07/17/2012 4:04PM

Arlington Park notes: Rahystrada, Boisterous to rematch in Arlington Million

Four-Footed Fotos
Rahystrada (right) holds off a fast-closing Boisterous to win the Arlington Handicap. The two will likely rematch in the Arlington Million.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Rahystrada and Boisterous, the one-two finishers in the Arlington Handicap last weekend, are likely to meet again here Aug. 18 in the Arlington Million.

Rahystrada, who surprisingly set the pace and held late-running Boisterous off to win by a neck Saturday, was back home at the Thoroughbred Training Center near Lexington, Ky., this week. His trainer, Scooter Hughes, said Rahystrada is “in pretty good shape” coming out of the Arlington Handicap.

“If everything goes well with him, we’ll definitely be thinking about the Million,” said Hughes, who trains Rahystrada for owner Robert Courtney.

In August 2009, Rahystrada was racing in $50,000 claimers, but the last two Augusts he has started in the Million, finishing fourth in 2010 and fifth last year. And even now, at age 8, Rahystrada is doing well enough to merit a berth in the race again this year.

“Usually, they get too smart and decide maybe they don’t want to do it anymore, but we’re very lucky in that respect,” Hughes said. “I don’t think he’s lost anything from last year.”

Boisterous, meanwhile, returned to trainer Shug McGaughey’s stable in New York on Monday looking no worse for wear.

“If he comes out of this good, he’ll probably come back” for the Million, McGaughey said.

While Rahystrada set a comfortable pace, Boisterous rallied from 11 lengths behind to miss by a narrow margin in a strong performance.

“I thought he ran a winning race and finished second,” McGaughey said.

Snow Top Mountain done racing

Romacaca narrowly held off Snow Top Mountain to win the Modesty Handicap on Saturday, and while the Romacaca is likely to run back in the Beverly D., Snow Top Mountain has probably run for the last time.

Romacaca, trainer Danny Miller said, ran hard and was tired after the Modesty, but Miller said the Aug. 18 Beverly D. should afford Frank Calabrese’s mare “enough time to bounce back.”

Snow Top Mountain has been racing in foal, and trainer Tom Proctor said the Modesty was likely the final start of her career.

“I think that was her swan song,” Proctor said. “We’ll let her down a little and then she’ll head to [owner] Barbara Hunter’s Brownwood Farm.”

Snow Top Mountain ranged up alongside Romacaca in the Modesty stretch run before being turned away. Proctor, in jest, blamed her pregnancy.

“She was running, but the foal was sticking his heels in the ground,” he joked.

Snow Top Mountain, a 5-year-old daughter of Najran out of Motokiks and bred by Hunter, won seven races and more than a half-million dollars during her career.

Proctor, meanwhile, has Marketing Mix back at Arlington after the mare was stabled at Woodbine and won graded stakes there in June and July, but he stopped short of committing Marketing Mix to the Beverly D. Arlington is experiencing drought conditions, and Proctor wants to monitor the local grass before deciding whether to run.

“I’m very concerned with the turf course,” he said.

Ioya Bigtime uncertain for American St. Leger

Ioya Bigtime turned in a career-best performance winning the Stars and Stripes on Saturday in his first trip beyond 1 1/8 miles, but runner-up Musketier steadily closed in on Ioya Bigtime through the stretch run, leading trainer Chris Block to wonder whether the $400,000 American St. Leger here Aug. 18 is the right spot for Ioya Bigtime.

“Certainly, we’ll take a good look at it, and if it was a mile and a half I’d say he was almost definite, but stretching to a mile and three-quarters there, I’m a little hesitant to say for sure,” Block said. “There are other options.”

Suntracer, who Block sent out to a third-place finish in the Stars and Stripes, might be more likely than his stablemate to show up in the American St. Leger.

“I think a mile and three-quarters would be on his radar,” Block said.

Meanwhile, trainer Roger Attfield said Musketier had exited his strong closing second-place finish in good shape and could easily return for the American St. Leger.

“He’s a tough old bugger,” Attfield said Tuesday. “He’s laying out fast asleep in the sun right now. He took his race Saturday better than I took it. He was far too far out of it early, and it was amazing he hit the board, considering where he was turning for home.”

◗ Arlington, per Churchill Downs Inc. policy, doesn’t normally release handle figures, but strong betting on Saturday’s program compelled a one-day change of policy. Arlington reported all-sources handle on the 12-race Million Preview Day program at $7,616,325, the highest in the 12-year history of Million Preview Day. Saturday’s betting total was up 48 percent over the 2011 Million Preview Card, though the 2012 program included one more race than last year’s.

Heidi Carpenter More than 1 year ago
Musketier is a classy old man--good to know he may return on Million Day.