So I was going to write my next blog solely on Treasure Beach as my final prep before the Million Day draw. That was until I saw what
he had (or hadn’t) done since the Secretariat Stakes last year. Then I said to
myself…hmmmm…I wonder how other horses fared in the past when they have run in
both the Secretariat and the Arlington Million? Here are my findings…
Well let’s start with last year’s Secretariat Stakes winner
Treasure Beach. If you recall, as the post time favorite he tracked leader
Ziyarid around the entire course until kicking it into gear at the very end to
win by a neck. However since then he has been unable to finish on the board but
once in his last five starts, and that was a show finish in the Pattison
Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine back in October. He has been bouncing
back and forth between Europe and the U.S. over his last few starts and will be
making an appearance in the Arlington Million on 9 days rest. Tough.
So in attempting to find out how Secretariat Stakes runners
and winners have fared in the Million it appears that I don’t have to go too
far back into history. The Secretariat stakes has been run since 1974 and the
Million since 1981 (this being the 30th running with a few breaks in
between). So here we go…
OK so the first horse to hit the board in the Secretariat
Stakes and give it a shot in the Million was Jack Slade back in 1983-1984 where
he finished 2nd in the Secretariat and 8th in the
Million. OK maybe that stat wasn’t so exciting. Let’s see if I can do better. (Come
on Dark Horse, get it together!!)
The first name that comes to mind is the great Awad. Yes,
Awad set the track record for the Arlington Million back in 1995, however he
did win the Secretariat Stakes two years earlier in 1993. So what happened in
1994? Well he didn’t run after April that season and was put on the shelf. Still,
he was great enough to come back the next year and win the big one!
(A video I found on You Tube featuring a relaxed Awad)
The year before Awad won the Secretariat, the 1992 version
of the race showed some hope for future Million successes. Finishing second in
the Secretariat was Paradise Creek who went on to score in the 1994 version of
the Million! Mecke (1995-1996) was the other horse to hit the board in the
Secretariat and win the Million…
…other than the other two horses to win both the Secretariat
and Million. And these two horses did it in consecutive years! These honors go
to Marlin (1996-1997) and Kicken Kris (2003-2004, under some controversy with
the disqualification of Powerscourt, who ended up winning the next Million
(Kicken Kris wins the Arlington Million by DQ)
The Arlington media guide also points out that recent favorite
turf sire Kitten’s Joy won the Secretariat in 2004 and finished second in the
(2005 Arlington Million - Powerscourt then Kitten's Joy)
So to recap, the feat has actually been accomplished three
times, and again that was done by Awad, Marlin, and Kicken Kris. Will the 2012
offering see Treasure Beach be the fourth to accomplish this? Seems like a
tough task to handle at this point, but perhaps we might see the next best
chance with this year’s Silver Max?
Stay tuned for more Chicago Dark Horse coverage as the
Million Day draw occurs Wednesday in the WGN-TV studios. Rest assured I will be
providing my preview of the day’s races for all of you!!
**CHECK THIS OUT**
In other Million Day news...
- Million Day Memories: Gorella in the Beverly D.!
- Gosden Looking for the Clean Sweep?
- Aiden O'Brien Returns Hungry?