08/09/2017 3:16PM

Permian has come a long way for Secretariat


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Permian began his 2017 campaign by finishing third in a Class 2 handicap at Bath in England. That is a long way from being the 2-1 morning-line second choice Saturday in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes.

“He was definitely above average as a 2-year-old, but I think we’d all be quick to admit going into this season we didn’t expect him to reach the heights he has,” said Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, trainer Mark Johnston.

Permian comes off a very tough loss in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris, in which he led every step except the last one, losing to Shakeel despite looking like a winner even on a slow-motion replay.

“He did so much right in that race, he deserved to win,” said Charlie Johnston. “Every part of the horse and the jockey, apart from his nose, were in front at the finish. It was a frustrating defeat, but on the plus side, it really confirmed he’s up to Group 1 level.”

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