English-born but Canadian-based trainer Roger Attfield, to be inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at Saratoga this summer, has one of America’s oldest stakes races – Arlington’s 80th renewal of the Grade III Stars and Stripes – on his radar for Simmard, who won last week’s Grade III Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs and last winter’s Grade II Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream Park.
“We are certainly going to keep the Stars and Stripes under consideration for Simmard, and possibly for Musketier as well,” said Attfield, speaking over the phone from his barn at Woodbine mid-week. “When do the nominations close for that race? We’ll be taking a good look at it.”
The Louisville Handicap, like the Stars and Stripes, is a grass race run at a mile and a half, and Attfield co-owns the 7-year-old Kentucky-bred Simmard with William Werner. Musketier on the other hand, is a 10-year-old German-bred, owned by Stella Perdomo but trained by Attfield.
Musketier, who also relishes a 12-furlong route of ground, beat Simmard by a half-length in Calder’s grassy 1 1/2-mile Grade II W. L. McKnight last fall, with Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone’s 2008 Grade I Secretariat Stakes winner Winchester finishing three-quarters of length farther back in third.
Attfield, born in Newbury, Berkshire, became most recent trainer inducted into Saratoga’s North American Hall of Fame last August at 71 years of age. He emigrated to Canada in 1970 and was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame in 1999.
Incidentally, this summer’s renewal of the Stars and Stripes is also designed to serve as a preview of Arlington’s inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes at a mile and five and a half furlongs over the local lawn. That race will be contested on Aug. 18 – Arlington Million Day – and Attfield expressed interest in that event as well for both of those marathon runners.
$543,664 JACKPOT CARRYOVER AVAILABLE AT ARLINGTON FRIDAY
A half-million dollars is nothing to sneeze at, and a $543,664 carryover pool is already available should one lucky bettor be the only person to correctly select the first five finishers in exact order in the last race of Arlington’s twilight racing program Friday.
The Jackpot provision means that the entire pool pays out only when there is one and only one ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order.
In the event that there are multiple tickets sold with the first five finishers in exact order, 50 percent of the daily Jackpot High-5 pool will be distributed to those ticket holders and 50 percent of that daily Jackpot High-5 pool will be carried over to the next scheduled Jackpot High-5 event and added to any existing carryover pool.
First post Friday at Arlington is 3 p.m. CDT and post time for the ninth race with its existing half-million dollar Jackpot pool will be approximately 7 p.m.
TORRES, GRAHAM, HOMEISTER ALL EARN RIDING DOUBLES WEDNESDAY
Arlington’s current leading rider Francisco Torres with 19 wins through Wednesday, the current runner-up James Graham who had 16 at the conclusion of the afternoon, and Arlington newcomer Rosemary Homeister, currently in third place in the local standings with 11 trips to the winner’s circle, all posted riding doubles Wednesday.
Homeister, second leading female jockey of all time, won the opener astride the Steve Manley-owned and trained I Turned Outlaw and took the fifth on Edward Sukley’s Horvat Clan for conditioner Tom Proctor.
Torres won the second half of the Daily Double on Frank Irwin’s Swinging Bernie for trainer Mike Maker and the eighth aboard David Kahl and Tammy Domenosky’s It’s Tamareno for conditioner Domenosky.
Graham captured the third race on Ballybrit Stable’s Clout for conditioner Mike Dini and came back to the winner’s circle after the ninth aboard Jack Smith, Robert Auerbach and Richard Wolfe’s Rainbow Blossom for trainer Mike Stidham.