2015 Beverly D. Stakes Preview

When people think of Arlington International, they think of its longtime owner, Richard L. Duchossois. He’s known to many as simply “Mr. D” or the “Chairman”. Even though his role has lessened in recent years, there are still reminders. It’s his declaration of “Quit? Hell no!” that is on the first floor, made days after fire engulfed Arlington Park before the ‘85 Million, an event eclipsing three decades this year and a combination of tragedy and triumph that have enriched the Arlington International Festival of Racing presented by Liftmaster.

It may be (and perhaps always will be) Mr. D’s track, but it is his late wife, Beverly, that serves as this race’s namesake.  Mr. D won the race four years ago with Eclair de Lune, his mare present on a winners’ roll call that reads off with stars like Hall of Famer Flawlessly (1991), Hatoof (1992), and Eclipse Champions Possibly Perfect (1995) and Stacelita (2011).  This year the Beverly D. provides its winner with a free spot in the gate in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf should the connections desire.  Dank (2013) is the only heroine to win both the Beverly D. and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in the same year.

Dank earns a share of stakes record time with a stylish win in the 2013 Beverly D. Video courtesy Youtube.

Chicago-based WGN-TV will televise the Arlington Million as part of a one-hour live telecast airing from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm CT. Such program can be also seen through WGN’s live free stream. Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) will be broadcasting live from Arlington on Million Day from 3:30pm-6:00pm CT. This broadcast will include coverage of the Secretariat (GI), the Beverly D (GI), and the Arlington Million (GI) from Arlington, as well as the Adirondack (GII) and the Fourstardave (GII) from Saratoga. Coverage can be heard on Sirius 93, as well as streaming on the HRRN website.

All races are scheduled for Saturday August 15. Selections are “turf only”. At publish time the rail will be set to sixty-two feet from zero.

Arlington International — Race 9 — G1 Beverly D. Stakes — One and three-sixteenth miles on turf — post time 5:05 pm CT

In the absence of Lady Eli, a sterling winner of the G1 Belmont Oaks last year and clearly ready for elders comes the runners for the 2015 Beverly D.  In the absence of Lady Eli, we are left with the same uninspiring female turf division that last year was looked on with puzzled looks at best. So in the $700,000 G1 Beverly D. at nine and one-half grassy furlongs, we once again look to the imports for our contenders. Pulling them apart is no easy task, however.  An honest pace thanks to LOTS O’ LEX and MAID ON A MISSION appears in the offing.  A three-year-old won last year’s Beverly D., and thanks to weight-for-age rules gets a six pound favorable swing.  WEDDING VOW comes over on the plane for the Tabor/Magnier/Smith ownership triumvirate and trainer Aidan O’Brien. This team has shipped with success in the past – last year in the Secretariat with Adelaide and a few years back with Million hero Cape Blanco. WEDDING VOW may be eligible in the United States for an a-other-than allowance, but turned a corner in the summer of her sophomore campaign.  She broke her maiden two back in a Group 2 at The Curragh and got on the podium in the always tough Group 1 Nassau at Glorious Goodwood.  Gets a weight-for-age six pound break in her favor. Perhaps Joseph O’ Brien, Aidan’s son, put something on or found a technique to put in his father’s ears after a middling seventh at Royal Ascot going twelve panels.  With her silver medal coming at ten furlongs and her win at nine furlongs, WEDDING VOW is the now horse from Central Casting.  EURO CHARLINE is back, and she proved that she wasn’t just an opportunistic Euro when she started her 2015 with a fourth against males in the G1 Dubai Turf (nee Duty Free).  EURO CHARLINE bids to be the first back-to-back and multiple winner of the Beverly D.  The plan with her has played out like last year as she’s worked dutifully with gallops in the mornings of Arlington Million Week. Injury-induced rider switch to Jose Lezcano in play here.  Dermot Weld has shipped over successfully to Arlington in the past, as he’s best known for bringing in Winchester to take down the 2008 Secretariat.  He’s back with CARLA BIANCA, who beat the boys (including Million contender Elleval) last time in Irish Group Three.  Perhaps she needed the first start this year, but she got on the podium two back in the G3-IRE Munster Oaks and annexed the G3-IRE Meld Stakes against open company.  Her better performances have been between nine and ten furlongs (though she did hit the board at twelve).

Selections:

#9 WEDDING VOW (4/1)

#8 EURO CHARLINE (5/2)

#6 CARLA BIANCA (8/1)

Longshot: If Twitter and Instagram are any barometer of popularity and tote action, WATSDACHANCES, winner of the Gallorette could be the steam horse as Picks & Ponderings’s pictures of her tend to be popular.  STEPHANIE’S KITTEN has local ties, but one has to wonder if she’s getting long in the tooth.  Still, #5 MANGO DIVA (15/1) returns after a credible second in the local prep, the G3 Modesty.  She becomes the longshot to watch as she does have local experience in her Modesty podium finish and retains Florent Geroux to ride.  While the course could be firmer, her firm turf start in the G3 Gallorette is excusable for having to go five wide and breaking badly.  After competing with the better Euros overseas last year, she remains a runner having a solid campaign and the best shot for the Americans to take down prizes in the Beverly D.

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