Wimborne Farm’s Kasaqui took the overland route to win Saturday’s Grade 3 Arlington Handicap, but it didn’t seem to faze him as he crossed the wire 1 1/4 lengths in front of the field. The 6-year-old son of Lasting Approval, ridden by Robby Albarado, covered 1 3/16 miles over the Chicago track’s firm turf course in 1:55.62 for trainer Ignacio Correas.
“Nobody wanted the lead [in the Wise Dan], so we got it that day,” said Correas. “The plan today was for Robby to get him something to chase. The horse and Robby did perfect. Great plan. He gets a little bit bored on the lead.”
Go Around took out for the early lead Saturday afternoon and tried to steal away from the field, but Roman Approval was right alongside him to keep the pressure turned up. Kasaqui was in third, but it was a gap of several lengths between him and the leaders as they galloped through opening fractions of :24.90 and 50.15. It wasn’t until nearly the top of the stretch that Kasaqui was able to make up any ground on Go Around and Roman Approval, but the three of them turned for home together, three-wide across the track. It didn’t take Kasaqui long to get clear of his rivals, and he was able to hold on late while under solid urging, crossing the wire 1 1/4 lengths in front of Roman Approval. Messi closed well to be third, and Go Around faded to be fourth.
“That was our plan to get a target in front of us,” echoed Albarado. “He finished up well last time on the lead, but he’s better with a target.”
Bred in Argentina by San Francisco de Pilar, Kasaqui began his career there with three wins from 14 starts. He came to the United States in March of this year, beginning with a fourth-place effort at Turfway Park, then winning an allowance at Keeneland. Though he fell in the G1 Woodford Reserve and had to be vanned off, Kasaqui came right back to finish a good second in the G2 Wise Dan after leading throughout. Overall, his record stands at 6-7-1 from 20 starts, with earnings of nearly $ 170,000.
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