Betty & Robert Irvin’s Juniper
Pass, a winner of back-to-back Grade II events in California, and Poza de
Luna’s Interaction, a multiple Group I winner in his native Argentina, head a
field of 10 older horses entered for Saturday’s Grade III $150,000 Arlington
The Arlington Handicap serves as
the final local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million, which will be held Aug.
13, and will be run at the Million distance of a mile and a quarter over
Arlington’s world famous turf course.
The race is one of three major
stakes that comprise the track’s Million Preview Day program. In addition
to the Arlington Handicap, the 11-race card includes the Grade II $200,000
American Derby and the Grade III $150,000 Modesty Handicap. As an added
bonus, the 1-2-3 finishers in the Arlington Handicap will have their entry and
starting fees waived for the Million should they elect to run in that event
A son of Lemon Drop Kid, Juniper
Pass comes to Chicago
off consecutive victories in the Grade II San Luis Rey over a mile and a half
on the dirt and the Grade II San Juan Capistrano Handicap at a mile and
three-quarters on the grass at Santa Anita Park this spring. The mile and
a quarter distance of the Arlington Handicap should prove to the 4-year-old’s
liking as he sports an allowance win and a good third-place finish in the Grade
I Hollywood Derby at 10 furlongs. Trained by Thomas Bell II, Juniper
Pass will tote starting
high weight of 122 pounds and be ridden by Brice Blanc.
An Argentine-bred son of Easing
Along, Interaction will be making his first start since March 3 when he
finished seventh after making the pace in the Group II Emirates Airline Dubai
City of Gold Stakes on the turf on the Super Thursday program at Meydan
Racecourse after finishing third in the Group III Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3
over the Meydan Tapeta surface a month earlier. In 2009, Interaction
captured some of Argentina’s
most prestigious races including the Group I Jockey Club and the Group I Carlos
Pellegrini. Making his North American debut for trainer Christophe
Clement, he will carry 120 pounds and have the services of Corey Nakatani.
Dean’s Kitten, owned by Kenneth
& Sarah Ramsey, enters off a victory in the $150,000 Dallas Turf Cup at Lone
in his most recent effort May 30. A son of 2004 Secretariat Stakes winner
Kitten’s Joy, the 4-year-old colt was third through the finish line but
subsequently placed fourth for interference in last year’s Grade II American
Derby over this course and then ran fifth in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes
over the Arlington Handicap course and distance. The Mike Maker trainee
will be ridden by Julien Leparoux and shoulder 119 pounds.
Shadwell Stable’s Tajaaweed looks
to better his third-place finish in this race one year ago and comes into this
year’s renewal off a good second in the $77,000 Opening Verse at Churchill
Downs three weeks ago. Earlier this season, the Dan Peitz-trained son of
Dynaformer ran second over this course in third-level allowance optional
claimer. He will team with James Graham and carry 118 pounds.
Others in the field (with weight
assignment and riders listed) are: G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s El Crespo (Florent
Geroux, 117 pounds); Lothenbach Stables’ Mister Marti Gras (Shaun Bridgmohan,
117); Frank Mancari’s Free Fighter (Tim Thornton, 116); William Stiritz’
Proceed Bee (Junior Alvarado, 116); Keith Chudzik’s Amun Re (114, Julio Felix);
and Andreas Jacobs’ Sanagas (Rajiv Maragh, 114).