Mondialiste holds off the late challenges of Kasaqui (rail) and Deauville to win the G1 Arlington Million
Geoff and Sandra Turnbull’s Mondialiste (IRE), runner-up to Tepin here last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), arrived at the Keeneland Quarantine Barn at 7 a.m. Sunday for an expected start in Saturday’s $ 1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).
Also on the flight from Europe with Mondialiste were 3-year-old fillies Nemoralia and Now Or Never (IRE), both of whom are being pointed to Saturday’s $ 400,000 First Lady (G1) at a mile on the turf.
All three horses are expected to train Tuesday morning.
Trained by David O’Meara, Mondialiste was making his fourth foray to North America and handled the ship fine, according to Fergal Davis.
“We are buddies. We go everywhere together,” said Davis, who was at Keeneland last fall with Mondialiste for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. “He won’t do much (leading up to the race). That’s the way he’s done it covering over here, and he has two wins and a second.”
Mondialiste won the Woodbine Mile (G1) last year prior to the Breeders’ Cup and in his most recent start took the Arlington Million (G1) in August.
Davis said O’Meara is scheduled to arrive at Keeneland on Friday.
Joseph Allen and Peter Brant’s Nemoralia also is returning to Keeneland for the first time since the Breeders’ Cup. Trained by Jeremy Noseda, Nemoralia was a fast-closing third behind eventual Canadian Horse of the Year Catch a Glimpse in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
Noseda is scheduled to be at Keeneland on Friday.
No 3-year-old filly has won the First Lady, which will have its 19th running Saturday. The best finishes by a 3-year-old in the race were runner-up efforts from Approach (GB) in 2003 and Together (IRE) in 2011.
Together came back a week after her First Lady effort to win the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), a pattern that Qatar Racing’s Now Or Never will attempt to follow.
Trained by Michael O’Callaghan, Now Or Never is a Group 3 winner this year. She was accompanied here by her exercise rider, David Hayes.
“That’s the plan to run in both,” said Hayes, who was making his first trip to the U.S.
O’Callaghan is scheduled to be at Keeneland on Thursday.
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