2nd at 3SECRETARIAT S.
(gr. IT , 10f , to Winchester, defeating Tizdejavu, Prime Realestate, Strait of Mewsina (IRE), Your Round, Snoose Goose, Secret Getaway, Sr. Henry ).
There was no denying Winchester the victory in the Aug. 9 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) on Arlington Million day once he started rolling at the top of the stretch. The son of Theatrical passed pacesetter and even-money favorite Tizdejavu and went on to win by 71Ú4 lengths over Plan. Tizdejavu held on for third.
The triumph was only the second for Virginia-bred Winchester, who races as a homebred for Bertram and Diana Firestone. The couple own Newstead Farm near Upperville, Va.
For the Firestones, it was their biggest win at Arlington Park since a horse they bred, Paradise Creek, won the 1994 Arlington Million (gr. IT). Bertram Firestone initially raced Paradise Creek and won several graded stakes with him before selling him early that year. Paradise Creek was voted 1994 champion turf male.
Winchester, who began his racing career in Ireland last year for trainer Dermot Weld, was no stranger to big races. In his last start, he finished unplaced in the June 29 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I) at 11Ú2 miles. The Secretariat was contested at 11Ú4 miles. Before the Irish Derby, Winchester was unplaced in the King Edward VII Stakes (Eng-II) at 11Ú2 miles.
Winchester proved comfortable at 11Ú4 miles in Ireland in his first two races this year. He broke his maiden at that distance and then ran second in the Nolan & Brophy Auctioneers Silver Stakes.
As a son of Irish-bred Theatrical, Winchester was well equipped to handle two-turn racing at the highest level.
Theatrical was bred by the Firestones and initially raced for Bertram Firestone before Allen Paulson became a partner. Campaigned first in Ireland, Theatrical ran in the 1986 Budweiser-Arlington Million. Trained by Weld, he ran unplaced. Theatrical started three more times that year in grade I turf stakes and placed in all three.
Things proved entirely different in 1987. Trained by Bill Mott, Theatrical won six grade I grass stakes, highlighted by a triumph in the BreedersÕ Cup Turf (gr. IT) over Prix de lÕArc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Trempolino. He was an easy choice for champion turf male.
The Firestones have raced numerous major winners over the years, and none proved bigger than Genuine Risk, the 1980 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and champion 3-year-old filly. Campaigned by Diana Firestone, Genuine Risk became the first filly winner of the Derby since Regret in 1915.
Genuine Risk, now 31, resides at Newstead. ÒSheÕs doing very well,Ó said farm manager Eric Connolly. ÒShe goes out for a walk every day.Ó
WinchesterÕs dam, Irish-bred group winner Rum Charger, is the dam of a yearling full sister to the Secretariat winner. Rum Charger produced a Mr. Greeley filly this year. She was bred this year to Lemon Drop Kid and is not in foal.
Theatrical has sired 77 stakes winners, including two other 2008 added-money winners. He stands at John SikuraÕs Hill ÔnÕ Dale Farms near Lexington. His 2008 fee was $40,000.ÑD.S.
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