08/15/2013 1:50PM

Arlington Park: Proctor will let Marketing Mix's talent do the talking in Beverly D. Stakes


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Tom Proctor doesn’t worry much, or at least he says he doesn’t. With a critical race on the horizon for his stable star, Marketing Mix, Proctor was on the Arlington Park apron one morning this week wanting to talk about anything except the Beverly D. Stakes on Saturday.

“My work’s pretty much all done,” shrugged Proctor, who trains the Beverly D. favorite for Glen Hill Farm. “It’s all about the horse anyway.”

About all Proctor will do on race day is give Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens a leg up on Marketing Mix before the Grade 1, $750,000 Beverly D. and wish him luck. Form says the rest should take care of itself, with Marketing Mix definitely the one to beat among the nine fillies and mares in the 1 3/16-mile turf race.

“I’m not much of a strategizer,” Proctor said. “I’ll just let Gary ride her and see what happens.”

What is likely to happen is Marketing Mix being right there, or thereabouts, at the finish. From 18 starts, the 5-year-old Ontario-bred mare has compiled a terrific record of 10 wins and 4 seconds for earnings of more than $1.8 million, by far the most in the field. Her torrid rally barely fell short last year in the Beverly D., where the Irish-bred filly I’m a Dreamer held on to win by a head, and since then, she has won 3 of 4, including a pair of Grade 1 victories, the only such wins for any of these.

For Glen Hill, the iconic breeding and racing operation founded in the 1960s by the 93-year-old Leonard Lavin, a victory in the Beverly D. would mark one of its all-time highlights. Lavin’s grandson, Craig Bernick, who in recent years assumed the day-to-day management of the farm, said his family’s Chicago roots translate into the Beverly D. being one of their favorite races.

“My grandparents were both born in Chicago and met after the war,” Bernick said. “I grew up here and came to appreciate the Million, Secretariat, and Beverly D. as legitimate international races. It takes a top-class horse to win these races, and hopefully ours gets the job done. She’s going great, and we’re excited to run her.”

Marketing Mix, listed at 2-1 on the Arlington morning line, will break from post 6 in a field that includes three Europeans, two of whom are being regarded as her most formidable opponents.

Duntle (post 2, Wayne Lordan, 3-1) is a multiple group stakes winner whose powerful stalk-and-pounce style has netted her a 5-for-9 record. The Irish-bred 4-year-old was sent here by David Wachman, who has established himself as one of the top trainers on the flat in Ireland.

Dank (post 4, Ryan Moore, 7-2) is trained by the legendary Sir Michael Stoute, whose countless accomplishments include wins in the Dubai World Cup, Breeders’ Cup, English classics, and other major races across the globe. Dank has a race record and running style very similar to Duntle’s – she is 5-for-10 with multiple group stakes wins – and will be treated with the anti-bleeding medication Lasix for the first time Saturday.

Gifted Girl (post 5, Tom Queally, 12-1), the remaining European filly, is not a group stakes winner from 11 starts. She also will be getting Lasix for the first time.

As for how the Beverly D. might unfold, Marketing Mix, Duntle, and Dank can be expected to rate just off an early pace that surely will be set by La Tia (post 1), a local longshot who most recently was third as the favorite in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap here on July 13. The respective one-two Modesty finishers, Ausus (post 9) and Artemus Kitten (post 8), also return in the Beverly D.

The rest of the field includes Canadian shipper Solid Appeal (post 3), who will be ridden by Joel Rosario, and Starformer (post 7), whose Hall of Fame trainer, Bill Mott, won this race in 2000 with Snow Polina and in 2009 with Dynaforce.

The Beverly D., named for the late wife of longtime Arlington chairman Richard Duchossois, was first run as a major event in 1989, the first year for the rebuilt Arlington following the 1985 fire. Four Beverly D. winners have gone on to win the divisional Eclipse Award that same year, the most recent being Golden Apples in 2002.

The Beverly D. directly precedes the Arlington Million as the ninth of 12 Saturday races, with post time set for 5:02 p.m. Central. The race will be shown live as part of the one-hour WGN broadcast that starts at 5.