Mondialiste (right): too good for his rivals at Arlington Park
PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Scargill 7:25AM 14 AUG 2016
Report: USA, Saturday
Arlington Park: Arlington Million XXXIV (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+
MONDIALISTE continued his love affair with North America as he swept through in the home straight under jockey Danny Tudhope to claim the $ 1 million first prize.
Trained by David O’Meara for owners Geoff and Sandra Turnbull, Mondialiste had captured the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile and finished second to superstar Tepin in the Breeders’ Cup Mile on his two runs across the pond last year, and he once again excelled stateside.
Mondialiste sat mid-division under Tudhope before tracking into the race around the home turn and unleashing a sustained surge in the final stages which was too much for his rivals.
Tudhope said: “We went over the race so many times beforehand, but you just don’t know how it’s going to go, but we couldn’t have asked for a better run, really it was perfect. He seems to love it over here and he thrives over here.”
The Arlington Million is a ‘win and you’re in’ qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on November 4, although the step up to 1m4f would be the furthest Mondialiste has tackled.
The step up to 1m2f has certainly proved a good move for Mondialiste, with victory at Arlington Park coming after he ran a close second to Time Test in the Sky Bet York Stakes last time.
O’Meara said: “We stepped him up to a mile and a quarter at York and he ran a really good race, and once we saw that he handled the trip okay, we had this race in the back of our mind. We thought we’d bring him over because he performed so well this side of the water last year.”
Deauville excels himself
Mondialiste became the first European to win the Arlington Million since Cape Blanco in 2011 and his trainer Aidan O’Brien had to settle for third this year with Deauville, whose finishing kick from the front in the home straight was not enough to hold off Mondialiste and Kasaqui in second.
Jockey Seamie Heffernan said: “My horse had a pretty good run. He was the only three-year-old in the race. In a lovely position, got around the two into the straight and two other horses just came and got me. Solid performance”
There was no luck for Tryster, whose chances were compromised by him pulling down the back straight, while Decorated Knight was scratched on the morning of the race having injured himself.
Geroux denied fabulous four-timer
Jockey Florent Geroux was also unable to pull off a remarkable four-timer, finishing seventh on favourite World Approval after winning the American St. Leger, Secretariat Stakes and Beverly D. Stakes before the Arlington Million.
“I was a little disappointed to be honest, the pace went slow and I was right there into the first turn,” Geroux said. “When they picked it up, he just spit the bit and couldn’t keep up.”