard seeks his first career stakes win in the Secretariat. Owned by Wimborne Farm, the Louisiana-bred son of Liaison was beaten just over two lengths in Arlington’s two other tests for 3-year-olds on grass. In addition to his fourth-place finish in the American Derby, he was second behind Ezmosh in the Grade III Arlington Classic on May 26. Last July, he broke his maiden in his career debut over the grass at Arlington at long odds of 31-1. His only other career win took place when defeating fellow Louisiana-breds in a Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots allowance race on March 9. Mitchell Murrill gets the call from post five.
Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey won the 2004 Secretariat with Kitten’s Joy who has since proven himself as a top turf sire in North America. Two of his progeny have followed in his footsteps with Admiral Kitten and Oscar Performance winning the Secretariat in 2013 and 2017, respectively. This year, Kitten’s Joy could sire his third Secretariat winner with Sniper Kitten, who breaks from post ten under Brian Hernandez, Jr. The Secretariat is the next big step up the ladder that he appears to be climbing quite well. Since breaking his maiden at second asking over the turf at Gulfstream Park on March 17, he defeated winners at Keeneland on April 27 and won the Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury Park on June 23. The Mike Maker trainee is out of the Catienus mare Cat on a Tin Roof – who is a full sister to three-time stakes winner Cannonball. A victory in the Secretariat would give Kitten’s Joy his eighth graded stakes win as a sire in 2018.
West Point Thoroughbreds’ Untamed Domain is still in search of his first victory since last year’s Grade II Summer Stakes at Woodbine on September 17. Trained by Graham Motion, the son of Animal Kingdom opened eyes last year when a rallying second behind Mendelssohn in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar on November 3. Last out, he was promoted to fifth in the Grade III Kent Stakes at Delaware Park after being interfered with on the far turn and again in upper stretch. He will receive riding services from Irad Ortiz, Jr. as the pair breaks from gate eight.
Also entering the Secretariat from the Kent Stakes is Carrick, a Donegal Racing owned son of Giant’s Causeway who was third in the Delaware Park stakes event for trainer Tom Morley. Named after the Anglicized version of the Gaelic word for “rock”, he broke his maiden for a $40,000 tag at Belmont Park on May 12 before winning a starter allowance race at the Elmont oval where he defeated next out winners Sentry and Not in Charge. He will be Morley’s first starter at Arlington and will look to give his owners their second Secretariat victory after scoring with Paddy O’Prado in 2010.
Rounding out the Secretariat field is Dubby Dubbie, a son of Ice Box who finished third in the American Derby last time out. Owned by Emmet Jolley, Jack Randall and Mitch Butler and trained by Michelle Lovell, Dubby Dubbie has the most career starts under his belt in the Secretariat field with 12. Prior to his graded stakes debut in the American Derby, he either won or placed in his previous five starts, which include an allowance win at Churchill Downs over graded stakes winner Madison’s Luna. Jack Gilligan piloted Dubby Dubbie in his last three starts and returns to the saddle when the duo breaks from post 11.
The Secretariat Stakes is named in honor of the 1973 Triple Crown winner who broke the track record in all three American classics, including an unheard of 31-length win the Belmont Stakes. Owned by Penny Chenery and trained by Lucien Laurin, Secretariat made his first start following his memorable Triple Crown run at Arlington in the specially-designed Arlington Invitational Challenge on June 30, 1973 where he successfully displayed his talent in front of a massive crowd of 41,223.
Saturday’s 12-race card begins with a first post of 12:15 pm, with the Secretariat Stakes scheduled as the ninth race with an approximate post time of 4:48 pm CDT.