SECRETARIAT STAKES | PURSE: $400,000 | GRADE 1 | 3-YEAR-OLDS | 1 1/4 MILES (TURF)
Despite making his first start in North America, European-based Grade 1 winner Treasure Beach was tabbed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the Grade 1, $400,000 Secretariat Stakes Aug. 13 at Arlington Park.
The Secretariat, a 1 1/4-mile turf test for 3-year-olds, is the first of three grade I races on the card that comprises Arlington's International Festival of Racing. The others are the $1 million Arlington Million and its sister race, the $750,000 Beverly D., for grass distaffers. Post time for the Secretariat, which drew 10, is slated for 3:52 p.m. CDT.
An English-bred son of Galileo, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Treasure Beach stamped himself a force to be reckoned with when capturing the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh June 26 after missing by only a head in the Investec Derby at Epsom in June. In his last start on July 14, the bay colt finished fourth in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I) at Longchamp. His regular rider Colm O'Donoghue will make the trans-Atlantic trip to pilot Treasure Beach, who drew post 3.
Treasure Beach, 4-3-1 from nine starts with earnings of more than $1.6 million, is owned by Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, and Michael Tabor.
The locally-based Willcox Inn will try to become the fourth horse to sweep Arlington's Mid-America Triple and the first since Honor Glide completed the feat in 1997. The Mike Stidham-trained son of Harlan's Holiday won over yielding going in the May 28 Arlington Classic and over firm ground in the July 9 American Derby (Grade 2). Robby Albarado, who has been aboard for each of Willcox Inn's previous Arlington scores, gets the return call.
All In Stable's Willcox Inn, 3-1-2 from seven starts including a third-place finish in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, was pegged as the 9-2 third choice. He will break from post 9.
Glen Hill Farm's Banned was listed as the 3-1 second choice after missing by a neck to Air Support in the July 17 Virginia Derby (Grade 2) at Colonial Downs. Prior to that, the Tom Proctor trainee won back-to-back races over the Churchill Downs turf course -- the Grade 2 American Turf in May and the Grade 3 Jefferson Cup the following month. Garrett Gomez has the mount aboard the Kitten's Joy colt.
Also back from the Virginia Derby are the third-, fourth- and seventh-place finishers. Casino Host finished three-quarters of a length behind Banned and 5 1/4 lengths in front of fourth-place Newsdad. Crimson China was well-beaten in seventh one start after winning the Lamplighter Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Team Block's Suntracer and Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey's Derby Kitten, the two-three finishers in the American Derby, return for the Secretariat. Both are also sons of 2004 Secretariat winner Kitten's Joy.
The other European in the field is Ziyarid. The son of Desert Style has won his last three starts overseas including the July 2 Prix Daphnis at Longchamp last out. Trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre and slated to be ridden by Christophe Lemaire, Ziyarid will also make his U.S. debut.
Completing the field is L'Aiglon, winner for a $25,000 claiming price July 28 at Arlington.