The first of three
transatlantic equine charters bringing European invaders to Arlington
Festival of Racing this Saturday touched down at O’Hare International Airport
one week prior to the upcoming showcase day.
Assuming there are no
unanticipated complications, its three equine passengers, now in residence at
the south end of Arlington’s International Barn, should clear quarantine
Most familiar to Arlington’s
perennial Festival fans aboard this year’s initial Air France
charter was Mark Hawtin’s Wigmore Hall, slated for Saturday’s Grade I Arlington
Million as the centerpiece race of International Festival. The Irish-bred
4-year-old finished second in last year’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes as part of
the 2010 Festival.
The other Arlington Million
candidate aboard that first flight was the French-bred Zack Hall, owned by
Mathieu Offenstadt, Sylvain Fargeon, Patrick Offenstadt and Mikel
Delzangles. That colt finished fourth in France’s Group I Grand Prix de
Saint-Cloud at last asking June 26 but was second beaten less than a length in
the Group III Prix d’Hedouville in his previous start May 5 at Longchamp.
Barbara and Cedrick Amm
and Marsh Shirtliff’s River Jetez, a South African-bred mare who is one
of the headline attractions for Saturday’s Grade I Beverly D. as the sister
race to the Arlington Million, completed the European-based troika aboard Air
France’s initial transatlantic equine charter. That globetrotting
8-year-old, who often races against males, was most recently fifth in Great
Britain’s Group I Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket
July 8 following an extended layoff after finishing second by a half-length
against males in the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji May
22. Before that she was beaten less than three lengths, also against
males, in the Group I Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin in Hong
Kong on May 1.