08/14/2013 1:42PM

Arlington Park: Peitz hoping Ausus can deny Marketing Mix in Beverly D.

Four-Footed Fotos
Ausus, the winner of the Modesty Handicap at Arlington Park last out, will take on the favored Marketing Mix in the Grade 1 Beverly D. on Saturday.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Dan Peitz was rooting for Marketing Mix in the Grade 1 Beverly D. last year, but he won’t be this time.

“I saw her in the paddock before the race last year and thought she looked unbelievable, so I made a little bet on her,” Peitz said. “She just couldn’t get up.”

Marketing Mix was 3-1 when beaten just a head by I’m a Dreamer after rallying furiously down the stretch in the 2012 Beverly D., and this year, her price figures to be shorter when she takes on eight other fillies and mares in the 24th running of the 1 3/16-mile race, for which entries were drawn Wednesday. Marketing Mix, with Gary Stevens to ride from post 6, has been listed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite.

Peitz will saddle Ausus (post 9, Jimmy Graham, 10-1) in the Beverly D. for Shadwell Stable and therefore has his own interests in mind. Ausus comes off a career-best effort, a 2 1/4-length triumph in the July 13 Modesty over the Arlington turf.

“I’ve got to think Marketing Mix is the best of the American horses,” Peitz said. “The three from Europe are unknowns to me, as I’m sure they are to a lot of people. If they’re not up to it, then maybe we’d only have to improve three or four lengths to be right there with Marketing Mix.”

Peitz said he thought the overall depth of the field probably would lead to Ausus drifting a bit higher on the tote board than her morning line, “maybe 15-1 or 20-1, but it’s really not like we need to find 10 lengths to be competitive.”

This is the fourth summer that Peitz, 56, has been stabled at Arlington after many years in New York. The move allowed him to receive more horses from Shadwell, owned by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum and managed in the United States by Rick Nichols.

“It’s been a good move for me and my wife (Sandra),” he said. “I was kind of shoehorned in at Belmont and Saratoga with 16 or 17 horses. Now, I’ve got about 30 here, most of them for Shadwell.”

From the rail, this is the Beverly D. field: La Tia, Duntle, Solid Appeal, Dank, Gifted Girl, Marketing Mix, Starformer, Artemus Kitten, and Ausus.

Duntle (3-1), Dank (7-2), and Gifted Girl (12-1) are the European fillies.

Botti seeks repeat in American St. Leger

A competitive field of eight marathoners has been entered in the $400,000 American St. Leger, with the European stalwart Dandino listed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite over a crew of Americans led by the resurgent claimer Dark Cove (3-1).

Dandino is trained by Marco Botti, the noted Italian based in Newmarket. A 6-year-old horse by Dansili, Dandino has raced just twice for Botti, finishing second in a pair of Group 2 races at 1 1/2 miles in England, after winning seven times in his previous 22 starts. He traveled here with his Arlington Million-bound stablemate, Guest of Honour, in the care of Botti’s wife and assistant, Lucie.

This will be the second running of the St. Leger, which is run at the odd distance of 1 11/16 miles and is modeled after the ancient European distance races of great prestige. Botti won the inaugural last year with Jakkalberry, an 8-5 favorite who wore down Ioya Bigtime to prevail by 2 1/4 lengths.

Wigmore Hall, the leading earner in the field with more than $2 million, is the 7-2 third choice. The 6-year-old has traveled to Chicago from England for the fourth straight year after finishing second in the 2010 Secretariat, fourth in the 2011 Million, and seventh in the 2012 Million.

Jack Milton favored in Secretariat

Only twice in the last decade has the Secretariat Stakes gotten as many as 10 entrants, but thanks in great part to the lack of anything like a standout in this year’s edition, 13 horses passed the entry box for the Grade 1, $500,000 turf race for 3-year-olds.

Quantity, of course, does not equate to quality, and there are four 30-1 shots on Arlington’s morning line for the 1 1/4-mile race. The 3-1 morning-line favorite is Jack Milton, who comes off close third-place finishes in the $500,000 Penn Mile and the $500,000 Virginia Derby last month at Colonial Downs.

Jack Milton, who will have Joel Rosario in the irons, breaks from post 9 and can give trainer Todd Pletcher his second Secretariat win. After sending out the second-place finishers in 2003, 2005, and 2007, Pletcher won the 2009 Secretariat with Take the Points.

Rydilluc, the Penn Mile winner, was the 5-2 favorite in the Virginia Derby but faded after pressing a slow pace on a wet turf course and finished just eighth of 10, his worst showing since his career debut. Rydilluc, a major pace player, will have regular rider Edgar Prado aboard when he breaks from post 3 Saturday.

France-based trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre won the 2012 Secretariat with the Aga Khan’s Bayrir, and the same connections – including jockey Christophe Lemaire, will try for a second straight success with Visiyani. Visiyani, who drew post 2, lacks the strong credentials that Bayrir brought to Arlington last summer.

Two other European shippers were entered, First Cornerstone (post 4) and Yeager (post 7). The latter has won two straight for trainer Jeremy Noseda, who has win threat Grandeur entered in the Million, but Yeager has yet to contest a graded stakes race of any kind. First Cornerstone figures to have the best chance among the Europeans, though he finished just 15th in the French Derby on June 2, his most recent start.

Owned by Team Valor and trained by Andrew Oliver, First Cornerstone will remain in the United States after Saturday’s race and be transferred to trainer Rick Mettee.

Admiral Kitten (post 5) finished second in the two local lead-ins to the Secretariat, the Arlington Classic and the American Derby, and along with Amen Kitten is one of two Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebreds in the race.

◗ Arlington is offering pool guarantees on multirace wagers involving the major races Saturday. The pool for the 50-cent pick four encompassing the four major stakes (races 7-10, starting with the St. Leger and ending with the Million) will be guaranteed at $200,000, while the guarantee for the 50-cent pick five (races 8-12) is $100,000.

– additional reporting by Marcus Hersh