The brief calm after the storm of Great Britain’s Royal
Ascot meeting last week, combined with an unusual stakes schedule lull June
19-20 for North America’s best older grass horses being pointed to this
summer’s Grade I Arlington Million, allow an opportunity for updates on
Arlington’s Grade I Beverly D. and Grade I Secretariat Stakes.
Original nominees to the Beverly D. as the Arlington
Million’s sister race were especially active last weekend. Charles
Fipke’s Lady Shakespeare took center stage in New
York, coming from off the pace for a 2 3/4-length win
in the Grade II New York Stakes over the Belmont
lawn. Sagamore Farm’s Shared Account proved best by a length in the Grade
III All Along Stakes over the Virginia grass at Colonial Downs, and Philip
Maas’s A She’s Adorable tallied by a length and a quarter on the Delaware Park
turf in the $76,050 John W. Rooney Memorial.
All three of those stakes serve as preps for the $750,000
Beverly D., observing its 20th renewal this summer while annually attracting a
majority of the world’s best grass-favoring fillies to Arlington’s world famous
Another original Beverly D. nomination active in the All
Along was Darley Stable’s Tizaqueena, who dead-heated for the third spot beaten
only a length by the winner.
The older female turf division appears to be an
exceptionally strong group this summer, with William Deburgh’s Irish-bred
Tuscan Evening, Juddmonte Farms’ British-bred Proviso and Augustin Stable’s homebred
Forever Together also included in its top echelon and all among the original
nominations to the 2010 Beverly.
However, 3-year-old colts and geldings that have already
proved their ability to excel on grass are also abundant this season, and most
of them are original nominations to Arlington’s
Mid-America Triple, which concludes with the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes.
The most obvious standout in that group is Donegal Racing’s
Paddy O’Prado, who tallied by three lengths in last Saturday’s Grade II
Colonial Cup, a 1 3/16-mile turf test for sophomores that was contested in
Virginia. Earlier this year, the gray colt broke his maiden in the Grade
III Palm Beach Stakes over the Gulfstream grass course before finishing third
in the Kentucky Derby on the main track at Churchill Downs later in the spring.
Finishing easily second best in the Colonial Cup was
Estrorace LLC’s Workin for Hops, who won the 75th renewal of the Arlington
Classic last month as the first leg of the Triple and remains a strong
possibility for Arlington’s Grade II American Derby July 17 as the Triple’s
No horse has swept the Mid-America Triple since Robert
Schaedle III’s Honor Glide accomplished the feat in 1997.
Arlington’s one-day International Festival of
Racing, which consists of the Arlington Million, the Beverly D. and the
Secretariat, remain the only three Grade I events conducted in Illinois
on an annual basis. The Festival is now less than nine weeks away on Aug.
International Festival prep races slated for the coming weekend
in North America include Woodbine’s Grade II King Edward Stakes in advance of
the Arlington Million and Hollywood’s
Grade III Beverly Hills Handicap eight weeks prior to the Beverly D.