Mr. Commons, a 4-year-old Artie
Schiller colt trained by John Shirreffs for St. George Farm Racing, will be
challenged by seven rivals in the 25th Arcadia Stakes. Mr. Commons
connected at the same distance over the same course on Dec. 16 when taking the
Grade II Sir Beaufort Stakes by 3 ½ lengths over Irish Art with Ultimate Eagle
finishing third. He was the 11-10 favorite that day and could well be odds-on
this time around even though he drew the trying outside post.
Mike Smith rides the bay colt who,
prior to the Sir Beaufort, gave a good account of himself in the Breeders’ Cup
Mile at Churchill Downs when a troubled fifth behind Court Vision. He steadied
going into the first turn, became rank, got carried out, but was only beaten 4
½ lengths in the Grade I, $2 million event. His 4-2-1 record in 10 career
starts has borne earnings of $473,660.
His most compelling opponent in the
Arcadia appears to be newcomer Pathfork, who makes his first U.S. start for
trainer John Sadler. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Distorted Humor was
unbeaten in three starts as a 2-year-old in Ireland. After winning the Group II
EBF Futurity Stakes, Pathfork returned to capture the Group I Vincent O’Brien
National Stakes at the Curragh.
He raced only once last year when
chasing the incomparable Frankel in the Group I 2000 Guineas Stakes at
Newmarket in England. The colt, owned by Silverton Hills Farm, has been training
sharply for his local debut with a steady string of works at six or seven
furlongs, often on turf. Joel Rosario has taken the riding assignment.
The complete field for the Arcadia
Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Dewey’s Special, Jose
Valdivia Jr., 118; Pathfork, Rosario, 118; M One Rifle, Talamo, 118; Calimonco,
Espinoza, 118; El Gato Malo, Garcia, 118; Willyconker, Bejarano, 118; Massone,
Nakatani, 118, and Mr. Commons, Mike Smith, 123.