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Romans Mulls Options for Quick Wit

31 January 2009: Trainer Dale Romans at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.

Dale Romans might have been a little tired after flying from Chicago back to Saratoga, but 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 Betfair Hollywood 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.”

 

 

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