Arlington Park Race Report (Cont.)

Arlington Park Race Report (Cont.)
Photo: Benoit Photos
Golden Apples, winning the Las Palmas Handicap last year.

Both West Coast distaffers were chasing defending champion England's Legend through fractions that were swifter than for the Million. England's Legend, who won the Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) following a nine-month layoff, turned back challenges by Tates Creek and England's Golden Silca, but gave way grudgingly to Golden Apples and jockey Patrick Valenzuela in the final 70 yards, finally yielding the place spot to Astra by a neck.

Christophe Clement, who trains England's Legend as well as fourth-place finisher Volga, said both of his runners would have preferred the going even softer. He predicted that England's Legend might turn the tables on a softer course in the Filly & Mare Turf.

De Seroux, however, hinted that Astra might not be back for the Breeders' Cup if Arlington's turf course is too soft. Astra struggled home last in the 2001 Beverly D. at odds-on over a rain-soaked course.

Cecil was not buying the argument that the course compromised Astra's chances, saying, "This filly (Golden Apples) wants it like a road, so if the ground was soft, that played against us."

Tanaka purchased Golden Apples privately in July 2001 following her third-place finish in the Pretty Polly Stakes (Ire-II) at the Curragh. The owner was grateful the turf was "yielding" for that race.

"I'm sure if it was firm she would have showed a lot more and she wouldn't have been for sale or been for sale at a lot higher price," Tanaka said.

Golden Apples has won more than $1 million of her career earnings of $1,150,237 since joining Tanaka's stable. She has two grade I and two grade II wins in eight U.S. starts, and was beaten just a neck in two other grade I outings.

Juddmonte Double

The Million left Frankel and Chandler feeling nostalgic for the 2000 event, when their Chester House won the year Arlington doubled the purse.

"It's not as good as two years ago...when it was a $2-million race, but this is pretty good," Chandler said.

Then the pair took a walk down memory lane as Chiselling, a half-brother to Chester House, ran down Ireland's Jazz Beat to win the $400,000 Secretariat by a nose. Chiselling, like Chester House, is out of the El Gran Senor mare Toussaud. He is by Woodman, who was sired by Mr. Prospector, who also sired Chester House.

And like Chester House, Chiselling seems to get better as the distances get longer. He was just one-for-five lifetime before his nose wins in the Lexington Stakes (gr. IIIT) and Secretariat, both run at 10 furlongs. His Secretariat time of 2:04.16 was 1.22 seconds slower than Beat Hollow ran in the Million.

Frankel gave credit to Arlington's starting gate crew, stating, "Last time he had trouble because he was too keyed up before he got into the gate. Today the starters did a great job; they took their time. He didn't get worked up and he ran a great race."

Chiselling's victims included favorite Orchard Park, whose five-for-six record this year included four stakes wins. A disappointed Bailey said the Bill Mott trainee "had nothing in the tank at any point of the race," finishing last of seven in the final leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple series for 3-year-old grass runners.

Chiselling's win added another $240,000 to the Juddmonte coffers. The newest star to carry Prince Khalid Abdullah's green and pink silks has now earned $383,760 and is a "treasure for us," said winning rider Desormeaux.

The jockey even downplayed his gate disposition, stating, "He's not mean, just ornery. He likes things his way. If you give him an instant and don't fight him, he'll come back to himself and realize that it's time to go."

Desormeaux said he knew when to go with Chiselling after his experience with Astra over ground he called "very, very soft by West Coast standards."

"I was never certain I was going to get there until the last 70 yards," he said of the dramatic stretch run.

Trainer Dermot Weld said Moyglare Stud's Jazz Beat would return to Ireland, but may run in the Canadian International (gr. IT) and the Breeders' Cup Turf. "Our horse ran a big race and improved off last time," he said after Jazz Beat held second by 1 1/4 lengths over Extra Check. Mananan McLir, who defeated Jazz Beat in the American Derby (gr. IIT), flattened out in the drive to finish fifth. b

(Chart, Equibase)

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