08/18/2013 2:37PM

Arlington Million: de Kock agrees with disqualification of The Apache

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Real Solution (outside) was elevated to first place in Saturday's Arlington Million after The Apache was disqualified for interference.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Trainer Mike de Kock watched the Arlington Million from the office in his stables at Newmarket in England. As the race concluded, de Kock saw his runner, The Apache, cross the finish line first, holding clear a late challenge from Real Solution.

“It was only a side-on view, so it was difficult to see anything,” de Kock said. “Then there was the call to hold all tickets and the jockey’s objection. When we saw the head-on view, my heart sank.”

The Apache and jockey Christophe Soumillon, it became clear from the head-on replay, had drifted out several paths, pushing out and bumping Real Solution and taking away his momentum. A disqualification seemed inevitable to de Kock, and it came quickly.

“I thought it was clear we did unbalance the other horse,” de Kock said. “It’s not an easy thing to swallow, but you have to.”

Soumillon, who lost his riding crop in the last few yards of the race, said he thought The Apache had shied from the large video-projection board on the Arlington infield. The Apache, drifting right, also might have responded to left-handed encouragement from Soumillon.

“First time around the course, he was a little green,” said de Kock, who stayed in England to saddle Soft Falling Rain in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

De Kock, a South African with an operation reaching to Dubai and Europe, has had no luck at Arlington. Archipenko finished second in the 2008 Million after encountering trouble, and Iridescence was narrowly beaten in the 2007 Beverly D.

“We’ve had some frustrating experiences, but it’s not going to deter us,” de Kock said. “We’ll be back.”

The Apache, who appeared to have come out of the Million in good physical condition, will not be back in the United States again this year. De Kock said he plans to point the South African-bred to the Champion Stakes in October at Ascot, with a trip to Hong Kong in December also under consideration. The Apache will winter again in Dubai, where he finished second in the $5 million Duty Free this past spring.

The Apache and 10 other overseas shippers departed Arlington late Sunday morning for their return home. The France-based Visiyani, who was fifth in the Secretariat, was scheduled to leave Sunday night, while Duntle, a disappointing seventh in the Beverly D., leaves Tuesday to return to Ireland. First Cornerstone, who also shipped from Ireland and finished eighth in the Secretariat, is bound for the barn of trainer Rick Mettee at Fair Hill in Maryland.

Side Glance, the English horse who finished third with mild trouble in the Million, is being pointed for an Australian campaign this fall, trainer Andrew Balding said, with his main goal perhaps the Cox Plate over 1 1/4 miles.

Neither of the two Million favorites ran to form Saturday, particularly 5-2 favorite Indy Point, who never got untracked and finished a distant last of 13. Indy Point, trainer Richard Mandella said Sunday, stepped on the bulbs of his front hooves with his rear feet when put in tight quarters during the first quarter-mile of the race. Indy Point, an Argentine import with a sharp win in the Wickerr Stakes in his U.S. debut, never was comfortable thereafter, and jockey Gary Stevens wrapped up on the horse past the three-furlong pole. Mandella said Indy Point was moderately lame coming off the track but improved after returning to his stall and walked without pain Sunday.

“We’ll give him a week off and get back to work,” Mandella said.

Grandeur, the Million’s second choice, could finish only an even seventh while failing to show the flashy acceleration he’d displayed last fall in California. Grandeur, a gelding, become somewhat agitated and sweaty in the paddock and post parade and was reluctant to load into the starting gate.

Marketing Mix in good shape after loss

Trainer Tom Proctor said Sunday that beaten Beverly D. favorite Marketing Mix had come out of her race without incident. Marketing Mix pressed a solid early pace in the Beverly D. but had no finishing kick, barely holding on for fourth.

“She’s fine; everything’s good,” Proctor said. “Some days are better than others. She doesn’t owe us anything.”

Proctor said Marketing Mix would fly back to his California base Monday and will be pointed for the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes on Sept. 28 at Santa Anita.

Dank, trained by Michael Stoute and ridden to victory by Ryan Moore, could return to the United States this fall for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, though that is far from a certainty at this early date. Dank set a stakes record of 1:53.38 for 1 3/16 miles while beating fellow English shipper Gifted Girl by 4 1/4 lengths. Gifted Girl also will be considered for the Breeders’ Cup.

Moore scored a lucrative double Saturday, winning the $750,000 Beverly D. and the $400,000 American St. Leger on Dandino. Moore’s mount in the Million, Hunter’s Light, drifted left in midstretch, clipped heels, and nearly went down. He wound up finishing 10th.

Dandino remains on course for a trip to Australia this fall and likely will have one prep race in advance of the Melbourne Cup. His trainer, Marco Botti, has won both editions of the American St. Leger, having captured last year’s race with Jakkalberry.

Jack Milton eyes Jamaica Stakes

The top three finishers in the Secretariat Stakes – Admiral Kitten, Stormy Len, and Jack Milton – all came out of the race in good physical condition, their trainers said, but only Jack Milton has a specific goal in the near term, with his next start likely to come in the $500,000 Jamaica Stakes on Oct. 5.

Admiral Kitten, whose sire, Kitten’s Joy, also won the Secretariat, will be considered for turf races across the country, trainer Mike Maker said. Where he runs next will depend to a great extent on what owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey decide to do with their other turf-stakes runners late this summer and fall, Maker said.

Trainer David Donk said he was very pleased with the runner-up finish of Stormy Len, who had the lead for much of the stretch before being run down by Admiral Kitten.

“Down the road, he’s a horse that will run a mile and a half, I think,” Donk said. “He’ll have two or three more races this year and then get a freshening.”

TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
the article says "the dq came quickly"..........I beg to differ, it took at least 15 min. of unnecessary replays.
grayposse More than 1 year ago
deKock a class act and a good man for horse racing. Need more of him in the game.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Arlington Race Track put on quite a show all day Saturday - and the European turf horses proved to be quite formidable. The Apache was rather impressive, even in disqualification. Real Solution is quite a scrapper and I was impressed with him. In fact, the Arlington Million was quite an exciting, well-raced affair. It was pretty thrilling to watch, as was the Secretariat and the awesome Beverly D. We have many lovely, talented American turf horses on the scene today, but they have a little way to go to fully compete at a high level with the Europeans. I applaud Arlington Park, though. They put on a really great event this year - last year, too. I'm already looking forward to next year's Arlington Million Day!
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I went to Arlington for Million day in 2000 and then 2002-2009. Million day is always one of the best days of racing in North America, and I've visited most of the elite tracks.
GM More than 1 year ago
I have been to many of the early Million races and look forward to it every year. A calender event. But the fact that there have been 3 dq's in 11 years seems odd.
Old timer More than 1 year ago
Soumillon's quote is hilarious. The video screen caused it! Then again, the guy just screwed up. Any one of us might try to put the best spin on it. However the jockey gave a bad ride and the DQ was justified. End of story.
Robert Clayton More than 1 year ago
Obviously you've spent your life in an OTB or your sofa and never spent five minutes around a horse.....They might be big and strong but they are very sketchy about a lot of things and spook very easily.....The "guy" as you call him.....rode a brilliant race
Jordan More than 1 year ago
He was whipping the horse left handed, the horse starts to drift right, and he continues to whip left handed. The video screen may have played a part as well, but Soumillon's left handed whipping was a mistake pure and simple.
Surasak More than 1 year ago
Agreed with your comments, though the screen could play a part too, ie the 2003 Arlington Million almost took G. Steven to heaven!
darrellp More than 1 year ago
its the jockey job to keep the horse focused. That video screen is about at the eighth poll, there was no spooking involved by it. I have been to Arlington 100's of times and this is the first time someone came up with that lame excuse for a horse running sideways. Also Steven's was involved in a incident after the 1/8th poll and very close to the finish line, again past the video board.
Jim Bachelder More than 1 year ago
The only the good about the ARLINGTON MILLION is that Arlington Park Racecourse is the most beautiful place to bet on a 4 legged beast. I liked the (1) , I liked the (3), and I liked Handsome Mike. I like the fact that I did not bet on this race because it was loaded with 'fools gold'.
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
3 was the winner if the moron jock doesn't try to go inside when all he had to do was shift one path outside. That was as bad a ride as I've ever seen. I hope Hunter's Light runs in a race I can bet on next time out cause he lost all chance with that ride.
papajoe Santiago More than 1 year ago
we need to get some good turf horses so far the only champion we have s wise dan after I guest big blue k .man I miss the olds when we were on top ,what happen it seems that they beating us when they come here from the other side of the world,what has happen?
Kenny More than 1 year ago
de Kock class act....and what a cool horse, they are shipping him all over the world...great for racing
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
Took the words right out of my mouth....great finish but not doubt about the dq
michael More than 1 year ago
Jock forgot he was running counterclockwise using leftwhip. Horse usually runs clockwise in Europe, responded and thought all was well and doing as prompted
Surasak More than 1 year ago
Nah! Jock was a veteran horseman, been here before, no excuse, dq'ed is justified. de Kock is a classy guy, am appreciate and respect his comments.
jay More than 1 year ago
This is what Marcus Hersh wrote Saturday after the Arlington Million: "The disqualification of The Apache was not clear-cut. Getting a brilliant ride from Christophe Soumillon, who split Side Glance and Rahystrada with a knifing move at the quarter pole, The Apache made the lead at about the eighth pole and appeared to be on his way to victory. Real Solution emerged from a scrum behind The Apache in midstretch and made a strong bid, but The Apache, while drifting out a couple paths, perhaps bumping lightly once, turned him away. There was no stewards’ inquiry, but Garcia claimed foul, and The Apache was taken down in fairly short order." And today: "The Apache and jockey Christophe Soumillon, it became clear from the head-on replay, had drifted out several paths, pushing out and bumping Real Solution and taking away his momentum." Did the replay change overnight?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Those two quotes agree with each other. So no, it did not change overnight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'll have what your drinking.
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
I wondered at the time if Marcus Hersh was watching a different race then the rest of us. A no-brainer DQ.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
A writer's pre-race predictions can certainly affect how they view the race. Just like if you were someone that had money on The Apache you would view the dq as dubious at best.
Surasak More than 1 year ago
Dq'ed is justified after viewing the head on replay, the stewards dropped the ball big time!