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Synchrony, Divisidero Headline Dozen in Grade III Arlington Handicap
Pin Oak Stable’s multiple graded stakes winner Synchrony and Gunpowder Farms’ Divisidero will face a field of 12 for the 83rd running of the Grade III $100,000 Arlington Handicap on Saturday, July 7 at Arlington International Racecourse. The 1 3/16-mile event is one of four graded stakes offered in the Ride to the Million, presented by Miller Lite.
Synchrony is coming off of a solid third-place effort in the Grade I Old Forester Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 5 when he was beaten 3¾ lengths behind Yoshida (JPN) and last year’s Grade I Arlington Million winner Beach Patrol over a yielding course. The Mike Stidham trainee kicked off the 2018 season with a pair of graded stakes victories at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in the Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap and the Grade II Muniz Memorial. The 5-year-old son of Tapit is out of the Forest Wildcat mare Brownie Points, who was an eight-time stakes winner on both dirt and turf. Jockey Joe Bravo, aboard for both wins earlier this year at Fair Grounds, will guide Synchrony from post three.
Kelly Rubley-trained Divisidero, who captured back-to-back editions in the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs in 2016-17, looks for his first return to the winner’s circle since his last Woodford Reserve triumph. The 6-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy started in last year’s running of the Arlington Million where finished seventh, 2¼ lengths behind Beach Patrol. His two starts this season have come in the Grade II Monmouth Handicap on May 26, where he was second behind Money Multiplier, and the Grade II Wise Dan where he was fourth. In both starts, Divisidero was only beaten three-quarters of a length. He boasts the highest bankroll in the field with earnings of $1,187,750, the only horse in the race that has hit the million-dollar mark. Jockey Jevian Toldeo will ship in to ride as the duo breaks from post 11.
Skeedattle Associate’s Grade III Commonwealth Turf winner Just Howard will be in search of his first victory since said win, which took place on September 30 at Laurel Park. The Graham Motion-trained 4-year-old son of English Channel last raced in the Grade II Dixie Stakes at Pimlico Race Course and finished only 1¼ lengths behind Fire Away. Just Howard owns two other stakes victories at Laurel Park; he defeated four other Maryland-breds in the Caveat Stakes last July before winning the Find Stakes the following month. He breaks from post nine under Feargal Lynch.
Phipps Stable’s Revved Up has yet to win a graded stakes but has proven himself to be competitive against such caliber. Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Shug McGaughey, the homebred son of Candy Ride (ARG) is out of champion Storm Flag Flying, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies when it was contested at Arlington in 2002. Revved Up was a late-closing third in the Grade III River City Handicap behind two-time graded stakes winner Shining Copper to close out 2017. He breaks from post ten and will be ridden by Jose Lezcano.
Christian C (Julio Felix, post one), Hot Dad (Sophie Doyle, post two), Compass Zone (Florent Geroux, post four), Converge (Jose Valdivia, Jr., post five), Tizzarunner (Corey Lanerie, post six), Western Elegance (Santo Sanjur, post seven), Twenty Four Seven (Jermaine Bridgmohan, post eight), and Roman Approval (Brian Hernandez, Jr., post 12) complete the field.
The top three finishers in the Arlington Handicap receive entry with starting fees waived into the Grade I Arlington Million on Aug. 11, a “Win and You’re In” event for the Grade I $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs Nov. 3.
The Grade III Arlington Handicap is slated as Race 9 (5:55 p.m.) on Saturday’s 10-race card.