Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum’s British-bred Afsare, one of the prime European-based prospects for the upcoming Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 18, ran an excellent race at York Saturday when finishing runner-up by a neck in the Group II Sky Bet York Stakes.
The 5-year-old altered son of Dubawi, trained by Italian-born Luca Cumani, won the listed Ambant Gala Stakes in his previous outing July 6 at Sandown and had finished second in Italy’s Group I Premio Presidente della Repubblica at Campannelle before that on May 13.
STARS TO SHINE LIGHTS UP LIKELY FIELD FOR BEVERLY D.
The Grange House Partnership’s Stars to Shine, heroine of Woodbine’s Grade III Ontario Matron at last asking July 22, is now likely for the upcoming Grade I Beverly D. Stakes Aug. 18, according to Arlington stakes coordinator George Berry.
“I got a phone call from (Canadian-born trainer) Mark Frostad this morning,” said Berry on Sunday. “He confirmed that Stars to Shine would be coming to Chicago for the Beverly D.”
The $750,000 Beverly D., restricted to members of the distaff set, serves as the sister race to the Arlington Million during Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing – America’s only single day program of Thoroughbred racing that attracts horses from all over the world.
Stars to Shine, a 5-year-old mare by Tale of the Cat, won Woodbine’s $100,000 Trillium Stakes June 24 in her only other start this year since finishing fifth in Keeneland’s Grade I Spinster Stakes last fall.
SETH SCORES SATURDAY HAT TRICK TO TIE FOR THIRD IN JOCK STANDINGS
Jockey Seth Martinez, hanging his tack full-time at Arlington for only his second season locally, scored the first “hat trick” of his 2012 Arlington season.
Martinez, 33, born in Raton, New Mexico, won Saturday’s opener on Richard Fosher, Harvey Noble and Bruce Oakes’ Thrill Maker, returned to the winner’s circle after the fourth astride Cheryl Magana’s Scotchirish and completed his triple while bookending the program in the finale aboard R Otto Stables’ Mourette in the finale.
Martinez’ three-win afternoon tied him with Rosemary Homeister Jr. for third place in the Arlington jockey standings entering Sunday’s races.
Homeister, 40, born in Hollywood, Florida, is racing’s all-time second leading female rider behind retired Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone and is hanging her tack at Arlington for the first time in her career this summer.
Chicago-raised reins master Francisco Torres and Irish-born jockey James Graham, first and second respectively in the standings, each posted riding doubles Saturday to remain four wins apart entering Sunday’s races.
ROGER BRUEGGEMANN SADDLES TRAINING DOUBLE SATURDAY
Arlington trainer Roger Brueggemann, 66, born in Leesville, Louisiana, accomplished a training double Saturday.
Brueggemann saddled Richard Fosher, Harvey Noble and Bruce Oakes’ Thrill Maker to win the opener and Cheryl Magana’s Scotchirish to capture the fourth race of the day and is now fifth in the standings after finishing eighth in the final standings last summer.