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Breeders Cup 2015

Guest Blog - Heidi E. Carpenter | Arlington Million Day in Photos

Real SOlution in the Winner's Circle after winning the 2013 Arlington Million
Photo: Heidi E. Carpenter

A longtime fan of horse racing, Heidi E. Carpenter has always been inspired by the beauty of Thoroughbreds. Her best muse is her off-track Thoroughbred, Limerick (registered as Amanda Bry). She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and four cats, and is a writer for a local business. 


Saturday was a banner day for emerging top turf sire Kitten’s Joy (El Prado - Kitten's First, by Lear Fan). First, son Big Blue Kitten (out of Spent Gold, by Unaccounted For) won the Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes (Gr. I) at Saratoga Racecourse, then 850 miles and 20 minutes later, sons Admiral Kitten (out of Reachinforthestars, by Grand Slam) and Real Solution (out of Reachfortheheavens, by Pulpit) headed the Kitten conquest of Chicago by winning the Secretariat Stakes (Gr. I) and Arlington Million Stakes (Gr. I), respectively.

As an interesting pedigree side note, the winners of the other two major stakes on Million Day at Arlington Park, the American St. Leger Stakes and Beverly D. Stakes (Gr. I), were both by Dansili, who--like Kitten's Joy--is a paternal great-grandson of Northern Dancer.

The weather on Million Day can sometimes be a toss-up (as is typical for the Chicago area) but on Saturday, one couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day.


 Wifeonthewarpath in the paddock before the Hatoof Stakes (Division 1).


 The very handsome Dandino (GB) in the paddock prior to the American St. Leger.


 Also handsome was Wigmore Hall (IRE), one of the truly international racehorses on the Million card.


 Dandino (GB) proved that pretty horses can run by winning the American St. Leger over Suntracer (5).


 Admiral Kitten, Rosie Napravnik up, in the paddock prior to winning the Secretariat Stakes.



 Heavy favorite Marketing Mix in the paddock prior to the Beverly D. Stakes. She was very poised...


 ...as was Dank (GB)...


 ...but Gifted Girl (IRE) kept her handlers on their toes!



 Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens (on Marketing Mix) is right at home on a horse. Gary came out of retirement in January and has been having a successful year to date.


 Dank (GB) ran away with the Beverly D., leaving Marketing Mix in her wake.


 The paddock came alive prior to the Arlington Million. Familiar faces were here, including that of 9-year-old Rahystrada, a local favorite. He won the Arlington Handicap (Gr. III) last time out.


 There were newcomers too, including the beautiful Side Glance (GB).


 Mull of Kullough (IRE) takes in the paddock crowd.


Little Mike, Joel Rosario up, won the 2012 Arlington Million (under now-retired jockey, Ramon Dominguez). He was attempting to become the only back-to-back winner of the Million.


In a thrilling finish, The Apache (SAF) headed Real Solution at the wire but was disqualified to 2nd for interference. Side Glance (GB) was 3rd.


 The Apache (SAF) getting hosed down after the Million.


Real Solution, Alan Garcia up, in the Arlington Million winner's circle.

Owner and breeder Ken Ramsey takes his turn wearing the garland. Ramsey also bred Kitten's Joy and stands the stallion at Ramsey Farm in Kentucky.


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