Kirsten Rausing’s Lady Jane Digby, a 5-year-old mare who
drew clear late for a one-length score against male rivals in last Sunday’s
Group I Grosser Dallmayr-Preis Bayerisches-Zuchtrennen at Germany’s Munich
Racecourse, is now expected to challenge the boys once again in the Grade I
Arlington Million in Chicago on Aug. 21.
As the Bayerisches-Zuchtrennen winner, the British homebred
daughter of Oasis Dream gets a “Festival Free Pass” to Arlington Million
XXVIII, one of three Grade I races along with the $750,000 Beverly D. and
$400,000 Secretariat Stakes that make up Arlington’s International Festival of
Racing on the third Saturday in August. Together, those three races are
the only Grade I races offered in Illinois
on an annual basis.
Trainer Mark Johnston has already indicated that Arlington
Million is next up on Lady Jane Digby’s dance card, with a possible second
North American start in Canada’s
Grade I E. P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine to follow on Oct. 16.
Should Lady Jane Digby be victorious in the Million, she
would join Allen Paulson’s 1986 Arlington Million heroine Estrapade as the only
other mare to capture the centerpiece race of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing
Before last Sunday’s score in Germany,
Lady Jane Digby had finished third in Great Britain’s Group II Lancashire
Oaks at Haydock July 3 and was sixth in the Group III Brigadier Gerard Stakes
and Sandown May 27.
However, several other European-based horses have recently
been added to the list of those slated to make the Atlantic crossing for the
Arlington Million, run at a mile and a quarter over Arlington’s world famous
Godolphin’s Allybar, an Irish-bred colt who finished third
beaten a head for the win behind Gloria de Campeao in the Grade I Emirates Air
Dubai World Cup March 27 at Meydan in the United Arab Emirates, was beaten 2
3/4-lengths in last Saturday’s Group II Sky Bet York Stakes at Great Britain’s
York racecourse. Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni is expected to ship Allybar
to the United States
for the Arlington Million.
Also slated for the Million at this time is William
Bellew’s Summit Surge, best by a length and a quarter in last Saturday’s Group
II affair over the Knavesmire at York. Previously, the 6-year-old
Irish-bred gelding finished second behind 2007 Arlington
Million contestant Pressing in Italy’s
Group II Carlo Vittadini last May 30 in Milan.
Trained by Luca Cumani, Summit Surge won Ireland’s Group III Amethyst Stakes
at Leopardstown in May of 2009.
Khalid Abdullah’s British-bred Famous Name, best by two and
a half lengths in Ireland’s Group III Meld Stakes at Leopardstown July 22
and best by a nose in this year’s Amethyst Stakes May 9, is now undefeated in
three starts this year and trainer Dermot Weld is considering the Arlington Million
for his next start.
British-based trainer John Gosden, conditioner of H. R. H.
Princess Haya of Jordan’s Irish-bred Debussy as well as Sheikh Hamdan bin
Rashid Al Maktoum’s Kentucky-bred Tazeez, is considering the Arlington Million
for both of those horse and has completed their necessary blood work prior to
their European departure. Debussy was fourth in last weekend’s Sky Bet
York Stakes after the rider lost his whip in the stretch, and Tazeez weakened
late to finish third in the 12-furlong Group II Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket July 8 in his last start.
Peter Harris’s British-bred Stotsfold, third in last year’s
Arlington Million, was sidelined by an attack of colic right before last
Saturday’s York Stakes and is now out of this year’s renewal, as is Stiftung
Gestut Fahrhoff’s German-bred Querari, who ran poorly in last Sunday’s
Bayerisches-Zuctrennen after winning Italy’s Group I Presidente della
Repubblica May 16.
European-based possibilities for Arlington’s 1 3/16-miles
Beverly D. Stakes as the Arlington Million’s sister race now include Sheikh
Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s Marie de Medici, a daughter of Medicen who was
sixth in Sandown’s listed Coral Distaff Stakes July 3 but winner of the listed
Stanjames Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket May 2; as well as Alan D. Spence’s
Irish-bred Bikini Babe, a daughter of Montjeu who was sixth in the listed EBF
Lyric Stakes in her last start July 23 but second in Meydan’s $250,000 UAE Oaks
Feb. 25. Both 3-year-old fillies are trained by Mark Johnston are
expected to run at Goodwood this week.
European-based sophomores now being considered for the
10-furlong Secretariat Stakes are Joseph Allen’s Vertiformer, a sophomore son
of Dynaformer trained by Jean-Claude Rouget who won the listed Prix de Dives
Stakes at Deauville July 7; Gestut Ittlinger’s German-bred 3-year-old colt
Neatico, trained by Peter Schiergen, who finished 10th in the Group I Deutsches
Derby at Hamburg July 18 but was the winner of the Group III Herzog von Ratibor
Rennen last November; as well as M. B. Hawtin’s Irish-bred Wigmore Hall, a
3-year-old High Chaparral gelding trained by Michael Bell who won the $226,000
John Smith’s Cup July 10.
The Secretariat Stakes is the final leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple.
Estrorace LLC’s Workin for Hops completed the first two legs of the Triple with
wins in the 75th renewal of the Arlington Classic May 22 and the Grade II
American Derby on July 17.