Arlington Million

International Festival Barn Notes: Saturday, August 11, 2012

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/11/2012 #

In Today's Notes: France's Bayrir Due In Tonight on First of Five Festival Flights; Arlington-based Festival Prospects Work Saturday; Graham Ties Torres for Lead in Jockeys' Standings Friday

The first of five European transatlantic equine charters bringing European horses to Arlington's International Festival of Racing is due in at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport this evening.

Scheduled to arrive aboard this initial Air France charter is His Highness the Aga Khan's Studs' French-bred sophomore Bayrir, a candidate for the Grade I Secretariat Stakes as part of Arlington's one-day International Festival Aug. 18.

In his last trip to the post July 22 at France's Maisons-Lafitte, Bayrir proved clearly best by 1 1/2-lengths in the Group II Prix Eugene Adam when going the same 10-furlong distance as the upcoming $500,000 Secretariat. Previously, the Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained Bayrir won the $69,000 Prix Ridgway at Saint-Cloud on June 24.

The Secretariat, along with the Arlington Million and $750,000 Beverly D., is one of three Grade I races that make up Arlington's Festival, and is being complemented this year by the inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger also scheduled for next Saturday.

Due in early Sunday morning is the second European charter, a Qatar Airways flight, with six Festival horses aboard. Scheduled on that flight are two Arlington Million prospects – Darley Stud Management's duo of the British-bred Afsare and the Irish-bred Colombian. Two Beverly D. candidates are also listed on that flight – Andrew Stone's Irish-bred mare I'm A Dreamer and Darley Stud Management's British-bred filly Joviality.

Also scheduled on that Qatar Airways manifest are two other Darley Stud Management-owned horses – Kentucky-bred but European-campaigned Dark Stranger for the Secretariat and the German-bred Zuider Zee for the American St. Leger.

Arriving at O'Hare shortly after midnight Monday will be a Lufthansa charter with Gestut Karlshof's German-bred filly Kapitale as its single equine passenger aboard in advance of the Beverly D.

Later Monday morning there will be a British Airways charter with two Arlington Million candidates scheduled on it – Mark Hawtin's Irish-bred Wigmore Hall and EFFEVI and ABT Crackerjack King Syndicate's Irish-bred Crackerjack King.

Also scheduled on that British Airways manifest are two American St. Leger prospects – Australian TB Bloodstock and Jakkalberry SYN.'s Irish-bred Jakkalberry and Eastwind Racing's Kentucky-bred but European-campaigned Bridge of Gold.

A second Lufthansa equine charter and the fifth and final flight carrying Festival candidates is due in Tuesday evening with the British-bred Arlington Million candidate Treasure Beach, owned by Mrs. Fitriani Hay, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor, scheduled aboard.

Also named on that manifest is Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's Irish-bred Beverly D. prospect Up as well as Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier's Kentucky-bred but European-campaigned Secretariat candidate Daddy Long Legs.

Lael Stable and All In Stable's Willcox Inn, a pre-entrant for the upcoming Arlington Million on Aug. 18 and winner of the first two legs of Arlington's Mid-America Triple last year, breezed five furlongs on the main track in a minute flat Saturday morning before galloping out three-quarters in 1:13.20 and pulling up seven-eighths in 1:28.80.

"I was very happy with the work," said trainer Mike Stidham of the Willcox Inn's move with his assistant Hilary Pridham aboard. "I thought he had a good gallop out, too.

"I'll probably work (Stone Farm et al.'s Beverly D. prospect) Upperline a half tomorrow," Stidham added.

Stidham also worked John Adger et al.'s Lady Candidate a half in 51.60 over the turf course rated "good" with the "dogs" well out from the rail in possible preparation for the $65,000 Hatoof Stakes on Arlington Million Day.

Trainer Mike Reavis breezed Frank Mancari's Free Fighter one mile on the main track with Timmy Thornton up in preparation for the $400,000 Arlington St. Leger Stakes.

Defending jockey champion James Graham had a riding double Friday to tie Francisco Torres for the lead in the standings entering Saturday's races. Jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr. also rode two winners Friday.

Current leading trainer Wayne Catalano had a training double Friday to increase his advantage in the trainer standings, and conditioner Dee Poulos also celebrated a training double Friday.