The Grade I Arlington Million, now less than two months away on Aug. 13, will have one of its stepping stones carried back to Old Virginia Saturday when the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup will allow competitors of all ages for the first time in its seven-year history.
As a result, the grass race at Colonial Downs formerly restricted to sophomores will include three original nominations to Arlington Million XXIX. They are, in order of seniority, the 7-year-old gelding Rahystrada, owned by Robert Courtney Jr., as well as two 5-year-olds – Augustin Stable’s Smart Bid and Correas Thoroughbreds’ Moryba.
Rahystrada, trained by Scooter Hughes, is familiar to Arlington fans for winning last summer’s Grade III Arlington Handicap on Million Preview Day and then going on to finish fourth in Arlington Million XXVIII. In his most recent trip to the post, the altered son of Rahy finished fourth in the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.
Smart Bid finished second in the Turf Classic, beaten three-quarters of a length for the win. Previously, the son of Smart Strike captured the Grade II Mervin Muniz Memorial by a nose at Fair Grounds on Louisiana Derby Day March 26. The Muniz Memorial is the centerpiece event for grass horses during winter racing season in New Orleans.
Moryba, a Brazilian-bred, finished third in the Muniz, beaten only a head by Smart Bid, and was sixth in the Turf Classic in his last start after racing wide.
Smart Bid is trained by Graham Motion, who saddled Team Valor’s Animal Kingdom to win this year’s Kentucky Derby while Moryba, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, won last year’s Belmont Stakes with WinStar Farms’ Drosselmeyer.
BEVERLY D. DRESS REHEARSAL COSTUMED AT COLONIAL
The 22nd running of the Grade I Beverly D. Stakes for fillies and mares, to be contested for a purse of $750,000 on Aug. 13 as the sister race to the Grade I Arlington Million, gets a preview at Colonial Downs this Saturday when the Virginia oval offers its Grade III All Along Stakes at nine furlongs on the grass.
Three 4-year-old fillies named to the $100,000 All Along – Augustin Stable’s British-bred Dyna Waltz, Flaxman Holdings’ Aruna and Jack Swain III’s Apple Charlotte – are all original nominations to this summer’s Beverly D., to be run at 1 3/16-miles over Arlington’s world famous turf course on the second Saturday in August.
In her last start Dyna Waltz, who is conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, finished second in the Grade III Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico on Preakness Day, beaten a length for the win. While still campaigning in Great Britain last year, she won the $74,000 Oaks Trial at Lingfield in the spring and finished fourth in the $71,000 Princess Royal Stakes at Ascot in the fall.
Aruna, trained by Graham Motion, finished second in the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill on Kentucky Derby Day in her last trip to the post, but won the Grade II Mrs. Revere Stakes over the Louisville lawn last fall.
Apple Charlotte, also trained by Motion, finished fourth in $50,000 allowance optional claiming company at Belmont Park May 11 and was sixth over Keeneland’s Polytrack in the Grade I Ashland April 3 before finishing third a week later in the allowance ranks over the Lexington lawn April 10.
FATHER-SON DORRIS DOUBLE AT ARLINGTON WEDNESDAY
In a daily double Wednesday at Arlington Park that reminded guests of Arlington’s upcoming gala Fathers’ Day program to be celebrated Sunday, trainer Tom Dorris saddled Gary Tussey’s Peytonville to win the third race of the afternoon with jockey Julio Felix aboard and then Chris Dorris saddled Richard Millard’s Condition Red to win the fourth race with Francisco Giles in the irons. The father-son daily double Wednesday returned $193.40.
OLCZYK STOPS OFF AT ARLINGTON DURING STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Former NHL player Eddie Olczyk, NBC’s color commentator during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoff Finals, may be due some frequent flyer miles for his recent cross-continent sojourns.
After broadcasting Game 5 of the Finals in Vancouver last Friday, Chicago native Olczyk returned to the Windy City to attend the races at Arlington Saturday, went on to Boston for Game 6 Monday and was then back in Vancouver for Game 7 Wednesday night for the Boston Bruins championship victory over the Vancouver Canucks.