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Another Wild Finish Possible in American Derby

WinStar Farm’s General Election, an impressive winner of the first leg of the Mid-America Triple – the Grade III Arlington Classic on May 25 – returns against some familiar foes and a few new faces in the second leg of the series, the Grade III $200,000 American Derby, on Saturday July 13.  Trained by Kellyn Gorder, the son of Harlan’s Holiday scored by one length at 13-1 in his first start on grass in what was a wild four-horse finish.  Joseph Rocco, Jr. returns and will break from post 2 in the 11-horse field. 

Looking forward to the additional furlong in distance this time will be late-closing Arlington Classic runner-up and beaten favorite Admiral Kitten, who has been given seven weeks off since that defeat.  After three second-place finishes at 1 1/16-miles within six weeks’ time, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred will seek revenge from the adjacent post 3 under Julien Leparoux.  Trainer Mike Maker will also start the improving Moro Tap for owners Skychai Racing, Sand Dollar Stable, Terry Raymond and Jana Wagner.  The sleek gray colt was a fast-closing third last out in the $200,000 Centaur Stakes at Indiana Downs on June 15.  The ever-popular Rosie Napravnik picks up the mount.

Dorsett looks to avenge his controversial disqualification (from third to fourth) in the Arlington Classic with a win here for trainer Mike Stidham and owner Terry Hamilton.  The improving son of Breeders’ Cup Mile victor Artie Schiller has since impressively defeated his elders in a second-level allowance over nine furlongs on June 15 on the local turf, and retains rider E.T. Baird from that race in post 7.  A late-runner, he will appreciate the additional sixteenth of a mile. 

A formidable new challenger comes in the form of Team Valor International’s Infinite Magic, who exits a rough trip in the Grade III Hill Prince Stakes on June 15 at Belmont Park.  Bumped hard in the stretch while rallying from a dozen lengths off the pace, the former England-based sophomore rallied to finish sixth.  Trainer Rick Mettee, the new private conditioner for Team Valor, has retained the services of Channing Hill, who will break from post 6 on the deep-closing son of More than Ready.

Completing the field for the American Derby are Glen Hill Farm’s Procurement (Eddie Castro); Barry Golden’s Coastal Breeze (Kent Desormeaux); Mongolian Stable’s Mongolian Saturday (Carlos Montalvo); Taylor Rice’s Triple Cross (Ricardo Feliciano); Leonard Leveen and Michael P. Shanley’s Stormy Len (Alex Solis); and Catherine Zoc’s Formidable Heart (Florent Geroux).

The American Derby will be run at a mile and three-sixteenths over Arlington’s world famous turf course and serves as the final local prep for the Grade I $500,000 Secretariat Stakes, which will be held Aug. 17 as part of the one-day International Festival of Racing.

The race is one of four major stakes that comprise the track’s Million Preview Day program.  In addition to the American Derby, the 12-race card includes the Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap, the Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap and the Grade III $150,000 Stars and Stripes.  As an added bonus, the 1-2-3 finishers in the American Derby will have their entry and starting fees waived for the Secretariat should they elect to run in that event next month.




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