Trainer Mike Stidham has the 9-2 morning-line third choice
for the Secretariat Stakes All In Stable’s Willcox Inn and Beverly D. 20-1
longshot Upperline, owned by Stone Farm, John Adger, Oak Crest Farm and
Stidham, worked together on the Arlington
turf course Sunday and Stidham reflected on their performance Tuesday.
Upperline broke off ahead of Willcox Inn, who settled about
five to six lengths off his stable companion, according to Stidham, “but they
finished together and both got what they needed out of the work.”
As for Willcox Inn’s tactics in the Secretariat, Stidham
was nonplussed. “If no one wants the lead, we might be there, and Robby
[jockey Albarado] could slow them right down. He is happy to be
Reflecting on the nine-post draw for the Arlington Classic
and American Derby winner added, “He has tactical speed. He can drop over and
be in a great spot.”
Upperline comes into the Beverly D. off a win in the
Trillium Stakes over Polytrack at Woodbine.
“At one point in the race, I thought she was in big
trouble, and then she kicked it in and came home strong,” he said of the
A daughter of Maria’s Mon, Upperline has three wins in six
starts this year, including two turf stakes wins at Fair Grounds, before a dull
ninth in the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs in May.
“That race had us scratching our heads. I’m a
big fan of the Ragozin Sheets and she was coming off a lifetime top before that
Churchill race,” Stidham added, “so maybe that was it.”