The main story concerning this summer’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes remains All In Stable’s Willcox Inn, another trained by Mike Stidham, who would become only the fourth horse in history to sweep Arlington’s Mid-America Triple with a tally in the Secretariat. Earlier this summer, Willcox Inn took down the prestigious Arlington Classic May 28 and came back to score in Arlington’s Grade II American Derby July 9.
Should he win the Secretariat Stakes, Willcox Inn would join Powhatan’s Tom Rolfe in 1965, Ogden Phipps’ Buckpasser in 1966, and Robert Schaedle III’s Honor Glide in 1997 as the only horses to sweep the Mid-America Triple.
Likely among Europeans slated to invade for the Secretariat are the Irish-bred Ziyarid, owned by His Highness the Aga Khan’s Studs Ltd., trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre and winner of France’s Group III Prix Daphnis at Longchamp July 2, as well as the German-bred Saltas, owned by Gestut Ittlingen, trained by Peter Schiergen and most recently third in the Group I German Derby at Hamburg on July 3.
Possible among European invaders for the Secretariat are the Aidan O’Brien-trained duo of the British-bred Treasure Beach, owned by Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor and winner of the Group I Irish Derby at The Curragh June 26, as well as the Irish-bred Roderic O’Connor, hero of the Group I Irish Two Thousand Guineas May 21.