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. Earlier on the card, Bailey guided both Snow Polina (Beverly D Stakes) and Chester House (Arlington Million) to victory.
Ciro raced in third early on as Think Red and Pine Dance battled for the lead. Pine Dance claimed a one-length lead as they raced into the second turn after six furlongs run in 1:12.13. The field bunched up on the final turn as King Cugat circled the field and swept to the lead in upper stretch. Ciro, who had shuffled back to fifth on the turn, swung off the rail and followed in King Cugat's wake into the stretch. Ciro edged wider for the stretch run and pulled away to the winning margin, completing 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.64.
A Jayeff B Stables homebred, Ciro earned $240,000 for the win, his fourth in eight starts. King Cugat, who has has yet to finish worse than second after eight starts, completed the $28.40 exacta. Guillamou City came home third, followed by Hymn, Compton Bolter, Think Red, Slew Valley, and Pine Dance.
Ciro (Woodman--Gioconda, by Nijinsky II) was bred in Kentucky and is trained by Aidan O'Brien. In his most recent start prior to the Secretariat, Ciro finished third in the Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I). The winner of the Prix Lupin (Fr-I) in May raced on Lasix and equipped with blinkers for the first time on Saturday. Ciro returned $11.60, $3.40, and $2.10. (Chart, Equibase