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29th Arlington Million this Saturday

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  • 29th Arlington Million this Saturday

    For those without HRTV you're in luck with the Arlington Million being aired on a new outlet: WGN.

    The Chicago-based Tribune Owned "superstation" will take their shot at hosting the race - although it really will be just that race live.

    WGN-TV Chicago and WGN America will provide live HD coverage of "The Arlington Million" from Arlington Park Racetrack on Saturday, August 13, 2011 from 5:00-5:30pm CT. The encore replays on CLTV on the same night from 8:00-8:30pm. "The Arlington Million" will be hosted by WGN's Dan Roan and Arlington Park's Howard Sudberry.
    They've already started running this (video) promo spot

    It should be a good day of racing at Arlington Park with not only the Grade 1 Million but also Grade 1 $750k Beverly D. and Grade 1 $400k Secretariat Stakes. One jockey flying over for the Million is one who is exceedingly rarely here in the States: Ms. Haley Turner aboard Wigmore Hall (she replaces Jamie Spencer on him) - and I doubt she's flying over her just to see the dreadful new statue of Marilyn Monroeon Michigan Ave

    (Just to weave the connections - the statue is by artist J. Seward Johnson. His sister is Diana Johnson Firestone who owns Winchester the winner of the Grade I Secretariat Stakes in 2008 at Arlington Park. No idea how many connections she is from Kevin Bacon.)

    The field for the signature races on Arlington Million Day which I'll be going to.

    29th Edition of the Arlington Million
    Purse: $1 million; 1 1/4 miles (turf); Grade 1

    PP. Horse. Jockey. ML Odds
    1. Rahystrada S. Russell 12-1
    2. Tajaaweed J. Graham 12-1
    3. Dean’s Kitten J. Leparoux 30-1
    4. Zack Hall C. Soumillon 10-1
    5. Gio Ponti R. Dominguez 2-1
    6. Proceed Bee C. Emigh 50-1
    7. Cape Blanco J. Spencer 9-5
    8. Mission Approved J. Espinoza 6-1
    9. Wigmore Hall H. Turner 8-1
    10. General Perfect G. Gomez 50-1

    Beverly D.
    Purse: $750,000, 1 3/16 miles (turf); Grade 1

    PP. Horse. Jockey. ML Odds
    1. Stacelita R. Dominguez 3-1
    2. Check the Label J. Leparoux 20-1
    3. Fantasia R. Maragh 6-1
    4. Upperline J. Graham 20-1
    5. Dubawi Heights J. Rosario 10-1
    6. River Jetez C. Soumillon 4-1
    7. Cheetah G. Gomez 9-2
    8. Pachattack F. Geroux 10-1
    9. Eclair de Lune J. Alvarado 12-1
    10. Romin Robin J. Santana 30-1
    11. Never Retreat S. Bridghmohan 10-1

    Secretariat Stakes
    Purse: $400,000, 1 1/4 miles (turf); Grade 1

    PP. Horse. Jockey. ML Odds
    1. Newsdad J. Rosario 10-1
    2. Ziyarid C. Lemaire 10-1
    3. Treasure Beach C. O’Donoghue 2-1
    4. Crimson China R. Maragh 15-1
    5. Casino Host R. Dominguez 8-1
    6. Suntracer S. Bridgmohan 15-1
    7. Banned G. Gomez 3-1
    8. Derby Kitten J. Leparoux 15-1
    9. Willcox Inn R. Albarado 9-2
    10. L’Aiglon F. Geroux 50-1

  • #2
    Is Treasure Beach really confirmed in the Sec Stakes?
    He would have to be the highest profile Euro based horse to ever run in that race. Must have bled buckets in the GP de Paris last time out.


    • Original Poster

      Worth mentioning is that the Festival of activities at Arlington Park have on Friday an interesting race: #5 on FRI Aug 12th is worth the focus on the jocks - being touted as the “Arlington Fab Five vs. Legends” Jockey Challenge Wager.

      This is the top five riders in Arlington ’s jockey standings against the Legends: Hall of Famers Earlie Fires and Chris McCarron; two-time Arlington champion Mark Guidry; Patti Cooksey, one time the leading female rider in races won; and 1977 Triple Crown winning jockey 72-year-old Jean Cruguet.

      I swear I saw Jean Cruguet in the paddock at Saratoga last weekend.

      No he wasn't riding a wild one like this picture (freaking wow!) -

      Anyhow if Jean wins the race at 72-yrs old its purported he'll be the oldest jockey to win a wagering sanctioned TB race. As folks may recall he was going to try his effort at returning to races (now that his wife passed) at Keeneland this spring but the horse was scratched.

      Last year in inaugural jockey challenge Inez Karlsson (who just recently gave birth) won the race aboard Saint Leon. My neighbor is part owner in the partnership which (at the time) owned that horse. Go figure. 'Leon' since claimed actually just won on July 15th at Arlington Park.

      As for Jean he recently spoke again of his late wife and Hoist the Flag:

      As for Cruguet, who lost his wife Denise early in 2010 and will be riding in honor of her memory, his reminisces over the phone offer a sampling of the type of stories ticketholders will hear at "Dining with the Dynasty."

      "She was the greatest horsewoman I've ever known," Cruguet said. "We came to this country together in 1965, and if it hadn't have been for her, no one would even know me today. Not long after we got to this country, she was helpful in getting me the mount on Hoist the Flag, who was trained by her friend (and future Hall of Fame trainer) Sidney Watters Jr.

      "Hoist the Flag was the best horse I ever rode, by far," Cruguet added. "It wasn't Seattle Slew. The first time I ever got on Hoist the Flag (as a two-year-old), I told everyone I knew that I was going to win the Kentucky Derby with this horse. The only reason I didn't say 'the Triple Crown' was because I was so new in this county I didn't even know what the Triple Crown was. I'd never even heard of it. If he hadn't broke down (early in his three-year-old season but eventually saved for stud duties), Hoist the Flag would have been 1-9 to win the Triple Crown.

      "Seattle Slew was a top miler, and because he was so much better than everyone else that year he was able to win the Triple Crown, but Hoist the Flag would have beat everyone else going any distance at any time. He was just that much better than everyone else."


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Drvmb1ggl3 View Post
        Is Treasure Beach really confirmed in the Sec Stakes?
        Brisnet suggests as much:

        A start in the July 14 Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-G1) came just 18 days after Treasure Beach's triumph at The Curragh, and the quick turnaround seemed to work against the colt as he wound up fourth, beaten 4 3/4 lengths by Meandre (Slickly [Fr]). However, he should be formidable foe with a return to his classic form.
        Irish Times Aug 9, 2011 -

        O’Brien’s 2011 Arlington team are expected to fly to Chicago tomorrow where they will be part of another strong international challenge that will also include the Michael Bell-trained Wigmore Hall.


        • #5
          Gio Ponti? Dammit, I was thinking of going, but I have to be home to meet a contractor. Phooey.
          Author Page
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          Steampunk Sweethearts


          • #6
            GO TAJAWEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


            • Original Poster

              Will tomorrow be a banner day for Aidan O'Brien at Arlington Park? Morning line favorites suggest it could be with Cape Blanco in the Million and Treasure Beach in the Secretariat.

              Although the DRF speculates that travel could take its toll on Cape Blanco.

              Gio Ponti seemingly could be iffy with the weather per trainer Christophe Clement. Storms are expected to roll in after midnight tonight (FRI) for Chicago and then the potential for severe thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon. Gio Ponti won't fare well on wet yielding turf.


              • Original Poster

                Interesting as its not hot here today in Chicago nor overly humid ... although its no Saratoga with cool mornings either:

                Making their first and only morning appearance at Arlington, the Aidan O’Brien-trained stablemates worked themselves into a full lather on a fairly cool morning outside Chicago while doing light exercise Friday. Cape Blanco got warm on the long walk from the quarantine barn to the racetrack while his younger, less experienced companion, Treasure Beach, remained cool and composed. The pair went the wrong way around Arlington’s Polytrack at a walk, turning the right direction at about the seven-furlong pole and going into a very measured one-mile gallop. A pair of horses going through a fast work on the rail whizzed by in the stretch, and Treasure Beach in particular wanted to set out after the workers, and by the time the O’Briens left the racetrack, both were covered in sweat.

                Not that a good sweat the day before a race disqualifies Cape Blanco and Treasure Beach from contention. Both horses merit favoritism based on their recent racing form, and Europeans very often need at least one day to acclimate to the hotter climate here, as well as the more hectic surroundings of an American racetrack compared to daily activity back home in Ireland. That said, Cape Blanco was in Dubai this past winter - he did not become nearly as hot during his first day of training there - and got a taste of American track life when he traveled to Belmont Park to win the Man o’ War Stakes last month.
                Revealed by South African trainer Mike de Kock at Arlington Park: Master of Hounds purchased by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and transferred to de Kock. Their training goal: the 2012 Dubai World Cup.


                • Original Poster

                  Video: (9m) A European shipper's journey from across the pond to Chicago and Arlington Park.


                  • #10
                    That was a pretty cool video!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
                      One jockey flying over for the Million is one who is exceedingly rarely here in the States: Ms. Haley Turner aboard Wigmore Hall (she replaces Jamie Spencer on him) - and I doubt she's flying over her just to see the dreadful new statue of Marilyn Monroeon Michigan Ave
                      They should have used an American jock, or given Cristophe Lemaire the leg up (in was in town to ride in the Sec Stakes, had no ride in the Million). Horrible ride from Turner, she cost connections some place money for sure.


                      • #12
                        This was the first million dollar TB race.

                        However, curb your enthusiasm peeps...........

                        Harness racing had already run the $2,000,000 Woodrow Wilson at The Meadowlands.


                        • Original Poster

                          The weather really was severe on Saturday - when driving out to Arlington Heights my wife and I drove through heavy rains and hail. The temps had drops by at least 10 degrees and it just looked to be a miserable day. However by the time we got at the track - 4 races already run - the worse was pretty much over.

                          It sprinkled off and on in the paddock but rained a fair amount in advance of the Million and during it. Gio Ponti never had a chance with that yielding turf but 2nd was impressive. Wagering I took the winner, show, and exacta, for the Million ... but came up empty with the heavy wagers on the Augustin/Sheppard runners.

                          The crowds were heavy but not as thick as years past. I'm always highly impressed with how clean the physical condition of the facility is. Mr. D. makes sure everything is kept new, tidy and in great condition. I'm not a fan of the paddock layout - Saratoga and Keeneland put it to shame - but its efficient for their purposes.

                          One gripe is the price - $15 ahead basic entry fee plus the $5 program gets you general admission only. That's notably up from even last year.


                          • Original Poster

                            Attendance was announced as 31,069.

                            Race replays below and props to the Irish imports The Million trophy that the connections get is rather impressive.

                            Video: 27th Grade 1, $1M Arlington Million

                            Video: 22nd Grade 1, $750,000 Beverly D.

                            Video: Grade 1, $400,000 Secretariat Stakes

                            Video: $68,000 Hatoof Stakes (undercard) ungraded

                            (After the Hatoof, we heard joyful yelling in the paddock - it was the connections celebrating with the loooong shot runner)


                            • Original Poster

                              Historical perspective.

                              Trainer Aidan O'Brien's win with Cape Blanco and Treasure Beach in the Million and Secretariat, respectively, was a double only successfully accomplished by one trainer prior: the late Bobby Frankel completed the Million-Secretariat double with Chester House and Chiselling in 2002.

                              Frankel still holds the world record for Group/Grade One wins in a year with his 25 in 2003. O’Brien has twice hit the 23 mark, in 2001 and 2008, and after his Arlington double, his total for 2011 is currently at 11.

                              One comment on Ms. Turner's ride

                              It was not, alas, such a good night for Hayley Turner, fourth on Wigmore Hall in the Million. She rode the first half of the race beautifully and was well positioned going into the final bend but allowed horses behind her to get first run, meaning that there was a sudden wall in front of her when she wanted to make her move. Wigmore Hall ran on strongly when in the clear and the suspicion is that Turner may have had enough horse under her to win the race if she had tackled it differently.