Dale Romans might have been a
little tired after flying from Chicago back to
any fatigue Sunday morning was overshadowed by the afterglow of winning one of
the most important races of his career.
On Saturday, the Romans-trained
Little Mike stretched his speed to 1
¼ miles and stunned a field of top turf runners to win the Grade 1 Arlington
Million. Little Mike ran the distance in 2:02.44 under new rider Ramon Dominguez
to win by 1 ½ lengths.
“One of the biggest wins of my
career,” Romans said in his office at
Saratoga. “He just keeps on cruising. I backed
him down in distance in California [when third
in the Grade 1 Shoemaker at a mile on June 30 at
Park ], and it didn’t work out. His best
race was a mile and an eighth at Churchill Downs, so I figured, why not a mile
and a quarter?”
Romans also finished second in
the Grade 1 Secretariat for 3-year-olds at
Arlington with Finnegans Wake.
Another 3-year-old in the barn,
Quick Wit, is still a long-shot
possibility for the August 25 Travers. Quick Wit upset the $200,000 National
Museum of Racing Hall of Fame – a turf race that was moved to the main track –
on August 10 last time out.
Quick Wit has won on turf and
dirt, and Romans doesn’t appear compelled to make an early commitment.
“We’ll probably run back here on
the turf [in the Grade 3 Saranac, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds on September
2], but we’ll keep the Travers option open until entry day to see how the field
shapes up,” he said. “It looks like it could be a big field. If that’s the case,
we won’t run.”