Kingship, a son of the 2000 Arlington Classic (gr. IIIT) victor King Cugat, gamely held on to win the 2006 edition by a nose over the fast-closing Proudinsky. The Ronny Werner-trained colt covered the 1 1/16-mile event for 3-year-olds, presented this year by Woodford Reserve, over a turf course rated as "good" in 1:43.57. "For a lightly raced grass horse, only his second start on grass, he ran a huge race," winning jockey Robby Albarado said. "I was fortunate to ride his sire (King Cugat) and he got over this grass good. Like father, like son."Kingship, owned by Oxbow Racing LLC, was making just his fifth start overall. In his turf debut last month at Churchill Downs, the bay colt was an eight-length winner in a maiden race at the Louisville oval and the easy victory prompted his connections to take the leap in faith."I rode this horse over the dirt, and he really didn't get over it too well," Albarado added. "The first time on the grass at Churchill, he really showed a lot of improvement and ability. He ran to our expectations that day but, today, he exceeded our expectations."Kingship led through fractions of :24.36, :48.99, 1:13.00 and 1:37.41. He earned $90,000 to boost his bankroll to $131,165.In the stretch, Proudinsky, the German-bred son of Arlington Million (gr. IT) winner Silvano, dived to the rail and made a furious rally, put a nose in front a stride before the finish, but dropped the decision in a head-bobbing photo at the wire."He broke slowly, and that cost me," said Proudinsky's rider Brice Blanc. "Then he got squeezed back a tad more at the quarter-pole, but he made a good late run and I think he has a world of potential."
"It was only his third start and he had to overcome a long trip (from Germany to Chicago) three days ago," said trainer Mario Hofer, who indicated that the American Derby (gr. IIT) on July 22 would be next.It was a half length back to third-place finisher Arbuckle Bandit. Creative Force, Icy Ridge, 11-10 favorite Storm Treasure, Desert Wheat and Equal Opportunity completed the order of finish.Sent off at odds of 5-1, Kingship paid $12, $6.20 and $5.40. Proudinsky returned $7.80 and $5.40. Arbuckle Bandit paid $11.40.(Chart, Equibase)