Arlington Million

Kirby Mulling Million for ‘Cloudy’; Ciao for Beverly D.

Churchill Downs Communications | 07/30/2008 #

In Today’s Notes: 

·        Kirby Mulling Million for ‘Cloudy’; Ciao for Beverly D.

·        Stidham-Trained Pair Work for Secretariat Stakes

·        Four European Festival Flights Scheduled

·        $500 Trainer Incentives All Day on Arlington Million Day


S J Stables’ Cloudy’s Knight and Iron County Farms’ Ciao both breezed over Arlington Park’s world famous turf course Wednesday morning in increasingly probable preparation for next week’s Arlington Million and Beverly D. respectively.

Along with the 32nd running of Arlington’s Secretariat Stakes, Arlington Million XXVI and the 18th renewal of the Beverly D. will make up this summer’s one-day International Festival of Racing on Aug. 9.

Together, the three classic races are Illinois’ only three yearly Grade I events, and annually attract grass-favoring horses from all over the world.  However, the Million’s candidate Cloudy’s Knight, who breezed six furlongs in 1:21.80; and Beverly D. prospect Ciao, who breezed one mile in 1:50; are both trained by Illinois-based conditioner Frank Kirby.  That 71-year-old Kirby is known locally for winning two Arlington training titles 30 years apart.

“I didn’t work them too hard,” said Kirby shortly after training hours.  “The ‘dogs’ were well out from the rail and the ground had some give to it, but they both went well.

“Right now, I’m leaning toward the Million with ‘Cloudy,’” said Kirby.  “There’s another race for him in Canada (Woodbine’s Grade II Nijinsky Stakes Aug. 4) that I’m also considering, but I’m leaning toward the Million.

“As for Ciao,” Kirby said, “I think that the Beverly D. looks like the very likely spot for her as of this morning.”

Cloudy’s Knight concluded his campaign last year with a victory in Woodbine’s Grade I Canadian International Oct. 21 but was most recently fourth in Arlington’s Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap July 4.  The 8-year-old son of Lord Avie also finished second – beaten only a nose – in last year’s Stars and Stripes.

Ciao, a 4-year-old daughter of Lear Fan out of a Nureyev mare, most recently finished third in Arlington’s Grade III Modesty Handicap July 12 as the designed prep for the Beverly D.

Barry Golden and Peter Callahan’s Sr. Henry breezed a half-mile in :51 Wednesday morning over Arlington’s turf course in preparation for Arlington’s upcoming Grade I Secretariat Stakes Aug. 9 as the final leg of this summer’s Mid-America Triple.

“The work was in hand,” said Mike Stidham, trainer of Sr. Henry, runner-up behind Tizdejavu in Arlington’s Grade II American Derby as middle-leg of the Mid-America Triple.   “The ‘dogs’ were up and he just floated over the course.”

Stidham’s other probable Secretariat Stakes starter – Sand and Cee Stables’ Secret Getaway – breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 over Arlington’s Polytrack course on Tuesday.

“He (Secret Getaway) also went very nice,” said Stidham Wednesday of his second Secretariat candidate who has won his last two stakes starts at Woodbine.  “They are both on track for the Secretariat.”

Four transatlantic flights – all equine charters on Air France originating out of Paris – are currently scheduled to bring in the European-based horses to Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing Aug. 9.

European-based Arlington Million favorite Archipenko is due to arrive Friday at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, while the Million’s French candidate Spirit One is due in Saturday.

Secretariat Stakes candidate Winchester currently has his flight scheduled Sunday, while on Tuesday the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of the Million’s Mount Nelson and the Secretariat’s Plan, as well as the Beverly D.-bound duo Cicerole and Toque de Queda, all share the same flight four days prior to the Festival.

Interestingly, none of the Festival candidates are using KLM charters out of Amsterdam this year.  Those planes are all previously engaged to transport horses to China’s upcoming Olympic Games.  The equestrian portion of China’s Olympics are being held in Hong Kong at Sha Tin Racecourse, where Archipenko won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup last April 27.

In every undercard race that goes to the post during Arlington’s International Festival of Racing Aug. 9 – in the event the carded race runs with 10 or more horses – a bonus of $500 will be paid to the trainer of each horse that starts.