2015 Bruce D. Memorial Stakes Preview

The first of the six stakes on the Arlington International Festival of Racing program (presented by Liftmaster) takes a page from an established race on the program.  While the Beverly D. honors the wife of Arlington Richard Duchossois, this race honors one of his sons – Bruce.  Named in the program and overnights as the Bruce D. Memorial, the subject is Bruce Duchossois (1950-2014).  Bruce involved himself in the business of horses like his father, but went in to the eventing world and rescue world.  After Hurricane Katrina, his rescue efforts were on full display.  In the event world, he was aboard award winner Kim’s Song.

The Bruce D. isn’t a new stakes starting from scratch.  It takes over in name, distance, and surface from the Straight Line Stakes.  In prior years the race memorialized locally based Graded Stakes hero Straight Line.  Prior winners in the Straight Line days include eventual graded stakes winner Hogy (2012). Like the prior iterations of the Straight Line, the Bruce D. Memorial goes at a one-turn mile on Arlington’s polytrack.  $50,000 is the purse of this overnight stakes.

All races are scheduled for Saturday August 15.

Arlington International — Race 4 — G1 Bruce D. Memorial Stakes — One mile (one turn) on Polytrack — post time 2:03 pm CT

Louie Roussel has had a renaissance of an Arlington meet (41 starts, 10 wins, 26 money finishes) this year, and enters the Bruce D. Memorial with a good chance to seek his first stakes win in recent memory. He owns and trains CHIP LEADER.  CHIP LEADER looks to need someone to go up front and do the pace setting – as his attempts at pace setting in New Orleans led to disappointing results.  After a spring vacation, he returned early in the Arlington meet and was third in a turf sprint a-other-than allowance.  He knocked out the condition last out.  While both starts were at five furlongs, he did go two turns in New Orleans and broke his maiden going off the pace at two going two turns at Monmouth.  Rousell also sports some strong trainer statistics – 30% wins going third off the layoff and 50% on the two sprints to a route (albeit a one-turn mile). A one-turn mile should be fine with his solid breeding, and Mitchell Murrill – having a banner meet – climbs aboard.  Illinois-bred RECOUNT gives the home team an excellent chance.  He showed his ability to pull back a touch and not need the lead when a Rivelli horse went to the lead in the Cammack Handicap last time.  RECOUNT inhaled said runner on the turn and won opened a two and a half length lead.  It dwindled down during the later stages but RECOUNT did score a solid win.  He beat elders, albeit state-bred ones – last out going six panels in the Cammack.  Being by two-turn graded stakes winner Limehouse makes a one-turn polytrack mile in his wheelhouse.  Familiar pilot Manny Esquivel is aboard. BELOMOR joined RECOUNT informally in morning works and comes back to this one mile synthetic stakes.  While a maiden, he did run a credible race when second in an open maiden special weight against elders early in the Arlington meet and was freshened by conditioner Pavel Vaschenko.  Rider switch to Jerome Lermyte in play on BELOMOR.  With a two-turn turf race and a one-turn polytrack race in the mile category serving as his efforts, he does enter the race with more hope than what his record and maiden standing suggest.


#2 CHIP LEADER (4/1)

#8 RECOUNT (2/1)

#3 BELOMOR (10/1)

Longshot: #7 RATNIK (30/1) sounds like something a hardened horseplayer would call a low-level claimer or a derisive term towards a trainer who blows up the board with longshots.  RATNIK might be uttered here against himself and against trainer Gennadi Dorochenko.  Readers need not call a hotline for those suggesting mental illness is present. Dorochenko brings in RATNIK who does have two wins to his credit – though the last win was a basement level nickel claimer at Belterra Park.  RATNIK is also in the best form of his career – he graduated four back in a low level maiden claimer at Gulfstream then had gate issues three back and two back, then shipped up to Cincinnati to clear the N2L condition.  With the form, RATNIK is also bred well for polytrack, a surface he hasn’t seen (and being a Dorochenko horse, he’s seen a lot) before but is bred to handle well – sire Rock Hard Ten produced last year’s A-W Lassie winner, and being out of a Forestry mare indicates a mile is fine.  It’s crazy, but it just might work.


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