Red Fort, third in the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park, and Rush Bay, winner of his last two starts at Churchill Downs, share starting high impost of 118 pounds for Saturday's $200,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT).
The final Arlington Park prep for the Aug. 12 Arlington Million (gr. IT) is contested at the Million distance of 10 furlongs over Arlington's turf course. It drew a field of six.
The Arlington Handicap is one of three six-figure stakes races on the turf that comprise the track's Million Preview Day program. The card also includes the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares and the $250,000 American Derby (gr. IIT), presented by Jack Daniel's, for 3-year-olds.
A son of Green Desert, Walter R. Swinburn's Red Fort was beaten only 3 ¼ lengths by Lava Man in this year's 1 1/4-mile Whittingham. In his only other start this season for trainer Neil Drysdale, the 6-year-old gelding was fourth in the Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood. Last year Red Fort was second, beaten only a head by Sweet Return in the Whittingham and second beaten only a nose in the Inglewood. Eddie Castro has the call Saturday.
Muller Thoroughbred Stable Ltd.'s Rush Bay comes into the Arlington Handicap off back-to-back tallies over the Churchill Downs turf course where he captured the $100,000 Opening Verse Handicap in his most recent effort. The 4-year-old Cozzene
colt is trained by Tom Amoss and will be ridden Saturday by Robby Albarado.
Weighted just a pound behind the top pair at 117 pounds is Sidney L. Port & San Gabriel Investments' Artiste Royal. The Laura de Seroux-trained son of Danehill was second in the Inglewood and ran fifth in the Whittingham, his only two starts this year. He made his North American debut last year with a sixth-place finish in this race. Four-time Arlington Park riding champion Rene Douglas gets the call.
Flying Zee Stable's Cosmonaut, to be ridden by Julien Leparoux, won the Golden Gate Field's Handicap (gr. IIIT) in March. $200,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 4, 2:27 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Cosmonaut (KY), 115, Julien R. Leparoux
2. Red Fort (IRE), 118, Eddie Castro
3. Rush Bay (KY), 118, Robby Albarado
4. Embossed (IRE), 113, Larry Melancon
5. Artiste Royal (IRE), 117, Rene R. Douglas
6. Load a Chronic (KY), 112, Francisco C. Torres