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Debussy Bursts Thru To Capture 28th Arlington Million

HRH Princess Haya of Jordan’s Debussy – a 4-year-old Irish-bred son of Diesis –  scored an unexpected victory with a crescendo of a late run in Arlington Million XXVIII Saturday. 

 

Just moments earlier Castleton Lyons’ Gio Ponti appeared to have designed a second straight tally in the centerpiece race of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season with his patented last-to-first run, but could not withstand the winner in the last strides.

 

“We were too tight for room early,” said winning jockey William Buick, Norwegian-born but British-based as the first-call rider for John Gosden.  “I thought, ‘Oh no, I’m not going to have room’ but then we finally got clear and he was able to run his race.”

 

Debussy accomplished the mile and a quarter distance over the turf course rated “good” in 2:03.01, after Jean and Ted Barlas and Mike Porcaro’s Quite a Handful carved out early splits of 25.30 and 50.04 before tiring.

 

Gio Ponti, void of early foot, circled the field to take command between calls inside the final sixteenth before being collared a half-length by the winner at the wire.

 

Shadwell Stable’s Tazeez, British-based conditioner Gosden’s other runner, pressed the early pace, took command leaving the backstretch, held a clear lead past the furlong grounds but was no match for the top two and was beaten two and a half lengths for the victory.

 

Debussy paid $24, $8.20 and $5.60, while odds-on Gio Ponti returned $2.80 and $2.40.  Tazeez paid $4 in the show spot.

 

“He had nowhere to go (when in tight),” said trainer Gosden of Debussy, echoing the early-race frustrations of Buick.  “The pace was decent enough for this kind of ground.  I think they just tired the last part of it and he dashed up the rail and done it very well. 


“I’ve been trying to win the race for 28 years,” added Gosden, who also trained in California for a number of years.


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Naturally, the Debussy camp’s elation was in direct counterpoint to the disappointment felt by the connections of Gio Ponti.

 

“I thought I had enough to hang on,” said Gio Ponti’s jockey Ramon Dominguez, who was aboard Gio Ponti for the win in last summer’s Arlington Million.  “Once I got clear, the horse was idling a little bit – maybe looking at the stands or something.  The trip was great.  I had a lot of horse turning for home.  He couldn’t hang on the last sixteenth when he was looking around.”

 

William Courtney Jr.’s Rahystrada finished fourth, followed by William Bellew’s Summit Surge, Shadwell Stable’s Tajaaweed, Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters, Jonathan Sheppard’s Just as Well and Quite a Handful in that order.

 

Debussy now has earned five victories from 14 lifetime starts and increased his career earnings to $1,006,813.

 

 

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Older Comments about Debussy Bursts Thru To Capture 28th Arlington Million...

Interesting quotes from the race--William Buick (Debussy)-- "We were very tight for room. I thought 'Oh no, I'm not going to have room' but we finally got clear and he was able to run his race" Buick is Norwegian born and rides first call for John Gosden He also won the Dubai Sheema Classic aboard Dar Re Me. John Gosden--"I've been trying to win this race for 28 years" Ramon Dominguez (Gio Ponti)--"I thought I had enough to hang on. Once I got clear, the horse was idling a bit-maybe looking at the stands or something. The trip was great. I had a lot of horse turning for home."
That was an amazing stretch run after Buick's "Borel-like" trip. Another Irish shipper to put in the mix for the BC Turf race in Nov.
If you'll check the comments that I've made all week long. I stated that both Debussy and Tazeez were very legitimate threat's to Gio Ponti in the Arlington Million if Gio Ponti didn't bring his "A" game into the race. Debussy is a multiple G2 and G3 winner in Europe. Debussy beat the likes of World Heritage, Ideology, and Allybar in the G2 2009 Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Lafiitte in France. He'd beaten Midday in the 2009 Blue Ribbon Trial Stakes at Ascot. Midday, besides winning the 09' B.C F&M Turf. Has just rolled off back to back G1 win's in the Blue Square Nassau Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks. Debussy also won the G3 Huxley Stakes quite impressively at Chester back in May. He had just ran 4th at York in the Blue Square York Stakes. Beaten by Summit Surge, Bushman, and Allybar. Tazeez had ran 3rd behind Byword and Twice Over in the G1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Ascot in June. Then ran 3rd again at Newmarket in the G2 Princess of Wales Stakes in July. Where he outran heavy race favorite, Spanish Moon, to grab 3rd in that race. So both of these colts are very legit turf horses. Gio Ponti didn't do himself any favors swinging 7 or 8 wide against this field off of the final turn, headed for home. Debussy's jockey, William Buick. rode a very clever, and very savvy race. Holding the rail, and saving ground with Debussy for as long as possible. The bottom line here is that Debussy just had plenty left in the tank when Buick called on him for his run. Enough left in the tank to run down Gio Ponti and Tazeez.
That was an amazing stretch run from behind a wall of horses!

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