08/17/2013 4:48PM

Arlington: Dandino spurts clear late in American St. Leger

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Four-Footed Fotos
European shipper Dandino finds room in deep stretch to score as the favorite under Ryan Moore in the American St. Leger.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Refusing to be denied despite encountering trouble in spots, Dandino was along in time to prevail as an odds-on choice Saturday in the second running of the $400,000 American St. Leger, the first of four straight major stakes on the Arlington Million program at Arlington Park.

Ryan Moore was aboard Dandino, who returned $3.60 with his half-length score over Suntracer, a locally based runner who had another three-quarters of a length on the wire on another local, Najjaar.

“I thought I’d just sit third and keep it simple,” said Moore, “but the boys were on top of me the entire time. There were quite a few changes of plan.”

Fifth of seven while closely flanked by a couple of rivals for much of the three-turn trip around a firm turf course, Dandino began gaining as the field approached the half-mile pole, saving ground before angling out. Near the eighth pole, the horse encountered traffic and had to be steered even wider, after which he steamed home with clear sailing after splitting horses.

The other Euro runner, Wigmore Hall, was never a serious factor as the 7-2 second choice after missing the break. The 6-year-old Wigmore Hall was racing on Million Day for the fourth straight year.

Victory in the American St. Leger, which is run at the long and unusual distance of 1 11/16 miles, kept Marco Botti perfect in the race with favorites. Last year, the Italian-born, British-based trainer won the inaugural with Jakkalberry at 8-5. Lucie Botti, the trainer’s wife and assistant, was on hand to represent the stable.

Dandino, a British-bred horse by Dansili, was making his United States debut and was treated with Lasix for the first time. Owned by the Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock of Darren Dance, he now has 8 wins and 8 seconds from 25 career starts and earnings of $985,399. He finished in 2:50.78 over a firm course.

Dark Cove was a notable early scratch as the second choice on the morning line. Trainer Mike Maker said it was because of filling in a tendon, a condition he is hoping will not keep the 6-year-old Dark Cove sidelined for too long.

 

 

 

philcoforde More than 1 year ago
LOVE DANDINO !!!!! This dude has a TON of HEART !!!!!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Will this now give the Race Graded Status?