Arlington Million

Marketing Mix Slight Favorite in Grade I Beverly D.

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/15/2012 #

With horses invading from at least four countries as well as various parts of the United States for the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D., perhaps it is somewhat ironic that Glen Hill Farm's 3-1 morning line favorite Marketing Mix has been based in Barn 1A on the Arlington Park backstretch for much of the summer.

The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro is trained by Tom Proctor but has yet to make a start this season over the local turf course. The 4-year-old filly, who won last year's Grade III Pucker Up Stakes here last summer, captured the Grade II Nassau Stakes and the Grade II Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine Race Course in her last two starts. Julien Leparoux, who won the 2006 edition of the mile and three-sixteenths turf test with the French-bred Gorella, has the mount Saturday.

A close 7-2 second choice in the early odds is Flaxman Holding's Aruna. The Graham Motion-trained daughter of Mr. Greeley finished second to fellow Beverly D. contestant Mystical Star in the Grade II New York Stakes at Belmont Park in June but beat that rival when taking the Grade II Sheepshead Bay there the previous month. The multiple graded-stakes winning 4-year-old will team again with her regular rider Ramon Dominguez for the Beverly D.

The British-bred Joviality, who races for the 2010 Arlington Million-winning team of H. R. H. Princess Haya of Jordan, trainer John Gosden and jockey William Buick, is highly regarded among the foreign contingent set for the Beverly D. Though a disappointing 10th in her last start, the Group I Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, she had been faring better earlier this season with a victory in the Group II Windsor Forest Stakes during the Royal Ascot meeting and a runner-up finish in the Group III Princess Elizabeth Stakes prior to that.

Andrew Stone's Irish-bred I'm A Dreamer invades from Europe off a third-place finish in the Group I Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh in Ireland. Before that, the David Simcock-trained daughter of Noverre ran fourth in the Group III Brigadier Gerard Stakes at England's Sandown Park and third in the Group II Middleton Stakes at York. Hayley Turner picks up the mount on the 5-year-old mare for the Beverly D.

Mystical Star, the Cheyenne Stables colorbearer who beat Aruna last time out, would give trainer Christophe Clement his fourth victory in the Beverly D. The French-born conditioner saddled previous winners England's Legend (2000), Royal Highness (2007) and Mauralakana (2008). Joze Lezcano has been named to ride the 4-year-old Ghostzapper filly.

Frank Calabrese's Romacaca, winner of the Grade III Modesty Handicap here on Million Preview Day July 14, would be the first horse to win the Modesty and the Beverly D. in the same year should she score a victory Saturday. The Danny Miller-trained daughter of Running Stag will have Arlington Park's leading jockey, Francisco Torres, in the irons.

The two other foreign-based distaffers entered for the Beverly D. are Gestut Karlshof's German-bred Kapitale (Mirco Demuro), who is making her 2012 debut here; and Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier & Michael Tabor's Up (Colm O'Donoghue), group stakes placed three times in 2012 including a third last out in the Group III Kilboy Estate Stakes at The Curragh.

Also representing North America are The Granger House Partnership's Stars to Shine (Alex Solis), who won the Grade III Ontario Matron for Woodbine-based trainer Mark Frostad; and Stone Farm et. al.'s Upperline (James Graham), the Mike Stidham-trained winner of the Grade III Arlington Matron on Polytrack in May who was third in the Modesty in her last trip to the post.

The Beverly D., which provides the winner an automatic starting position in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf as part of the "Win and You're In" Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, is one of three Grade I stakes races on the card that comprises Arlington's International Festival of Racing. The others are the 30th running of the Arlington Million for older turf stars and the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-old grass runners of international caliber. New for the 2012 Festival is the inaugural edition of the $400,000 American St. Leger for marathon turf runners at a mile and eleven-sixteenths.