The 5-year-old gelding, who finished fourth beaten only a length in last year’s Arlington Million, was coming off a nine-month layoff, but trainer George “Rusty” Arnold felt his horse was ready for the return.
Two-time defending champion Cosmonaut broke on the lead and posted fractions of 24.32 seconds, 49.89 seconds, 1:15.31 and 1:39.98 while Stream Cat bided his time last of the four runners for more than three quarters of a mile but never more than two lengths off the lead.
“Only one thing I have to say – no excuses,” said Rene Douglas who rode the beaten favorite. “The other horse just ran by me. (My horse) was doing it easily early, but the other horse was better today.”
Corrupt was three-quarters of a length back as the third-place finisher and Tiger Woodman completed the order of finish.
Second choice in the wagering at odds of 5-2, Stream Cat paid $7 and $2.60. Cosmonaut returned $2.10 to place. There was no show betting on the race.
The Arlington Handicap, the final prep for the Grade I Arlington Million on Aug. 9, is one of three graded stakes races presented on the suburban Chicago track’s Million Preview Day program that also included the Grade III Modesty Handicap and the Grade II American Derby.
Arlington Handicap quotes:
QUOTES FOR THE ARLINGTON HANDICAP (GRADE III)
James Graham (rode the winner, Stream Cat): “Rusty (trainer Arnold) said he’d be tough if he was ready and he was definitely ready today. I trust Rusty. He’s good. We were just bouncing along, his ears were forward the whole time. He had no problem handling the soft going. It was a really good race for him.”
Rusty Arnold (trainer of the winner, Stream Cat): “Class horses get ready easy and kind of make you look good. It was easy because he’s a good horse. I’ve only had him a month and a half. We were a little worried about the pace, but James (jockey Graham) kept him right in the race and everything worked out good.”
John Goldthorpe (owner of the winner, Stream Cat): “He’s been on the shelf nine months so this has been a long time coming. He had a tough year last year. Ran second and third everywhere and lost the (Arlington) Million by a couple of feet and we’re excited to back here and to have him in the good hands of Rusty.”
Jockey Rene Douglas (Cosmonaut), 2nd as beaten favorite: “Only one thing I have to say – ‘No excuses.’ The other horse just ran by me. (My horse) was doing it easily early, but the other horse was better today.”