Joseph Allen’s Vertiformer, pre-entered last week for both the 30th anniversary edition of the Arlington Million and the inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger this Saturday, breezed five furlongs in 1:06.80 Monday morning over Arlington’s world famous turf course.
Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez, who is riding at Arlington for the first time this summer but is a solid fifth in the standings, was aboard Vertiformer for the move over the grass course which was rated “good” with the “dogs” well out from the rail.
The Million, Beverly D. and the Secretariat stakes are also the only three Grade I races offered in Illinois on an annual basis.
In his last start, Vertiformer, who is conditioned by Arlington’s perennial leading trainer Wayne Catalano, finished fourth after breaking slowly in the Grade III Arlington Handicap on July 14 as the designed local prep race for Saturday’s Million.
Also with a breeze over Arlington’s grass course on Monday morning was Millard Seldin Revocable Trust and the Estate of Hoss Inman’s Arlington Million pre-entrant Cherokee Lord, who went three-quarters in 1:16.80 with the veteran jockey Francisco Torres in the irons.
Trained by Charlie Livesay, Cherokee Lord finished a nose behind Vertiformer when fifth in the $200,000 Arlington Handicap and was fourth in the Secretariat two years ago.
Arlington Handicap runner-up Boisterous, owned by Phipps Stable, breezed a half Monday morning in 47.60 over Saratoga’s training track, while Robert Courtney Jr.’s Rahystrada, who bested Boisterous by a neck when winning the local Million prep, went four furlongs in 51.40 at The Thoroughbred Center in Kentucky last Saturday.
FRANCE’S BAYRIR, GOSDEN’S GROUP HEAD FESTIVAL HORSES ON GROUNDS
Although none of the European invaders that are already on the grounds at Arlington in advance of Saturday’s one-day International Festival of Racing had cleared quarantine at the end of training hours Monday morning, the following were on site safely.
That group included three candidates for the inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger: Eastwind Racing’s Kentucky-bred Bridge of Gold, Australian TB Bloodstock et al.’s Irish-bred Jakkalberry and Darley Stud Management’s German-bred Zuider Zee.
On the grounds in advance of Saturday’s 30th anniversary edition of the Grade I Arlington Million were Darley Stud Management’s duo of British-bred Afsare and Irish-bred Colombian as well two others bred on the Emerald Isle – EFFEVI and ABT’s Crackerjack King and Mark Hawtin’s Wigmore Hall.
Fillies and mares that were being bedded down in advance of Saturday’s $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes as the Million’s sister race were Andrew Stone’s Irish-bred I’m A Dreamer, Darley Stud Management’s British-bred Joviality, and Gestut Karlshof’s German-bred Kapitale.
European-based invading sophomores who had arrived in advance of Saturday’s $500,000 Secretariat Stakes were His Highness the Aga Khan’s Studs’ French-bred Bayrir and Darley Stud Management’s Kentucky-bred Dark Stranger.
RETIRED RIDERS BARBARA JO RUBIN, PATTI COOKSEY BOTH MADE HISTORY
Several generations of Thoroughbred racing’s younger fans who may not have studied the history of the sport might not be aware of the hostility faced by its earliest female jockeys, but two of those will be on hand Friday for “Dining With The Dynasty.”
Barbara Jo Rubin, who became the first female jockey to win a recognized Thoroughbred race in February of 1969, will be one of the guests featured at the luncheon, as will Patti Cooksey, who will also un-retire briefly for the Jockey Legends race that day.
Rubin, 62, became racing’s first female to ride the winner of a pari-mutuel race when she won a race at West Virginia’s Charles Town Race Course while a 19-year-old. However, she had been named to ride a horse one month earlier at South Florida’s Tropical Park and would have been the first female to ride in a race but that chance was denied when all the male jockeys boycotted and the race was cancelled.
Until she won, Rubin was constantly put in tight spots by other jockeys in races that were contested and usually booed by the public, but she became an instant celebrity after she did win with appearances in such popular television shows as “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
Patti Cooksey, born in 1958, became the first female to win 2,000 races and the first to ride in the Preakness. However, she had the perfect squelch for an early boo-bird who suggested she stop riding and get back in the kitchen when she said, “Unfortunately, I can’t cook, either.”