Treasure Beach looking to double up at Arlington

Treasure Beach
So I was going to write my next blog solely on Treasure Beach as my final prep before the Million Day draw. That was until I saw what he had (or hadn’t) done since the Secretariat Stakes last year. Then I said to myself…hmmmm…I wonder how other horses fared in the past when they have run in both the Secretariat and the Arlington Million? Here are my findings…


Well let’s start with last year’s Secretariat Stakes winner Treasure Beach. If you recall, as the post time favorite he tracked leader Ziyarid around the entire course until kicking it into gear at the very end to win by a neck. However since then he has been unable to finish on the board but once in his last five starts, and that was a show finish in the Pattison Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine back in October. He has been bouncing back and forth between Europe and the U.S. over his last few starts and will be making an appearance in the Arlington Million on 9 days rest. Tough.

So in attempting to find out how Secretariat Stakes runners and winners have fared in the Million it appears that I don’t have to go too far back into history. The Secretariat stakes has been run since 1974 and the Million since 1981 (this being the 30th running with a few breaks in between). So here we go…

OK so the first horse to hit the board in the Secretariat Stakes and give it a shot in the Million was Jack Slade back in 1983-1984 where he finished 2nd in the Secretariat and 8th in the Million. OK maybe that stat wasn’t so exciting. Let’s see if I can do better. (Come on Dark Horse, get it together!!)

The first name that comes to mind is the great Awad. Yes, Awad set the track record for the Arlington Million back in 1995, however he did win the Secretariat Stakes two years earlier in 1993. So what happened in 1994? Well he didn’t run after April that season and was put on the shelf. Still, he was great enough to come back the next year and win the big one!

(A video I found on You Tube featuring a relaxed Awad) 
The year before Awad won the Secretariat, the 1992 version of the race showed some hope for future Million successes. Finishing second in the Secretariat was Paradise Creek who went on to score in the 1994 version of the Million! Mecke (1995-1996) was the other horse to hit the board in the Secretariat and win the Million…

…other than the other two horses to win both the Secretariat and Million. And these two horses did it in consecutive years! These honors go to Marlin (1996-1997) and Kicken Kris (2003-2004, under some controversy with the disqualification of Powerscourt, who ended up winning the next Million anyway).

(Kicken Kris wins the Arlington Million by DQ) 
The Arlington media guide also points out that recent favorite turf sire Kitten’s Joy won the Secretariat in 2004 and finished second in the 2005 Million.


(2005 Arlington Million - Powerscourt then Kitten's Joy) 


So to recap, the feat has actually been accomplished three times, and again that was done by Awad, Marlin, and Kicken Kris. Will the 2012 offering see Treasure Beach be the fourth to accomplish this? Seems like a tough task to handle at this point, but perhaps we might see the next best chance with this year’s Silver Max?

Stay tuned for more Chicago Dark Horse coverage as the Million Day draw occurs Wednesday in the WGN-TV studios. Rest assured I will be providing my preview of the day’s races for all of you!! 




In other Million Day news...

- Million Day Memories: Gorella in the Beverly D.!

- Gosden Looking for the Clean Sweep?

- Aiden O'Brien Returns Hungry? 



What the Nation is saying about Treasure Beach looking to double up at Arlington...

Looking for more info. on Marlin. Is their a way to contact his past trainers/owners? I just want some history on him becuase i think he is the same marlin that is at my farm, retired. Would love to know if this is really him...
And hopefully we can look forward to Silver Max doing it in 2013!
He could do it, but I like other Euros better in here.


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 (Whoa - the DARK HORSE)
Greetings and welcome to my "dark" blog!  I have been a fan of horse racing since I was about 12 years old.  Growing up in Minnesota, my dad would take me and my brothers to Canterbury Downs and I would practically beg to go every weekend!!  I made my first "big" score there hitting the win, place, and exacta in the same race at age 14 (pulled in $84 with horses named Railroad Red and Racers Dream!).  I also had a poster in my bedroom of Lost Code winning the 1987 St. Paul Derby!

I followed racing all through the remainder of high school and college in Illinois, paying close attention to the likes of Lost Code, Alysheba, Cryptoclearance, Risen Star, Sunday Silence, and Tabasco Cat.  I spent every possible moment at Arlington Park with my dad, taking time to develop computer programs (on Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS) to try to find patterns and handicap races more accurately.  My dad taught me a lot about handicapping races, paying particular attention to class moves!

I'm more of a fan of racing now than ever before, and have made a lot of friends in, and because of, the industry.  For that I am eternally grateful!  Once being deemed the second best racing ambassador in Chicago (hey I've been called worse),
I now reside in the Richmond, Virginia area and will be covering many different aspects of racing - DARK HORSE STYLE!  My goal for this blog is to get people more interested in horse racing while focusing on my home(s) away from home, the race tracks of America! My favorite tracks are Arlington, Colonial, Canterbury, Del Mar, Gulfstream, Hawthorne, and Keeneland!
At the end of the day though, I'm just a regular guy who loves horse racing a whole lot.   It is my honor to be a part of the Horse Racing Nation team and I truly hope you enjoy this blog. 

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