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Godolphin brings an added starter
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The powerful Godolphin Stable has sent one runner each for Saturday's Grade 1 Arlington Million and Grade 1 Beverly D., but they snuck another horse onto the back of the bus. Tizdubai, who vanished after impressively winning her only two starts at 2, is one of three horses besides the Grade 1 competitors that Godolphin has shipped to Arlington.
Tizdubai, officials from the International Racing Bureau said this week, is slotted to race here Aug. 21 in the Arlington Breeders' Cup Oaks. It will be her first start on dirt since she won the Grade 2 Sorrento by four lengths last Aug. 3 at Del Mar.
Tizdubai, a California-bred full sister to the champion Tiznow, was injured after the Sorrento, and did not race again at 2. With most of the rest of Godolphin's horses, she was gathered up and taken to winter in Dubai, but Tizdubai did not start there. Her first race as a 3-year-old came in a Group 3 on the Epsom turf in early June, and Tizdubai finished sixth of eight. A month later, she was thrown into a Group 1 at Newmarket, where she finished last of seven at 100-1.
Tizdubai, it would appear, is not cut out to be a grass horse, and so she has ended up back where she started, in the United States.
Less familiar with the territory are Vespone, Godolphin's horse for the Million, and Crimson Palace, who will run in the Beverly D. Privately purchased last year at 3, Vespone has disappointed this year, going winless in five starts. He was second May 2 in the Group 1 Prix Ganay, and second two weeks later in a Group 1 in Italy, but his form has slipped over the summer.
Crimson Palace, a South African-bred, will be a longshot in the Beverly D. She was a close fourth in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free in late March, but narrowly won a Group 3 over just five rivals in May, and was sixth June 16 in the Group 2 Windsor Forest at Ascot, her most recent start.
Godolphin also has horses for overnight stakes races here Friday and Sunday.
Large field for Beverly D.
Typically, the field for the Beverly D. comes up smaller than those for its two brother races, the Million and Secretariat Stakes. But when entries for the 15th Beverly D. were taken here Wednesday, the field was expected to number at least 11, which would be the most since 13 competed in 1992.
Musical Chimes, a rallying winner of the July 24 John Mabee at Del Mar in her most recent start, could be a slight favorite in the $750,000 Beverly D., but support for at least a few other fillies and mares also will be strong. Trained by Neil Drysdale, Musical Chimes will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux, who on Monday was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame.
Besides Musical Chimes, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of In Excess, the field for the 1 3/16-mile Beverly D. also is expected to include Aubonne, Aud, Bedanken, Commercante, Crimson Palace, Necklace, Noches de Rocha, Quero Quero, Riskaverse, and Shaconage.
Light Jig, trained by Bobby Frankel, was listed Tuesday as a possible starter, while Tangle, who would have been one of the outsiders, was declared from consideration by Craig Dollase.
Four of the last eight winners of the Beverly D. have gone on to win the Eclipse Award as the top older filly or mare on turf.
Kitten's Joy the Secretariat favorite
Trainer Dale Romans said he and owner Ken Ramsey will be here Saturday to watch Kitten's Joy run as the heavy favorite in the third and final Grade 1 event in the International Turf Festival, the $400,000 Secretariat.
It appears that Kitten's Joy may face only five or six other 3-year-olds in the Grade 1 Secretariat. Romans, speaking Tuesday from Saratoga, said he and Ramsey are excited about "staying hot," alluding to the narrow win by Roses in May in the Grade 1 Whitney last weekend at Saratoga.
"We're going to stay on a roll," said Romans.
Kitten's Joy, a chestnut El Prado colt, has won 6 of 7 turf starts, most recently defeating Artie Schiller and Prince Arch in the July 10 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. Jerry Bailey, who missed the Virginia Derby, will have the mount back Saturday.
Other probables for the 1 1/4-mile Secretariat are Cool Conductor, Greek Sun, Hazyview, Moscow Ballet, and Simple Exchange. Arlington officials also were trying to recruit Laura's Lucky Boy on Tuesday. Toasted, winner of the Arlington Classic in early July, was unlikely to be on a Wednesday charter flight from California, track officials said.
Herculated looking good
When he came back to Arlington in mid-May after finishing 10th in the Dixie Handicap at Pimlico, Herculated had feet so sore he could not even properly train. Tuesday morning, three days after he won the Sea o'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile Handicap here, Herculated had a spring in his step, and dapples running through his coat, looking no worse for his strong comeback race over the weekend.
"You have to make sure he goes back to the track just as good, but right now, he seems great," said trainer Mike Stidham.
Herculated, Stidham speculated, was jarred by a hard course in his Pimlico race. The grass at Arlington on Saturday was more forgiving, and finding the right type of turf course will factor into Herculated's future. The Fourstardave at Saratoga would be an option were it not Aug. 28. That date might come up too quickly for Herculated's connections. The DeBartolo Handicap at Remington Park is Sept. 6, and that is a possible spot, but stakes races in West Virginia, New York, and Canada also are being considered, Stidham said.
Morris fined for conduct
The apprentice rider Liz Morris was fined $300 for "unprofessional conduct during the running of the eighth race on Aug. 5," according to a ruling issued by Arlington stewards.
Morris struck jockey Carlos Marquez Jr. on the backside with her whip during the race's stretch run. Marquez's mount, Chilling Effect, appeared to move into Morris's path at the top of the stretch.
Chilling Effect won the race, and survived a stewards' inquiry into the stretch run.
Contreras banned again
Jockey Cruz Contreras has received still another three-day suspension, this one for bumping and jostling in the stretch of the ninth race on Aug. 5. Contreras's mount, Jimmy's Saber, was disqualified from first to second for the incident.
A rash of suspensions have compromised Contreras's transition from apprentice to journeyman. Contreras, leading rider this past spring at Hawthorne, lost his apprentice weight allowance in late June.
- additional reporting by Marty McGee