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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

The Million Draw

On perhaps the most beautiful day of the entire summer, I had the pleasure of attending the draw for the 2011 Arlington Million today. The event was held for the first time in the world-famous WGN studios in Chicago. Walking through the building, I was quickly struck by a legal flashback, as the draw was held right next door to the set for the Bozo the Clown show. If you've spent any of your childhood in Chicago, you know what a big deal that is. After peeking in on Bozo, I was greeted with a festive studio #2. There I found a large television room was staged with pure class. Nothing less should be expected from an event put on by Arlington's patriarch, Richard Duchossois.


I was feeling good just being there, and even better when a well dressed young lady told me I looked like a million bucks. Flattered, I said thank you, but did not realize until later that her compliment had more to do with me actually standing next to a million dollars, than my day's attire. Besides the impressive stack of cash, Arlington and WGN did the event right with the big draw board for each race, the race trophies, and a well presented podium for drawing the post positions. Not to mention the good, hot food, drinks and champagne toast set out for the horses' connections, media, Arlington and WGN personel. Of course, this being something that always pleases me.


I had a chance to discuss the respective fields for three of the biggest turf races in the United States with Arlington Park's oddsmaker, Joe Kristufek. Kristufek, of Horse Player Now, told me that in the Million, he went back and forth in deciding on a favorite, before finally deciding on Cape Blanco as a slight choice over Gio Ponti. He explained the deciding factor being the expected pace scenario once again playing into the hands of the Irish import, just as it did in the recent Man O' War Stakes. In the Beverly D., Kristufek favored the two overseas shippers, Stacelita and River Jetez, and gave the nod to the French filly based on her excellent race stateside in the United Nations Handicap. Finally in the Secretariat, I learned that Air Support, the recent winner of the Virginia Derby was not making the trip, but Treasure Beach was. The Irish Derby winner brings as strong credentials as any European ever to come for the Secretariat, and Kristufek tabbed him as a 2-1 choice over a couple of American stalwarts in Banned and Willcox Inn.


Speaking of Willcox Inn, I saw the boisterous celebration after the colt's impressive win in the American Derby, and was pleased to see a little more of that enthusiasm today at the draw. All In Stable is not a shy ownership group, and when their star colt, bidding to become only the 4th ever horse to sweep the Mid-America Triple, drew the #9 hole in the Secretariat, it was met with several, "Hoots" and "Yesses". It's always fun to see people having fun in the game I love.


Without further adieu, here are the fields for the Arlington Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat Stakes...

29th Running of the ARLINGTON MILLION (Grade I)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed
To Be Run on Saturday, August 13, 2011 - Race 10 - Post time 5:15 CDT
for Three-Year-Olds & Older
One Mile & One Quarter (On The Turf)
12-1 1 RAHYSTRADA Robert E. Courtney, Jr. Byron G. Hughes Sheldon Russell
12-1 2 TAJAAWEED Shadwell Farm LLC (Rick Nichols) Daniel C. Peitz James Graham
30-1 3 DEAN'S KITTEN Kenneth L. & Sarah K. Ramsey Michael J. Maker Julien R. Leparoux
10-1 4 ZACK HALL (FR) Mathieu Offenstadt, Sylvain Fargeon, Patrick Offenstadt and Mikel Delzangles Mikel Delzangles Christophe Soumillon
2-1 5 GIO PONTI Castleton Lyons (Shane T. A. Ryan) Christophe Clement Ramon A. Dominguez
50-1 6 PROCEED BEE William Stiritz Scott Becker Christopher A. Emigh
9-5 7 CAPE BLANCO (IRE) Mrs. Fitriani Hay, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier & Michael B. Tabor Aidan P. O'Brien Jamie P. Spencer
6-1 8 MISSION APPROVED Naipaul & Terikchand Chatterpaul Naipaul Chatterpaul Jose L. Espinoza
8-1 9 WIGMORE HALL (IRE) Mark B. Hawtin Michael L. W. Bell Hayley Turner
50-1 10 GENERAL PERFECT Pasquale Vizzoni Glenn R. Thompson Garrett K. Gomez

22nd Running of the BEVERLY D. (Grade I)
$750,000 Guaranteed
To Be Run on Saturday, August 13, 2011- Race 9 - Post Time 4:33 CDT
for Fillies & Mares, Three-Year-Olds & Older
One Mile & Three Sixteenths (On The Turf)
3-1 1 STACELITA (FR) Martin S. Schwartz Chad C. Brown Ramon A. Dominguez
20-1 2 CHECK THE LABEL Lael Stables (Roy Jackson) H. Graham Motion Julien R. Leparoux
6-1 3 FANTASIA (GB) Augustin Stable (George Strawbridge) Jonathan E. Sheppard Rajiv Maragh
20-1 4 UPPERLINE Stone Farm (Arthur Hancock, III), John H. Adger, Oak Crest Farm (Jack & Theresa Hodge) & Michael Stidham Michael Stidham James Graham
10-1 5 DUBAWI HEIGHTS (GB) Neville Callaghan, Clodagh McStay, Michael V. Magnier & Annabel Wyatt Simon Callaghan Joel Rosario
4-1 6 RIVER JETEZ (SAF) Barbara & Cedrick Amm & Marsh Shirtliff Michael F. de Kock Christophe Soumillon
9-2 7 CHEETAH (GB) Robert Scarborough Christophe Clement Garrett K. Gomez
10-1 8 PACHATTACK Michael V. Deegan Gerard A. Butler Florent Geroux
12-1 9 ÉCLAIR DE LUNE (GER) Richard L. Duchossois Ronald L. McAnally Junior Alvarado
30-1 10 ROMIN ROBIN Butterfly Stable (Larry Slavin, et al) David Kassen Jozbin Z. Santana
10-1 11 NEVER RETREAT Team Block (David, Patricia & Ryan Block) Chris M. Block Shaun Bridgmohan


35th Running of the SECRETARIAT STAKES (Grade I)
$400,000 Guaranteed
To Be Run on Saturday, August 13, 2011 - Race 8 - Post Time 3:52 CDT
for Three-Year-Olds 
One Mile & One Quarter (On The Turf)
10-1 1 NEWSDAD James S. Karp William I. Mott Joel Rosario
10-1 2 ZIYARID (IRE) His Highness the Aga Khan's Studs, Ltd (Pat Downes, Director) Alain de Royer-Dupre Christophe P. Lemaire
2-1 3 TREASURE BEACH (GB) Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier & Michael B. Tabor Aidan P. O'Brien Colm O'Donoghue
15-1 4 CRIMSON CHINA Team Valor International (Barry Irwin) H. Graham Motion Rajiv Maragh
8-1 5 CASINO HOST Gary & Mary West Stables, Inc. (Gary & Mary West) Chad C. Brown Ramon A. Dominguez
15-1 6 SUNTRACER Team Block (David, Patricia & Ryan Block) Chris M. Block Shaun Bridgmohan
3-1 7 BANNED Glen Hill Farm (Leonard Lavin) Thomas F. Proctor Garrett K. Gomez
15-1 8 DERBY KITTEN Kenneth L. & Sarah K. Ramsey Michael J. Maker Julien R. Leparoux
9-2 9 WILLCOX INN All In Stable (Marette Farrell, Martin Nixon, Ron Lepinski & Al Lepinski) Michael Stidham Robby Albarado
50-1 10 L'AIGLON Raut LLC (Gennadi Dorochenko) Gennadi Dorochenko Florent Geroux


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Older Comments about The Million Draw...

Also, think about putting Bonnie (#5 in the first race) on your stable mail. She ran a nice 3rd and took alot of money early on for being 12-1 morning line.
Though Burn the Mortgage looked nice winning the 3rd race, the 1/2 brother of Keertana, Monastic, had a horrible trip. Look for him to break his maiden next out.
We had a passing shower here at Arlington, but it only lasted about 10-15 minutes.
medlocke: I came up with the same selections but we need someone else if he's t here as this will pay about $18 st8. While those odds are really great in the perspective of a st8 play a box leaves odds to short. You would need #9 to win. In that case just put him on top. Just a suggestion, I appreciate your sharing as turf seems to be your forte. Thanks
For the Arlington Million, Cape Blanco to win, Gio Ponti to place, Wigmore Hall to show, and box the tri-fecta!!
Excuse the rumpus ... currently doing my no-rain dance for all of Chicagoland!
So thankful they brought Gio back. Usually root for sportsmen. (Nice layout!)
I'll take 9/2 right now on Willcox Inn..Can't wait to see him again. Think the distance will suit him just fine. Let's go Gio!!!
Zipse, this was a great read.
Happy early birthday, xMystix!
Cheetah is my definite pick for the Beverly D. Sentimentally going for Gio Ponit in the Million (please win on my birthday!), and looking for a Kitten's Joy triple take over in the Secretariat, just for kicks ;).
Cheetah may well be my top pick, her win at Delaware was Huge!
Heart's says Gio, head is saying Cape Blanco. I'll go with Treasure Beach. And then Cheetah in the Bev.
Sky, is Dubawi this good? ... Mike, nothing wrong in rooting for Emigh ... Scott & Ernie, rooting for Gio is sooooo easy! ... You better, Chris!
Next year I WILL take the day off to join you!!
Great draw for Gio Ponti!!
I will be playing Proceed Bee. Go Emigh!!!
Secretariat: Treasure Beach // Beverly D.: Dubawi Heights // Million: Cape Blanco

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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