Monday, August 13, 2012

Arlington Park Barn Notes: Sunday, Aug. 12

Two mares and one filly that were pre-entered for Arlington’s Grade I Beverly D. Stakes last Friday were on the Chicago oval’s work tab Sunday morning in advance of Saturday’s upcoming $750,000 sister race to the Grade I Arlington Million.

The Million and the Beverly D., as well as Arlington’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes restricted to sophomores, are the showcase events during Arlington’s one-day International Festival this Saturday over Arlington’s world famous turf course, and will be complemented for the first time this summer by the inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes at one mile and 11/16ths on the grass.

Frank Calabrese’s Romacaca, heroine of Arlington’s Grade III Modesty Handicap in her last start July 14 as the designed local prep for the Beverly D., breezed a half mile Sunday on the main track in 47 flat before galloping out five furlongs in 59 flat. Francisco Torres, who has been Arlington’s leading rider for most of the summer, was aboard for the breeze conducted under the watchful eye of trainer Danny Miller. The 5-year-old Running Stag mare won Monmouth’s Grade III Matchmaker last summer.

Also breezing a half mile on the main track Sunday was Stone Farm, John Adger, Oakcrest Farm and Michael Stidham’s Upperline, who finished third in the $200,000 Modesty when beaten a length and a half by Romacaca. Upperline breezed the half in 48.40 under Hilary Pridham, assistant to trainer Mike Stidham, and then galloped out five-eighths in 1:01 flat. The 5-year-old daughter of Maria’s Mon won the Grade III Arlington Oaks two years ago, finished fifth in last summer’s Beverly D., but captured Keeneland’s Grade III Bewitch and the Grade III Arlington Matron this spring.

A third Beverly D. pre-entrant, Glen Hill Farm’s Marketing Mix, breezed five furlongs over Arlington’s turf course rated “good” Sunday morning. With the “dogs” well out from the rail, the 4-year-old filly by Medaglia d’Oro accomplished the five-eighths in 1:04.60 and galloped out three-quarters in 1:17.60. The Tom Proctor trainee captured Woodbine’s grassy Grade II Dance Smartly in her last start July 8 and won Woodbine’s Grade II Nassau Stakes on June 2 in her start before that over that same Canadian lawn.

Jim Tafel’s All Stormy, who finished second by a neck to Albaugh Family Stable’s Cozzetti in Arlington’s Grade III American Derby July 14, breezed five furlongs in 58.80 over the Chicago oval’s main track Sunday morning in preparation for Arlington’s upcoming Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Saturday.

Under the guidance of jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr., who is holding down a solid third-place ranking in the local standings during her first summer riding at Arlington, All Stormy galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.

In the American Derby, middle leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple which concludes with the Secretariat, All Stormy made the pace before weakening to the winner in the last strides.

Owner Tafel, who also bred All Stormy, is a resident of nearby Barrington, Illinois, and is also the owner-breeder of 2007 Kentucky Derby Street Sense.

All Stormy, a sophomore son of Stormy Atlantic, is trained by Greg Geier.

Team Block’s Ioya Bigtime, winner of Arlington’s Grade III Stars and Stripes Stakes on July 14, breezed six furlongs in 1:18 flat over Arlington’s grass course Sunday morning in preparation for Saturday’s upcoming inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes as the latest addition to Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing.

The turf course was rated “good” Sunday morning and the “dogs” were well out from the rail. Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez, who is a solid fifth in the local standings despite riding at Arlington for the first time this summer, was aboard Sunday for trainer Chris Block, and also rode Ioya Bigtime to victory in the Stars and Stripes.

Trainer Block, who also pre-entered Team Block’s Suntracer in the American St. Leger, has all but officially declared that horse from Saturday’s marathon event.

Although Suntracer finished third in the Stars and Stripes, Block saddled him Saturday to win Arlington’s $100,000 open division of the Illinois Owners Stakes.

Was there any chance Block would run Suntracer back one week later, he was asked after Saturday’s win?

“I don’t believe so,” the trainer said. “Ioya Bigtime will run (in the American St. Leger). The more we thought about it, this race (Illinois Owners) made more sense for Suntracer and it paid off.”

Eagle Valley Farm’s Lethal, another pre-entrant in the Arlington St. Leger, went three-eighths in 40.80 over the local lawn Sunday morning.

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