Real Solution Judged Winner In Arlington Million XXXI
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Aug. 17, 2013) – In a stretch run that was drama-filled before and after the finish line, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Real Solution was adjudged the winner in Arlington Million XXXI over Essafinaat Limited’s The Apache in front of an enthralled crowd of 34,222.
A homebred son of 2004 Secretariat Stakes-winning Kitten’s Joy, Real Solution was closing resolutely when bumped by The Apache in deep stretch. At the wire, the Apache held his rival by a head, but was later disqualified to second. The disqualification was the third in 31 editions of the centerpiece of the Illinois racing season.
Making only his third start in America after beginning his career in Italy, Real Solution was reserved toward the tail end of the field – ninth in the field of 13 – while a bit rank in close quarters. After settling and progressing, the Chad Brown-trained 4-year-old switched off the inside nearing upper stretch and drove stoutly while four-wide. He then challenged for command leaving the eighth-pole, drawing on even terms with The Apache, but was outfinished while being bumped and carried wide by that foe. Following an objection by jockey Alan Garcia, the change was made by the stewards.
“He broke really good. The first two and a half (furlongs) I took him back out of there; he was nice and relaxed. At the top of the stretch, I had plenty of horse to go by and the other horse bumped us more than four times – made me lose my momentum. If that didn’t happen, we might have won by two or three lengths,” explained Garcia.
Christophe Soumillon, on The Apache, disagreed. “As you can see, we were the better horse, but he got scared by the (Jumbotron) screen and shifted out. We were the best horse.”
The final time was a solid 2:00.99 over the firm going, after fractions :24.34, :48.99, 1:13.00 and 1:37.22. The win, worth $558,000, was Real Solution’s fourth in eight lifetime starts, bringing his career earnings to $671,175. The victory was a first in the Million for the owner, trainer and jockey. It was only the second time – the first time being earlier in the card in the Secretariat Stakes – that one International Festival of Racing event winner has sired another.
Rallying to finish a good third was European invader and Dubai World Cup fourth-place finisher Side Glance under Jamie Spencer, who also had trouble. “I had a beautiful run until the straight and then they played bumper cars. I was following Little Mike and then the (disqualified) winner (The Apache) chopped him off, so I lost my momentum,” Spencer explained.
Defending champion Little Mike, the 9-2 second choice, made all the running until giving way in the stretch and finishing sixth, beaten just over four lengths. “I was in the lead, and kind of got bothered a little bit on the outside. I tried to be cool for a little bit, let him go, but it didn't help,” reported jockey Joel Rosario.
Indy Point, the 5-2 post time favorite, finished last. “He didn’t like the ground at all. He warmed up fresh; I think the quick turnaround and excitement got to him. He had a good feel to him the first time through, but then didn’t like it and was protecting himself. I eased up on him and let him gallop out,” said jockey Gary Stevens.
Longshots Finnegans Wake (28-1) and Temeraine (61-1) outran their odds by finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. The remainder after Little Mike was, in order, Grandeur, Mull of Killough, Hunter’s Light, Rahystrada, Nates Mineshaft and Indy Point.
Real Solution returned $18.80, $8.60 and $6.20 winning the race in which his sire finished second in 2005. The Apache paid $7.80 and $5.60 and Side Glance paid $12.20.