• La Coronel (5-1) leads them all the way in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.Posted 3 days ago
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  • Engage (1-2) rolls home from last to win the Grade 3 Futurity Stakes.Posted 3 days ago
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Breeders' Cup 2017

Cape Blanco Takes Arlington Million XXIX

Cape Blanco

On a wet and soggy day in Chicago Cape Blanco ($6.20) defeated Gio Ponti and a very strong European contingent in the 29th running of the Arlington Million.  It was worth every minute of getting drenched in the rain to be up close and personal with some of the world’s best horses.  You see, earlier in the day the skies just absolutely opened up over the greater Arlington Heights area and dumped over ½ inch of rain on the trying-to-dry-out turf course.  The always-fast Polytrack even had puddles for a while! (But quickly returned to form of course)  The grandstand was devoid of people and even the owner’s boxes cleared out as the rain was coming in sideways!  As superb as Arlington Park is, this did not put even a small dent in the festivities and all of the great races went on as planned.  After about 45 minutes of monsoon-like conditions, the sun returned, the crowd of 31,000 returned to their seats, and we were ready for more races and of course, the Million.  The Euros looked great in the first two of three Grade 1 races and the softened grass likely gave them an advantage.

Now let’s recap the Million and my very soaking experience.






















In the paddock, all of the runners looked fit and ready to run.  I didn’t waste any opportunity to snap an infinite supply of photos of my favorite horse Gio Ponti!  (Photos to be posted on Facebook)  Getting soaked was the least of my concerns as there was no place I would have rather been.  The anticipation grew as I walked from the paddock to the winner’s circle to watch the race; passing right by the Million trophy along the way.  The race began…

To no one’s surprise on the yielding turf
Mission Approved (7-1) took the early lead as is true to his form running the first ¼ mile in :24.4 with long shot Proceed Bee (45-1) and Chris Emigh tracking close in second.  Cape Blanco (2-1) was sitting nicely off the pace in fourth watching the leaders and Gio Ponti (2-1) was his usual self sitting in the back of the pack.  

At the half mile pole Mission Approved still held onto the one-length lead over Proceed Bee.  19-1 shot Dean’s Kitten was a length behind in third.  Cape Blanco was still in the pocket riding fourth and Gio Ponti was waiting for his time to make a move.  The half mile went in an expected :50.1.  There were no major changes in points of call ¾ of a mile in as they started their trip into the far turn in 1:16.0.  

This is when things changed.

Around the far turn Cape Blanco made a HUGE sweeping move around the competition to place himself nicely to strike for the victory.  Part way down the stretch Cape Blanco got out to a 2 ½ length lead bursting by Mission Approved.  Gio Ponti, having to find his way through very difficult traffic, finally got free and was about three-wide and charging hard towards the finish line.  This day it just wasn’t enough for Gio Ponti as Cape Blanco held onto the lead and won by 2 ½ lengths.  It was an amazing run and a great ride by Jamie Spencer.  

In the rainy winner’s circle, Cape Blanco was adorned with the Million Dollar bouquet.  Other faces in the winner’s circle with me were none other than the “Big Hurt” Frank Thomas and Blackhawk’s
Stanley Cup winning coach Joel Quenneville.  

This Arlington Million experience was noting short of spectacular.  Joining me on this great ride were none other than
Zipse at the Track and Mr. Scott Dick

What did you think of the Arlington Million today?  Who did you think was going to win?

Photo by Four Footed Fotos 


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Older Comments about Cape Blanco Takes Arlington Million XXIX...

Wow Manila, let me know if you'll be around next weekend the 27th, would love to meet you!
new member just stumbled onto ur blog, enjoyed quite a few trips to arlington this summer and have been enjoying the large fields and competition,how about that 16.60 exacta with blanco and ponti was there ever easier money thanthat, will be out saturday and also to breeders
I couldn't of asked for a better tour guide then the DARK HORSE! What a great day. Cape Blanco stamped his mark on the Male Turf Division. Gio is just waiting to bust out in the future.
Even though the ultra classy Gio didn't get it done, he was quite a perfomer. And i take nothing away from Cape Blanco either, he was the best on this day. It was great to meet you Chris and I enjoyed my first Million immensely.
I wish the thorobred breeders would concentrate more on turf horses, cuz the euros are far ahead of us when it comes to turf racing. Not even there top 10 turf horse cape blanco, made our supposedly best turf horse gio ponti look stupid in the arlington million. Its time to put more emphasis on turf racing in America.
His horse physical shape remind me of Storm Cat....After all, some of their bloodlines are the same....
Keep Cape Bianco in N/A for a fall G1 race and the BC Turf. If he should run the table he would be a double and possibly even triple Eclipse winner (Handicap, Turf and HOY).
I think their are just better at this point in time.
Cape Blanco loves our American grass and our American Lasix!!!
Cape Blanco looking like American Turf champion this year!
Once again, Gio Ponti did not have the best trip, but it didn't matter ... he was second best to Cape Blanco, who was a very deserving winner.

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