Arlington Million

Lewis Michael Returns in Saturday’s Sea o’ Erin at Arlington

Churchill Downs Communications | 07/24/2008 #

In Today’s Notes: 

·        Lewis Michael Returns in Saturday’s Sea o’ Erin at Arlington

·        Hope Floats for ‘Admiral’ in Million Based on Irish Run Thursday

·        Miller Lite Party in the Park, Party on the Patio Return Friday


Frank Calabrese’s Lewis Michael, dominant winner of last summer’s Grade II Washington Park Handicap over Arlington’s Polytrack – but also one-for-one over Arlington’s grass in his career – makes his seasonal bow in Saturday’s featured $150,000 Sea o’ Erin Handicap at one mile over the turf at Chicago’s Northwest suburban oval.

The 5-year-old son of Rahy, older full brother to Dreaming of Anna, Calabrese’s homebred 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies champion, has not started since being unable to handle the sloppy going in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Monmouth Park.

However, the Wayne Catalano trainee breezed seven furlongs in 1:28 last Saturday, posted a five-furlong move in 1:04.60 July 10 and breezed a mile over the firm turf course in 1:45 July 2 with the “dogs” well out from the rail.  Arlington’s champion jockey Rene Douglas will handle the reins aboard Lewis Michael, the slight 3-1 morning-line choice in Arlington’s Sea o’ Erin.

Sure to provide strong competition for Lewis Michael is Jerry Crawford, Wachtel Stable and Brous Stable’s Yate’s Black Cat, a Dale Romans trainee who is coming off a winning effort over the Churchill Downs turf course in his last start June 28.   Two starts before that, the 5-year-old son of Black Minnaloushe was fourth behind established turf stars Einstein, Out of Control and Artiste Royal in Churchill’s Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day May 3.

Arlington’s 2006 jockey champion Chris Emigh is slated for the tack on Yate’s Black Cat, who is the 9-2 second choice in the Sea o’ Erin morning line. 

Not to be discounted in the Sea o’ Erin is Oxbow Racing Stable’s Steve’s Double, who made his career turf course debut last time when a surprising third behind Thorn Song and Einstein in Churchill’s Grade II Firecracker Handicap on America’s Birthday July 4.    Based on that performance, the Ronny Werner trainee has been installed as the 5-1 third choice in the Sea o’ Erin morning line.  Miguel Mena, last summer’s jockey champion at Presque Isle Downs, is listed in the irons.

Completing the Sea o’ Erin field is Jim Tafel’s Coragil Cat, Diego Sanchez, (8-1); Martin Cherry’s Pickapocket, Eddie Razo, (8-1); Arthur Hancock III’s Obi Wan Kenobi, Jesse Campbell, (10-1); Richard Masson’s Karelian, James Graham, (8-1); Amerman Racing Stables’s Demarcation, E. T. Baird, (10-1); Del Sol Farm and Hernandez Racing’s Voy Por Uno Mas, Junior Alvarado, (30-1); Charles Patton’s Therecomesatiger, Jamie Theriot, (15-1); and Kinsman Farm’s Vanquisher, Jose Velez Jr., (12-1).

Dr. Vincent O’Brien’s Lord Admiral, a European-based prospect for Chicago’s Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 9, gets a final tune-up Thursday in Ireland’s Group III Meld Stakes over the Leopardstown lawn at 10 furlongs.

Owned by the legendary former trainer who conditioned such champions as Nijinsky, Sir Ivor and Royal Academy, Lord Admiral finished second beaten two lengths in Leopardstown’s Group III Amethyst Stakes at one mile in his last trip to the post.

However, Lord Admiral defeated the South African star Jay Peg in Dubai’s Grade II Jebel Hatta Nayef last March 6.  Jay Peg then went on to win the Grade I Dubai Duty Free March 29 and followed that with a tally in the Singapore Turf Club’s Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup May 18.

Should Lord Admiral graduate to the Million based on his performance in the Meld, the 7-year-old son of El Prado would join Hong Kong’s Group I Audemars Piquet Queen Elizabeth II Cup winner Archipenko and Great Britain’s Group I Coral-Eclipse hero Mount Nelson in an exceptionally strong European-based contingent for Arlington Million XXVI.

The bands play on this Friday at Arlington Park when Q101.1-FM presents “Danger is My Middle Name” at Arlington’s Miller Lite’s Party In The Park.

First race and first song for Friday’s twilight racing Miller Lite Party In The Park program is set for 2:30 p.m.

Later Friday, shortly after the races, Party On The Patio at Trackside Arlington Park runs from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. and presents live rockabilly and early rock ‘n’ roll by the Neverly Brothers, with the music starting at 7:15 p.m.