Team Valor International and Gary Barber's Triple Threat winner of the Monmouth Stakes (gr. IIT) in his North American bow June 7, is the main danger in the $100,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) July 9. The 5-year-old French-bred horse drew post 8 of 10 runners in the 1 3/16-mile race that is a prep for next month's Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT).
The Arlington Handicap is one of four stakes on Arlington International Racecourse's Million Preview program and is carded as race 6 with an approximate post-time of 3:50 p.m. CDT.
The 121-pound highweight in the race is Midwest Thoroughbreds The Pizza Man, an eight-time winner over the Arlington turf. The 6-year-old son of English Channel , winner of the Opening Verse Stakes May 30 at Churchill Downs in his lone 2015 outing, is cross-entered in the 1 1/2-mile Stars and Stripes Stakes (gr. IIIT), a race he won last year prior to taking Arlington's American St. Leger Stakes.
Triple Threat, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, made his first 13 starts in Europe and won the 2013 Prix Eugene Adam-Grand Prix de Maisons-Laffitte (Fr-II) at 10 furlongs. The son of Monsun—Drei, by Lyphard, also won at the group III level and placed in a pair of group races while being trained by Andre Fabre.
In the Monmouth Handicap Triple Threat closed gamely to edge Middleburg by a nose going nine furlongs. Bert and Diana Firestone's Middleburg, by Lemon Drop Kid , will break just to the outside of Triple Threat at Arlington. Middleburg was a close third to Big Blue Kitten , winner of the July 5 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) prior in the Fort Marcy Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park in May for trainer Christophe Clement.
John James Revocable Trust's Dramedy —also cross-entered in the Stars and Stripes—makes his first start since posting a 30-1 upset in the 12-furlong Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland. The 6-year-old horse by Distorted Humor took that field wire-to-wire under Joe Bravo after getting away with a :52.47 opening half-mile. Rosemary Homeister Jr. has the call at Arlington and they'll break from the hedge.
Sam-Son Farm's Up With the Birds is the most accomplished in the field with $1,405,900 in earnings. The 5-year-old Stormy Atlantic horse was fourth in last year's Million after winning the Nijinsky II Stakes (Can-IIT). Winner of the classic Breeders' Stakes in 2013, he was Canada's Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male while adding Belmont's Jamaica Handicap (gr. IT). He was third in the Longines Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimilco on Preakness Stakes day in his only foray so far this year.
Arlington International Racecourse, Saturday, July 11, 2015, Race 6
- 1 3/16m
- 3 yo's & up
- 3:50 PM (local)
|1||1Dramedy (KY)||Rosemary B. Homeister, Jr.||118||Gerald Russel Aschinger||-|
|2||2Up With the Birds (ON)||Drayden Van Dyke||119||H. Graham Motion||-|
|3||3Looks to Spare (IL)||E. T. Baird||113||Otabek Umarov||-|
|4||4The Pizza Man (IL)||Florent Geroux||121||Roger A. Brueggemann||-|
|5||5Yankee Dealer (IL)||Samantha Colvin||114||Michael L. Reavis||-|
|6||6Coco Mon (IL)||Emmanuel Esquivel||113||Frank J. Kirby||-|
|7||7R. Great Adventure (KY)||Edgar Perez||115||Brian Williamson||-|
|8||8Triple Threat (FR)||Jose Lezcano||120||William I. Mott||-|
|9||9Middleburg (VA)||James Graham||116||Christophe Clement||-|
|10||10Quiet Force (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||115||Michael J. Maker||-|