Mike Maker sent a competitive string of six horses to Arlington International Racecourse for Million Preview Day on July 9 and walked away with four earning automatic berths into the Arlington International Festival of Racing by finishing in the top three of their respective stakes. The trainer says three of those runners are under considerations to return to Arlington for the Aug. 13 graded stakes.
Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Al’s Gal is likely to return for the Grade 1 $ 700,000 Beverly D. Stakes. The 5-year-old daughter of English Channel finished second in the G3 Modesty Handicap on July 9 going a distance of 1 3/16 miles on the turf for the third time in her career. The Beverly D. will be run at the same conditions and if entered, it would be the first Grade I start for the mare that was claimed by the Ramseys for only $ 35,000 last spring at Gulfstream Park. Out of the Chilean mare Dans La Ville, Al’s Gal is a half-sister to Brazillian Group II-winner May Be Now and full-sibling to G3-placed Ann of the Dance.
The Ramsey’s G3 Spiral winner Oscar Nominated earned an automatic entry into the G1 $ 450,000 Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 13 with his second-place finish in the G3 American Derby. Maker says they are considering the race for the 3-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy. Get Away Farm’s fifth-place finisher in the American Derby, Two Step Time, will be pointed to the Bruce D. Memorial Stakes according to his trainer, a one-mile synthetic stakes for 3-year-olds on the Million Day undercard. Maker says they are still undecided about fourth-place finisher Swagger Jagger, and will wait on a decision as to where he will be entered next.
For now, according to Maker, Michael Hui’s G3 Stars and Stripes winner Greengrassofyoming will be pointed for the G1$ 1,000,000 Arlington Million. The 6-year-old son of Quest sat far off the leaders early in the 1½ miles race before showing a strong closing kick to nose out his competitors, including 2015 Arlington Million winner The Pizza Man, in a four-way photo at the finish.
Runner-up in the G3 Arlington Handicap, Three Diamonds Farm’s Roman Approval will not return despite earning an automatic berth into the Arlington Million.
“He’s going to run in an allowance race at Saratoga next month,” Maker said of his plans for the 5-year-old son of Roman Ruler.
The trainer will instead bring Belmont Gold Cup winner Da Big Hoss to contest the marathon stakes on the Aug. 13 card.
“He’s doing great,” Maker remarked. “We’re going to point him towards the [G3] American St. Leger.”
The 5-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid won the two-mile listed grass stakes at Belmont Park on June 10. Prior to that, he took the G2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland Racecourse going 1½ miles on the turf on April 23. Owned by Skychai Racing, Da Big Hoss has won three of his four starts in stakes company this season, with the lone loss coming when going a distance shorter than 1½ miles. The G3 $ 350,000 American St. Leger will be run at 1 11/16 miles over the turf at Arlington.
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