08/13/2012 5:41PM

Arlington Park: Aruna breezes for Beverly D.

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Aruna, with Ramon Dominguez riding, wins the Sheepshead Bay.

Aruna, one of the main contenders for the Grade 1, $750,000 Beverly D. on Saturday, at Arlington Park, had her final prep for the 1 3/16-mile race by breezing five furlongs Monday morning in 1:01.40 at her Fair Hill training center base in Maryland.

Trainer Graham Motion was on hand from Saratoga to oversee the breeze and was to send Aruna on a Federal Express flight to Chicago on Tuesday night.

“I thought she went very well this morning,” said Motion, who also has Lake Drop for the American St. Leger on Saturday. “She’ll have an easy day [Tuesday] before getting on the plane. I’ll be there in Chicago Friday morning to watch them train.”

The Beverly D. field appears particularly well-matched this year, and to underscore that fact, Arlington’s linemaker, Joe Kristufek, said Monday he was not yet decided on a program favorite. Other major threats include American entrants Marketing Mix and Mystic Star, as well as I’m a Dreamer, Joviality, Kapitale, and Up from overseas. Ten fillies and mares are pre-entered.

Silver Max gears up for Secretariat

Silver Max had his final work for the Grade 1, $500,000 Secretariat Stakes when he breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 over a fast main track Saturday at Churchill Downs. Trainer Dale Romans said Silver Max and his other Secretariat runners, Cozzetti and Finnegans Wake, will van from Louisville on Thursday, the same day he takes a flight out of Albany, N.Y., to meet them in Chicago.

Silver Max, with Robby Albarado to ride, will put a six-race win streak on the line as the likely choice in the 1 1/4-mile Secretariat, which had nine 3-year-olds pre-entered. A trio of Europeans figure to help make the Secretariat a more daunting challenge than what Silver Max has ever faced, with those Euro runners being Bayrir, Daddy Long Legs, and Dark Stranger.

Albarado, incidentally, was to be sentenced Tuesday in Louisville on fourth-degree assault charges stemming from a domestic incident in late April, but it was not expected that the hearing would have any bearing on his status for this weekend. A spokesman for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission said Monday that Albarado, who has been riding regularly at Arlington since June 1, will remain licensed to ride regardless of what happened Tuesday and until the commission’s Licensing Review Committee convenes to discuss his case.

Sellers nearing return

Veteran jockey Shane Sellers began getting on horses Monday morning at Churchill and could be back riding races at Arlington within a couple of weeks, said his agent, Fred Aime.

Sellers, 45, has been sidelined since suffering a fractured shoulder blade in a June 29 spill in a turf race at Churchill.

◗ Two horses pre-entered in Saturday’s races, Vertiformer and Cherokeee Lord, breezed on turf Monday morning. Vertiformer, cross-entered in the Million and the American St. Leger, went five furlongs in 1:06.80, while Cherokee Lord, an expected Million runner, went six furlongs in 1:16.80. Both works were performed around cones set far out into the course.

Perl More than 1 year ago
Silver Max is toast here. At least one of the euros will push past him in the lane.
EnthusiastOfAll More than 1 year ago
Care to specify which Euro and what handicapping angle you used to reach this prediction?
PeterG More than 1 year ago
I have a feeling Silver Max is going down. Lucky Chappy almost caught him in the West Virginia Derby and Lucky Chappy is not a great horse. He's a decent horse but not a great one. Daddy Long Legs blew Lucky Chappy away in Dubai. Not sure who it's going to be but don't think Silver Max wins. He's been on a nice streak but I don't think he's been beating the best horses in the world. Decent horses maybe like Lucky Chappy. He'll be heavy chalk anyway.
richard montgomery More than 1 year ago
It was the Virginia Derby. The course was soaked that day and Lucky Chappy isn't a bad horse- bred in Ireland, but maybe the soggy track helped him. Silver Max did very well considering longshot Two Months Rent saddle slipped and passed Max on the backside and could have disrupted his game but he had enough left in the tank to finish a gruelling 1 1/4 miles.
EnthusiastOfAll More than 1 year ago
Leave Silver Max off your ticket at your peril. He's proven at the distance and has proven to be versatile in the fractions he sets on the lead, and could get away with moderate fractions here. If anyone can get at him late, it's likely Summer Front, who has been closing like a freight train, although he has never run nearly this far. Bayrir is interesting as well as he is proven at the distance but his form is difficult to gauge. Daddy Long Legs doesn't want any part of this distance. He set the pace at 8f in his last start and faded late. He'll have to go a lot further this time.