Irish-bred colts European and Good Day Too add an international flavor to Saturday's renewal of the $175,000 Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve.
The Grade II Arlington Classic for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on the turf is the first leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple, which continues with the Grade II $250,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, at 1 3/16 on the turf on July 20. The series concludes with the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on the grass during the International Festival of Racing on Aug. 16.
European, a recent purchase by Team Valor, will be making his North American debut in the Arlington Classic. The son of Great Commotion was a perfect two-for-two in his native Ireland. He most recently won the Amethyst Stakes over good ground at Leopardstown in his only start as a sophomore. He broke his maiden over turf listed as yielding at The Curragh in June 2002. Now trained by Elliott Walden, European will be ridden by Shane Sellers.
Good Day Too, purchased a short time ago by Ross Gilbert, arrived in the United States on Sunday on the same flight that carried European. Unraced as a 2-year-old, the Danetime colt made his debut at The Curragh in March with a victory over yielding turf in a seven-furlong maiden race.
Less than a month later, he ran second in the Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial at that Irish racetrack. In his final start overseas, the bay colt was second beaten only a head in the 1 1/4-mile Silver Stakes at The Curragh.
Good Day Too will race for Irish trainer Tommy Stack in the Classic but will be transferred to the care of locally-based conditioner Chris Block following Saturday's race. Curt Bourque has the mount.
Also entered is Remind, who ships to Arlington after consecutive second-place finishes behind Senor Swinger in the Grade III Crown Royal American Turf on May 2 and the Grade III Jefferson Cup, both at Churchill Downs.
The Deputy Minister colt is trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott.
Lismore Knight returns to stakes action after winning a second-level allowance race at Belmont Park on May 17 in his first start of the year. Last year, the Todd Pletcher-trained son of Woodman won the Grade II Summer Stakes at Woodbine and ran second in the Grade III Generous Stakes at Hollywood Park.
The field in post position order with jockey and odds:
1. Lone Star Deputy, Shane Laviolette, 10/1
2. Lismore Knight, Rene Douglas, 3/1
3. Good Day Too , Curt Bourque, 5/1
4. Ontario, Ray Sibille, 12/1
5. European, Shane Sellers, 5/1
6. Remind , Cornelio Velasquez, 9/2
7. Distinguishable, Uriel A. Lopez, 30/1
8. Scottago, Carlos H. Marquez, Jr., 10/1
9. Herculated, Frank Lovato, Jr., 6/1
10. Rapid Proof, Calvin H. Borel, 8/1