Arlington Million

Memorial Day Races to Help Define International Festival

| Churchill Downs Communications | 05/31/2010 #

In Today's Notes:

  • Memorial Day Races to Help Define International Festival
  • Leading Jockey Junior Alvarado Scores a Sunday Hat Trick

When it comes to this holiday weekend's races that will help define the fields for Arlington's upcoming International Festival of Racing, two took place Saturday and two more will have helped separate contenders from pretenders by the time the sun sets Monday evening on Memorial Day.

Out on the West Coast Saturday, William de Burgh's Tuscan Evening withstood the late challenge of Augustin Stable's Forever Together in the $250,000 Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares, contested a 1 1/8-miles over the California grass.

Arlington's Grade I Beverly D. Stakes, which annually attracts the world's best grass-favoring fillies and mares at 1 3/16-miles, will be run over Arlington's world famous turf course less than three months from now on Aug. 21 for a purse of $750,000.

Tuscan Evening's trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Arlington's leading trainer in the summer of 2001 but primarily California-based, expressed his interest in coming to Arlington for the Beverly D. shortly after his Irish-bred mare's half-length tally Saturday.

"We'll look at one more race before the Beverly D., for Tuscan Evening," Hollendorfer said Sunday.

Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, who brought Forever Together to Chicago to win Arlington's $50,000 Reluctant Guest Stakes in 2008, was also pleased with his Kentucky-bred mare's run in the Gamely, where she was beaten by a diminishing half-length at the wire.

"I thought she was very game," said Sheppard after the Gamely. "It's hard to run down speed at this track (Hollywood), but she gave it a good try."

Matthew Cloros' Cat by the Tale finished third in the Gamely after making the pace most of the way. She is conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale - and like Tuscan Evening and Forever Together - was made an original nomination to the 2010 Beverly D.

Also contested Saturday as a possible prelude to Arlington's Grade I Secretariat Stakes Aug. 21 was the $100,000 Lamplighter Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16-miles over the grass at Monmouth Park.

Roman Hill Farm's Thunder Brew, last in the early going of the Lamplighter, rallied to be clearly best by a length and a quarter, while Team Valor International's Fantastico Roberto, never far back, could not withstand the winner late but held the place. Both of those sophomores were original nominations to Arlington's Mid-America Triple, which concludes with the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes as part of Arlington's one-day International Festival of Racing.

Namcook Stables' Lethal Combination, also an original Mid-America Triple nomination, finished a competitive fourth as the post time favorite in the Lamplighter after suffering traffic problems in the stretch.

On Memorial Day, a major preview for the 28th running of the Grade I Arlington Million takes place when the Grade I Shoemaker Mile is offered at Hollywood Park.

Harris Farms, John Nicoletti and Donald Valpredo's Compari, an early bird nomination to the Arlington Million, is the 5-2 morning line choice in the Shoemaker Mile, while Green Lantern Stables' Karelian, the 3-1 second choice in the morning line, is also an original nomination to the showcase race of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season.

On the Jersey Shore on Memorial Day, Monmouth Park hosts the Grade III Eatontown Stakes for fillies and mares over the lawn.

Team Valor & Green Lantern Stable's Gypsy's Warning, a South African-bred who will be making her first start in this country after a year-long layoff, is an original nomination to this summer's Beverly D.

Jockey Junior Alvarado, defending rider champion from last season at Arlington Park, scored his second riding triple of the 2010 season Sunday.

The native of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, who turned 24 earlier this month, won the fourth on Team Block's Never Retreat, the sixth astride Frank Calabrese's Romacaca and returned to the winner's circle after the seventh on top of Doris and Stanley Holland's Solid Trip.