Lael Stables' Showing Up, left alone on the lead, proved his 1-2 odds were justified when he shook loose in the stretch for jockey Cornelio Velasquez to easily win the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) for 3-year-olds on the Arlington Park turf Saturday.
Showing Up's clocking of 2:00 flat was 1 1/5 seconds faster than the time The Tin Man ran in capturing the Arlington Million (gr. IT) at the same distance two races earlier on the Arlington card. Showing Up went over the $1 million mark in career earnings in just his sixth start.
Trained by Barclay Tagg, the son of Strategic Mission added a grade I turf victory to a resume that also includes a triumph in the Lexington (gr. II) on the Keeneland main track. Showing Up's only loss came when he was sixth behind Barbaro, also owned by Lael Stables, in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 6.
"He ran even better than I thought he would," said Tagg. "I knew he'd run well but I never expected this. He has shown versatility in all of his races."
Breaking from the rail in the six-horse field, Showing Up got the early advantage and Velasquez nursed it over second choice Go Between and Proudinsky through fractions of :24 1/5, :47 4/5 and 1:11. Challenged on the final turn by Proudinsky and Primary, Showing Up was urged on by Velasquez and spurted away to lead by a couple of lengths in upper stretch.
The chestnut colt increased his lead through the lane to more than four lengths as the Aidan O'Brien-conditioned Ivan Denisovich made a wide closing move for John Velazquez from near the rear of the pack to finish second, 1 1/2 lengths behind Showing Up.
"I bided my time and then I had to go four wide at the quarter pole," Velazquez said. "It was just too much to make up. He ran hard and if he didn't have to go around those three horses in front of me, I might have won it but that's part of racing."
It was 4 1/2 lengths back to the third-pace finisher Primary, making his U.S. debut with Robbie Albarado aboard, who edged Proudinsky and Edgar Prado by three-quarters of a length.
"He didn't negotiate the second turn really well but he straightened out turning for home and he kept coming," Albarado said. "He ran a big race to be up for third."
Niagara Causeway finished fifth. Something was amiss with Go Between, the Virgnia Derby (gr. IIT) winner at Colonial Downs last month who faded on the far turn and finished last.
"Halfway up the backside, he was already out of the bridle," said Garrett Gomez. "He ran a hard race the other day at Colonial but it was really hot (there). Sometimes when they run a big race like that there's a bit of a backlash."
Showing Up made his turf debut at Colonial June 24 when he won the Colonial Turf Cup impressively by 3 1/4 lengths. His fifth win improved his earnings to $1,080,500.
A $60,000 buy as a 2-year-old by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, Showing Up is out of Miss Alethia, by T.V. Commercial. Nellie M. Cox and Rose Retreat Farm bred him in Kentucky.
The winner paid $3, $2.60, and $2.40. Ivan Denisovich, a group II winner at Newmarket last summer, returned $6 and $4.80. Primary, a group III winner at Sandown in April, was $4.40 to show.