Friday: Final Preparations

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — The Arlington International Festival of Racing is tomorrow, and most of the festival horses took one more visit to the track this morning.

In addition to the horses that Picks and Ponderings has seen all week, a few more joined the fray.  The last batch of European runners made their way out of quarantine and surveyed the track today:

  • GOLDSTREAM: Secretariat entrant, and undefeated in five races in Italy.
  • LACY: A Group III winner in Germany, and beaten a nose in an Italian Group I.  Entered in the Beverly D.
  • WAKE FOREST: Last-out Group III winner in Germany, and entered in the Arlington Million.
  • WAR DISPATCH: Group III winner in France, and third in the French Prix du Jockey Club (GI – FR).  Entered in the Secretariat Stakes.

In addition to the foursome out of quarantine, new faces from stateside included American St. Leger entrants ALPHA KITALPHA and AZ RIDGE, Beverly D runners MAID ON A MISSION and MANGO DIVA, Secretariat entrant CRITTENDEN, and Arlington Million contender UP WITH THE BIRDS.

Again today, EURO CHARLINE was the only one of the Festival horses to work on the turf, although a pair of local runners from the Louie Roussel barn also took a gallop over the grass.  Out of her four trips to the turf, her Thursday gallop looked the sharpest and most focused.  Today was a little slower than yesterday, though not the walk of her first two days.  She looked a bit distracted, but it was raining lightly when she was out.  The rain dissipated quickly, and it was not enough to likely have much effect on the firmness of the turf.

Several of the Festival horses are not on the grounds, most notably Million entrants THE PIZZA MAN and QUIET FORCE.  They are both stabled at Churchill Downs, and expected to ship in Friday.  CALVADOS galloped at Churchill today and was also expected to ship in today, but trainer Ignacio Correas announced that he tied up, and will scratch from the American St. Leger.

Paul Mazur contributed to this piece.  All photos courtesy of Paul Mazur and Nicolle Neulist.


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