Ten domestic and three European-based 3-year-olds comprise a field of 13 for the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes Aug. 17 on the turf course at Arlington Park, with Jack Milton established as the 3-1 morning line favorite.
Three entrants have a special connection to Secretariat in the 37th renewal of the 1 ¼-mile test. They are sons of 2004 winner Kitten's Joy, who will seek to become the first Secretariat winner to sire a subsequent winner. That trio -- Admiral Kitten, Golden Jason, and Amen Kitten -- will be met by four others exiting the Virginia Derby, another major race won by Kitten's Joy in 2004.
The Secretariat is the eighth race on the Arlington Million card with a scheduled 4:23 p.m. CDT post time. It is followed by The Beverly D. and the main event, the 31st Arlington Million.
Gary Barber's Jack Milton comes off a troubled third in the 10-furlong Virginia Derby July 13 for trainer Todd Pletcher. The son of War Front was steadied at the three-eighths pole and forced to alter course to the outside before rallying to be beaten by just a neck on a good course.
Jack Milton did not race at 2 and has won two of five starts this season, including a neck triumph in the Transylvania Stakes April 5 at Keeneland. Joel Rosario rides the dark bay colt from post 9, replacing John Velazquez.
SECRETARIAT STAKES DRAW
The Virginia Derby's beaten favorite, Rydilluc, will look to make amends after giving way in the stretch and finishing eighth his first start at the 1 ¼-mile distance. Trained by Gary Contessa for Leonard Green and partners, the son of Medaglia d'Oro captured the Palm Beach Stakes and the $500,000 Penn Mile thus far in his 2013 campaign and will be ridden in the Secretariat by Edgar Prado. Rydilluc carries top weight of 123 pounds from post 3.
Dennis Narlinger's improving Draw Two also exits the Virginia Derby, a race in which he crossed the wire a closing fourth after a less than ideal trip. Trained by Michelle Nihei, the strong-finishing Macho Uno colt will be partnered with Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens.
Owner/breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey are represented by Admiral Kitten and Amen Kitten.
Admiral Kitten ran second as the top choice in the first two legs of Arlington's Mid-America Triple, the Arlington Classic and the American Derby. Admiral Kitten has four consecutive runner-up finishes this season including the American Turf at Churchill Downs. Trained by Mike Maker, the bay colt is to team with Rosie Napravnik in the Secretariat.
Amen Kitten, under the care of conditioner Wesley Ward, exits a third-place effort in a 1 ½-mile turf stake against older horses at Colonial Downs named for his sire. Amen Kitten, 1-for-12 in his careeer, will be ridden by E. T. Baird.
Olympia Star Inc.'s Kitten's Joy colt Golden Jason, a maiden winner over the Arlington main track in May, exits a third-place try against allowance company at Delaware Park and will be ridden by Julio Felix. His trainer, Gennadi Dorochenko, is best known for springing a 109-1 upset in the 2012 Louisiana Derby with Hero of Order.
Dorochenko also sends out Bethel, a Pulpit colt who will be paired with rider Florent Geroux. Bethel was last of 10 in the Virginia Derby last time.
The Europeans contingent is led by Team Valor International's First Cornerstone, an Irish-bred Hurricane Run colt. Winner of the Curragh's Galileo EBF Futurity Stakes in his juvenile campaign, the Andrew Oliver trainee exits a 15th in the French Derby. Rider Chris Hayes, aboard for both of First Cornerstone's career wins, will travel to Chicago for the mount.
His Highness the Aga Khan's Studs will seek consecutive Secretariat scores with the French-bred Rock of Gibraltar colt Visiyani. The Alain de Royer-Dupre charge was twice Group 3 placed as a 2-year-old and most recently won the Prix Banstar at Maison-Laffitte in his native France. His regular rider Christophe Lemaire will make the trans-Atlantic journey for the race. The Aga Khan won last year's Secretariat with Bayrir, also trained by Royer-Dupre and ridden by Lemaire.
Juddmonte Farms' improving Tattenham, a Rock Hard Ten colt under the care of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, comes off a close second in a 10-furlong Belmont Park allowance race. Mott is seeking a record-breaking third Secretariat win and tabs Kent Desormeaux, looking for his record fourth victory in the race, to ride. They drew the far outside post.
Balthazar is a Red Giant sophomore exiting a second-place effort in a Saratoga Race Course allowance. He is owned by Peachtree Stables and trained by Dale Romans, who has also won the Secretariat twice before.
Charles Fox's Yeager (Ryan Moore) is the last of the European-based entrants. The Medaglia d'Oro colt recently won an Ascot handicap for trainer Jeremy Noseda.
Competing the field is Leonard Leveen and Michael P. Shanley's Stormy Len, a Harlan's Holiday colt trained by David Donk who ran third in the American Derby.