A field of nine 3-year-olds passed the entry box for Saturday’s 40th running of the Grade I $ 400,000 Secretariat Stakes to be contested at 1¼ miles over the world-renowned Arlington International Racecourse turf course. One of three Grade I races on Saturday’s International Festival of Racing program, the Secretariat is the first leg of a $ 100,000 guaranteed Festival Pick-3 that includes the Grade I Beverly D. Stakes and ends with the Grade I Arlington Million.
Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Joseph Allen’s Long Island Sound will command his share of wagering support despite being in search of his first stakes win in the Secretariat. The Aidan O’Brien trainee made his North American debut in last month’s Grade I Belmont Derby where he finished sixth, beaten 2¼ lengths by Arlington Million contender Deauville (IRE). The Secretariat will mark just the sixth career start for the son of War Front who opened his career with three consecutive wins in Ireland. Seamie Heffernan will pick up the mount from post eight.
Beach Patrol, who races for James Covello, Sheep Pond Partners and Head of Plains Partners, will also be seeking his first career stakes win on Saturday. Third, three-quarters of a length in front of Long Island Sound, in the Belmont Derby, the son of Lemon Drop Kid has improved at longer distances and has proven competitive with graded stakes company. Trainer Chad Brown has given the call to Florent Geroux from the outside post nine.
Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson’s Surgical Strike split Beach Patrol and Long Island Sound in the Belmont Derby, crossing the wire fifth in that event at the same distance as the Secretariat. Prior to that effort, he was victorious in is lone start over the Arlington turf course in the Grade III Arlington Classic in May. The Ben Colebrook-trained son of Red Giant has been facing some of the best 3-year-old turfers in the country this season and will be ridden Saturday by Flavien Prat from post seven.
Oscar Nominated and One Mean Man will take their continuing rivalry to the Grade I level for the first time in what will be their fifth career meeting. The pair have run one-two in three different stakes events, with One Mean Man victorious in two of those races.
One Mean Man, owned by L. T. B. Inc. and Hillerich Racing, proved best by a half-length margin in last month’s Grade III American Derby, earning his second career stakes win and first graded stakes score in the process. The son of Mizzen Mast is trained by Bernie Flint and is the most experienced member of the Secretariat cast, scheduled to make his 14th start on Saturday. Robby Albarado, aboard for One Mean Man’s last two wins, retains the mount from post four.
Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Oscar Nominated, a winner over One Mean Man in the Black Gold Overnight Stakes in February at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, went on to win the Grade III Spiral Stakes before finishing 17th in this year’s Grade I Kentucky Derby for trainer Mike Maker. Corey Lanerie has the return call from post six. The same connections also entered Scissors and Tape who will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan from post three.
William Pacella, Frank Jones, Jr., and Frank Shoop’s Cherry Wine will be returning to the turf for the first time since his juvenile campaign in the Secretariat. His efforts early in the year earned him spots in both the Grade I Preakness Stakes and the Grade I Belmont Stakes, and the son of Paddy O’Prado earned a Classic placing when second in the Preakness. The Dale Romans trainee exits a flat try in the Grade II Indiana Derby and will be ridden by Mike Smith from the rail.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out WinStar Farm’s American Patriot off a win in last month’s Grade III Kent Stakes at Delaware Park. The son of War Front has won three of his six career starts and earned his first stakes victory in the Kent. William Buick has been named to ride from post two.
Completing the field is Glockenburg, LLC’s recent local maiden winner Cordon, who will step up to try Grade I company in his third lifetime start for trainer Pavel Vashchenko. Carlos Marquez, Jr. will ride from post five.
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