Stella Perdomo’s Musketier , three-time winner of the Singspiel Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Woodbine Race Course, and Henry Pabst Trust’s Joinem, runner-up in the May 26 Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs, headline a field of 11 turf marathoners entered in the $150,000 Stars and Stripes Stakes (gr. IIIT) July 14 at Arlington Park.
The Stars and Stripes is part of the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Preview Day card for the first time and serves as the final local prep for the inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger, which will be held Aug. 18. In addition to the Stars and Stripes, the 12-race card includes the $200,000 American Derby (gr. IIIT), the $200,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT), and the $200,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT). As an added bonus, the 1-2-3 finishers in the Stars and Stripes will have their entry and starting fees waived for the American St. Leger should they elect to run in that event next month.
A 10-year-old son of Acatenago, Musketier is still going strong despite his advanced age. Trained by Roger Attfield, he seems to thrive on the marathon distance–with six wins at the mile and a half tilt of the Stars and Stripes. In addition to his trio of victories in the Singspiel, Musketier also won the 2011 W. L. McKnight (gr. IIT) at Calder and the Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland (gr. IIT) in the same year. Joel Rosario picks up the mount.
Joinem, who is cross-entered in the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) at a mile and a quarter earlier in the card, was second to Simmard in the Louisville and before that finished third in the Mervyn Muniz Jr. Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in April for trainer David Carroll. Jesus Castanon rides the 5-year-old son of Johar.
Trainer Graham Motion sends Riverdee Stable’s Eagle Poisein from his base at Fair Hill Training Center. The 6-year-old Empire Maker gelding hasn’t raced since being nosed out of the victory by Bourbon Bay in the San Juan Capistrano Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita in April. A long distance specialist, he also won the Valedictory (gr. III) at Woodbine last December. Alex Solis gets the call.
Others of note in the Stars and Stripes include Hiram Polk & J. David Richardson’s Harrods Creek, fourth in the Louisville and third in the San Juan Capistrano in his last two starts; Frank Mancari’s defending championFree Fighter; Team Block’s Suntracer, runner-up in the 2011 Arlington Classic and American Derby; and Barry Golden’s Workin for Hops, 2010 winner of both the Arlington Classic and American Derby.
Also in the field are Joseph Allen’s Vertiformer , a third-level allowance winner at Arlington last month; Team Block’s Ioya Bigtime, fifth in the Black Tie Affair Handicap last time out; Andrew Baur & G. Watts Humphrey Jr,’s Final Count, third in a $100,000 stakes races at Indiana Downs June 20; and Mark Van Keirsbilck’s Mystic, winner of a minor stakes race at Mountaineer last year.
$150,000 Starts and Stripes Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 10, approximate post 5:44 p.m. CDT), 3YO & Up, 1 ½ miles (turf)
PP., Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Mystic (KY), F.C. Torres, 117, J M Gulick
2. Harrods Creek (KY), J.R. Leparoux, 117, W L Mott
3. Eagle Poise (KY), A. O. Solis, 117, H G Motion
4. Vertiformer (KY), Q. Hamilton, 117, W M Catalano
5. Final Count (KY), C. J. Lanerie, 119, P J Oliver
6. Suntracer (IL), E.E. Perez, 117, C M Block
7. Free Fighter (IL), R. Albarado, 117, M L Reavis
8. Joinem (KY), J.L. Castanon, 117, D M Carroll
9. Workin for Hops (KY), J. Graham, 119, M Stidham
10. Musketier (GER), J. Rosario, 124, R L Attfield
11. Iova Bigtime (IL), J. Sanchez, 117, C M Block