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Finnegans Wake Likely for Arlington Million

Finnegans Wake AP 615 X 400
Photo: Four Footed Fotos
Donegal’s Stable’s Finnegans Wake won his first graded stakes on Saturday in fine style in the Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap at Arlington International Racecourse, giving fans a thrill as he hit the wire inches in front of Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s 2013 Grade I Secretariat Stakes winner Admiral Kitten.  The son of Arlington Million winner Powerscourt was in fine shape on Sunday morning, according to trainer Dale Romans.
“He’s good.  I was really happy with the win,” Romans said.  “He deserved to win a graded stakes.”
The sturdy 5-year-old bay had finished in the top four in no less than 10 graded stakes – five of those Grade I – over the last three seasons, including a runner-up finish in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes in 2012 and a fourth in the Grade I Arlington Million in 2013.  The Arlington Handicap is a course and distance prep for the Million and allows the first three finishers automatic entry and waived fees for the meet centerpiece.
“Most likely,” Romans said in reference to a return to the Million.  “That’ll be up to Jerry (Crawford of Donegal Racing).”
Romans was also pleased with the performance of O’Prado Ole in the Grade III $150,000 Stars and Stripes one race later.  Sent off as a 14-1 outsider, the son of English Channel chased another son of that sire – Midwest Thoroughbreds’ The Pizza Man – the length of the 12-furlong event to finish a very game second.
“I sent him up there to run (that well), but I never expected him to get beat,” Romans said.  “He’s just a horse who has finally come into his own.  He was training like a really good one and I gave him a chance and he showed he fits.”  As to the prospects of a return for the Listed $400,000 American St. Leger, for which the 4-year-old earned an automatic berth and waived fees, “He would fit, yeah.”


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