Peter Vegso's Orchard Park, a winner in five of six starts this year, may merit favoritism in a well-matched group of seven sophomore grass specialists from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean assembled for Saturday's 26th renewal of the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. I) at Arlington Park.
Startac came from far back to nip Strut the Stage in a photo finish Saturday to win the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) by a nose at Arlington Park.
Four European invaders are scheduled to arrive in Chicago over the next week in an attempt to take down the coveted Arlington Million Saturday, Aug. 18. A total of nine imports from across the pond will try their luck in either the Million, the $700,000 Beverly D for fillies and mares, and the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds. All are grade I contests, with the Million also serving as the third leg of the international Emirates World Series.
The 2001 Mid-American Triple is highlighted by purse increases and 257 nominations, including 45 submitted by the International Racing Bureau.
The series of turf races for three-year-olds kicks off with the 67th running of the grade II Arlington Classic at 1 1/8 miles on June 30, followed by the grade II American Derby over 1 3/16 miles, scheduled to be run for the 87th time on July 22. Total purses for the trio of races have been increased by $100,000 -- a $50,000 boost in each of the first two legs -- from a year ago to $850,000.
Midway through the stretch, jockey Jerry Bailey looked to be en route to his third grade I win on the day at Arlington International aboard 3-5 favorite King Cugat before Ciro, under Mick Kinane, rallied on the outside for a length victory in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) Saturday at the Chicago area track.
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