Stella Perdomo's Musketier, three-time winner of
the Grade III Singspiel Stakes at Woodbine Race Course, and Henry Pabst
Trust's Joinem, runner-up in the Grade III Louisville Handicap at
Churchill Downs in May, headline a field of 11 turf marathoners entered
in Saturday's Grade III $150,000 Stars and Stripes Stakes.
The Stars and Stripes is part of the Million Preview Day card for the
first time and serves as the final local prep for the inaugural running
of the $400,000 American St. Leger, which will be held Aug. 18. In
addition to the Stars and Stripes, the 12-race card includes the Grade
III $200,000 American Derby, the Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap and
the Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap. As an added bonus, the
1-2-3 finishers in the Stars and Stripes will have their entry and
starting fees waived for the American St. Leger should they elect to run
in that event next month.
A 10-year-old son of Acatenago, Musketier is still going strong
despite his advanced age. The Roger Attfield trainee seems to thrive on
the marathon distance with six victories at the mile and a half tilt of
Saturday's Stars and Stripes. In addition to his trip wins in the
Singspiel, Musketier also won the 2011 Grade II W. L. McKnight at Calder
and the Grade II Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland, also in 2011. Joel
Rosario picks up the mount.
Joinem, who is cross-entered in the Grade III Arlington Handicap at a
mile and a quarter earlier in the card, was second to Simmard in the
Louisville and before that finished third in the Grade II Mervyn Muniz
Jr. Handicap at the Fair Grounds in April. Jesus Castanon will ride the
David Carroll-trained 5-year-old son of Johar.
Trainer Graham Motion sends Riverdee Stable's Eagle Poise in from his
Fair Hill Training center base of operations. The 6-year-old Empire
Maker gelding hasn't raced since being nosed out of the victory by
Bourbon Bay in the Grade II San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita
in April. The long distance specialist also won the Grade III
Valedictory at Woodbine last December. Alex Solis gets the call.
Others of note in the Stars and Stripes include Hiram Polk & J.
David Richardson's Harrods Creek (Julien Leparoux), fourth in the
Louisville and third in the San Juan Capistrano in his last two starts;
Frank Mancari's defending champion Free Fighter (Robby Albarado); Team
Block's Suntracer (Eduardo Perez), runner-up in the 2011 Arlington
Classic and American Derby; and Barry Golden's Workin for Hops (James
Graham), 2010 winner of both the Arlington Classic and American Derby.
Also in the field are: Joseph Allen's Vertiformer (Quincy Hamilton), a
third-level allowance winner here last month; Team Block's Ioya Bigtime
(Jeffrey Sanchez), fifth in the Black Tie Affair Handicap last time
out; Andrew Baur & G. Watts Humphrey Jr,'s Final Count, third in a
$100,000 stakes races at Indiana Downs June 20; and Mark Van
Keirsbilck's Mystic (Francisco Torres), winner of a minor stakes race at
Mountaineer last year.