Irish invader Adelaide has been installed as the 8-5 favorite versus eight three-year-old rivals in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Secretariat, one of four major turf races that comprise Arlington's International Festival of Racing. Ryan Moore will be in to ride the Galileo colt for trainer Aidan O'Brien, who will also send out stakes-placed maiden winner Belisarius, a 20-1 morning line outsider in the 1 ¼-mile affair.
Adelaide captured the Group 3 Gallinule at The Curragh in late May and finished second in the Group 2 King Edward VII at Royal Ascot nearly a month later. He was dispatched as the 2-1 favorite versus a deep group of opponents in his U.S. debut, the Grade 1 Belmont Derby on July 5, and seized the lead in the stretch drive of the 1 1¼-mile event only to be nailed late by Mr. Speaker, recording a neck second.
International-based sophomores have captured three of the last six runnings of the Secretariat, including the O'Brien-trained Treasure Beach in 2011. O'Brien also won the 2000 edition with Ciro.
The domestic contingent is headed by the surging Tourist, who will make his graded stakes bow for Bill Mott with a three-race winning streak. By Tiznow, the dark bay colt broke his maiden when making his turf debut at Gulfstream Park in February, scoring by 1 ½ lengths, and Tourist came back from a four-month freshening to crush entry-level allowance foes at Belmont Park by a 5 ¾-length margin on June 8. Stepping up to face restricted stakes foes in the July 18 Sir Cat at Saratoga, he rolled to a front-running, 1 3/4-length triumph as the heavy favorite.
SECRETARIAT STAKES DRAW
"We thought the horse had a lot of talent, and we felt like there was something that was going to improve him and thought, 'A surface change might help,'" Mott said of the decision to run Tourist on turf in his fifth career start. "We made the switch, and he responded well.
"It wasn't surprising to see him run so well [in the Sir Cat]. After seeing his first two starts on the grass, we knew he belonged at this level, and now we have an opportunity to run in a Grade 1. I expect him to be forwardly placed. He's got speed but can rate."
Tourist, who will attempt to give Mott his third Secretariat victory, retains the services of Joel Rosario and is listed as the 5-2 second choice on the morning line.
Global View showed his class capturing the Grade 2 American Turf on the Kentucky Derby undercard and likely found the one-mile trip too short when second in the May 31 Penn Mile. He offered a solid middle move into contention before flattening out in the final furlongs of the Belmont Derby, checking in seventh, and the Tom Proctor charge will receive a jockey switch to Julien Leparoux on Saturday. The Galileo colt was made the 5-1 third choice.
Divine Oath comes next at 8-1 on the morning line following his tally in the Grade 2 American Derby on July 12, the local prep for the Secretariat. Conditioned by Todd Pletcher, the son of Broken Vow has captured three of four turf starts and keeps local rider Florent Geroux in the saddle.
General Jack returns to graded company following a victory in the grassy Centaur Stakes at Indiana Downs and is listed at 12-1. Graham Motion entered recent Saratoga allowance winner Can'thelpbelieving, but announced Wednesday afternoon that he will be withdrawn.
Rounding out the Secretariat field, at 15-1 on the morning line, are American Derby third Highball; and Sheldon, who finished fifth when making his first start against winners in the Belmont Derby.