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The final Arlington 'Million,' one for the ages in France top weekend horse racing

By Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer
The final Arlington 'Million,' one for the ages in France top weekend horse racing
Two Emmys wins Saturday's Grade I Mr. D. Stakes at Arlington Park, the final gasp of what once was the Arlington Million. Photo by Coach Photography, courtesy of Arlington Park

Aug. 16 (UPI) -- There was something for everyone in Saturday's presumed final run of "Million Day" at Arlington Park with a victory for top international raiders and another for the local forces as the track heads for likely sale and demolition at season's end.

At Saratoga, Got Stormy earned a Breeders' Cup berth with a classy upset win. And in Deauville in France, Palace Pier confirmed his status atop the world's best milers and also won a spot in the Breeders' Cup.

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There's plenty more besides, so let's get going before someone throws us out.

Turf

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Upsets were the rule in this division, from Saratoga to Arlington Park

At Arlington, what's generally assumed to be the last edition of the Arlington Million, run Saturday as the Grade I Mr. D Stakes for $600,000, went to Two Emmys, a 5-year-old English Channel gelding owned by local interests and trainer Hugh Robertson.

Two Emmys, with James Graham up, took the lead right out of the gate and, as the saying goes, "walked the dog," setting a slow, then slower pace down the backstretch.

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By the time others got going, he still had enough left to win by a neck over the odds-on favorite, Domestic Spending, one of the nation's top turf horses.

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The slow pace almost certainly cost Domestic Spending the victory and also proved a severe handicap to Irish invader Armory, whose late charge from the back of the field could only net a sixth-place finish.

Two Emmys had not been inhabiting the rarified air enjoyed by Domestic Spending. Rather, he has toiled mostly in the optional claiming ranks, winning just three times in 15 previous starts.

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He earned a shot at the Group 1 Japan Cup in November in Tokyo but Robertson said, "He's not going anywhere."

The Mr. D. was renamed in honor of long-time Arlington owner Richard L. Duchossois. The 99-year-old World War II veteran was not able to attend, but his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were on hand to help pass out trophies on a beautiful summer afternoon.

Saturday's $300,000 Grade I Bruce D. Stakes, formerly the Secretariat Stakes, went to Point Me By, a Point of Entry colt trained by Eddie Kenneally and ridden by Luis Saez.

Point of Entry waited behind the early speed, got through between horses in the stretch and ran on to win by 2 3/4 lengths as the odds-on favorite. Tango Tango Tango had a nose in front early in the stretch run but settled for second, a nose in front of Ginsburned.

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Point Me By was making just his third start. He won at first asking at Churchill Downs in June, then finished a good fourth at Saratoga against older horses in his second start.

"I feel kind of bad we won't be here to try the Arlington Million next year," said Point Me By's owner, Ron Rashinski.

Filly & Mare Turf

Irish training maestro Aidan O'Brien has been sky high on Santa Barbara since she won her only start as a 2-year-olds.

Despite some issues early this year, he did not lose faith, sending the Camelot filly to Belmont Park in July to win the Grade III Belmont Oaks, and then returning across the Atlantic to contest Saturday's $400,000 Grade I Beverly D. at Arlington.

She dominated, rallying from a stalking position under Ryan Moore to take full command in the stretch.

The favorite among U.S. runners, Mean Mary, led most of the way, but had no answer to the winner's stretch punch with the final margin 3 lengths in Santa Barbara's favor. Lemista was only a neck back of Mean Mary in third.

"It's a beautiful racetrack and a beautiful turf course," Moore said. "I've been honored to come here."

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At Saratoga, Got Stormy stormed to the lead from a pace-stalking position in Saturday's $500,000 Grade I Fourstardave Handicap and won off by 1 1/2 lengths. Set Piece came from last of eight to finish second, 1/2 length in front of Casa Creed.

The favorite, Raging Bull, ran evenly to finish sixth, beaten just more than 3 lengths. Got Stormy, a 6-year-old daughter of Get Stormy, ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:33.09 with Tyler Gaffalione up for trainer Mark Casse.

She earned a "Win and You're In" spot in the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile in November at Del Mar.

It was the second win from four starts this year for Got Stormy, who finished fifth in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland.

"It turned out perfect," Casse said. "It's what she loves. They'll have some sharp turns at Del Mar, so that'll work out just fine. You could see how well she was training. "She loves it here. She trains great here."

He said he will consult with the owners to plot a race or two before November.

At Del Mar, Neige Blanch found her best effort in the closing yards of Saturday's $109,500 CTT and TOC Stakes for fillies and mares, getting up to win by 1/2 length over fellow closer Red Lark. The favorite, Tapwater, finished third.

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Neige Blanch, a 4-year-old, French-bred filly by Anodin, ran 1 3/8 miles on firm turf in 2:17.45 for jockey Juan Hernandez. She was a Group 3 winner in France and now has won two of her last three starts for trainer Leonard Powell.

Shantisara rallied from near the back of a field of seven 3-year-old fillies to win Saturday's $100,000 Grade III Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington by 3 lengths, going away. Oyster Box was next-best with Flown making up ground late to get show money.

Shatisara, an Irish-bred daughter of Coulsty, finished 1 1/8 miles on the good turf in 1:51.91 with Flavien Prat in the irons. It was her second U.S. start and first win for trainer Chad Brown.

Turf Sprint

Star Devine got the best of a three-way scramble to the wire in Sunday's $120,000 Galway Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga.

The Irish-bred Fastnet Rock filly, with John Velazquez in the irons, got there a head in front of Illegal Smile, who in turn was a head in front of Bye Bye. Star Devine finished the 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:02.37.

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Gretzky the Great won a three-way dash to the wire in Saturday's $150,000 (Canadian) Greenwood Stakes for 3-year-olds, scoring by a head over County Final and another nose over Artie's Storm.

Gretzky the Great, a Nyquist colt, ran 7 furlongs on firm turf in 1:20.71 with Kazushi Kimura in the irons. Winner of the Grade I Summer Stakes over the Woodbine turf last season, Gretzky the Great had not raced since finishing fifth over the Turfway Park all-weather course in the Grade III Jeff Ruby Steaks in March.

Introduced rallied from midfield to win Saturday's $102,000 Incredible Revenge Stakes for fillies and mares at Monmouth Park by 3/4 length over pacesetting Running Memories. No Mercy Percy was another 1 length back in third.

Introduced, a 5-year-old El Padrino mare, ran 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:02.05 with Albin Jiminez in the irons.

Turf Mile

Olympic Runner rallied by pacesetting Town Cruise at the sixteenth pole in Sunday's $175,000 (Canadian) King Edward Stakes at Woodbine and went on to win by 1 1/4 lengths over that rival. March to the Arch was third as a late rally came up just short.

Olympic Runner, a 5-year-old Gio Ponte gelding, ran 1 mile on firm turf in course-record time of 1:31.73 with Rafael Hernandez aboard.

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Pulpit Rider was last away from the gate in Sunday's $150,000 Solana Beach Stakes for California-bred fillies and mares at Del Mar but made up all the ground late to eke out a nose victory over Nardini. The favorite, Warren's Showtime, ran evenly to finish third.

Pulpit Rider, a 6-year-old Lucky Pulpit mare, got 1 mile on firm turf in 1:34.21 with Flavien Prat riding for trainer Mike Puype.

Classic

Super Stock got back into the 3-year-old fray in a big way with a pace-pressing, stretch-running 3 3/4-lengths victory in Sunday's $200,000 Runhappy Ellis Park Derby. The Dialed In colt, with Ricardo Santana Jr. up, ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:48.89 with There Goes Harvard second and Sermononthemount third.

Super Stock, trained by Steve Asmussen for his father and Erv Woolsey, won the Grade I Arkansas Derby but then finished 16th in the Kentucky Derby and was redirected to slightly easier tasks, finishing fourth in both the Texas Derby at Lone Star Park and the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows before Saturday's return to the winner's circle.

Distaff

Matera rallied from just back of the early leader, Lady Kate, to win Sunday's $125,000 Groupie Doll Stakes at Ellis Park by a neck. High Regard was third. Matera, a 4-year-old Tapit filly, ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:36.41 with Florent Geroux up for trainer Brad Cox.

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Filly & Mare Sprint

Caribbean Caper pressed the pace in Sunday's $100,000 Runhappy Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park, took the lead when asked by jockey Colby Hernandez and got by pacesetter Magic Quest to win by 1 length. Minute Waltz finished third.

Caribbean Caper, a Speightstown filly trained by Al Stall Jr., ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.09.

Sprint

Real Talk led gate to wire in Sunday's $100,000 Jersey Shore Stakes for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park, finishing 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.02 for jockey Paco Lopez. The favorite, Mighty Mischief, finished second, 1 length in front of Moonlite Strike.

Real Talk is a Gemologist colt out of the Bernardini mare Woodland Park.

Juvenile

High Oak came three-wide into the turn in Saturday's $200,000 Grade II Saratoga Special, quickly got by the leaders and ran on to win by 4 1/4 lengths at odds of better than 10-1.

Gunite dueled for the early lead and held on for second, 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Nakatomi. The favorite, Doctor Jeff, checked in fifth after fighting Gunite through the first few furlongs.

High Oak, a Gormley colt out of the Elusive Quality mare Champagne Sue, finished 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:16.53 with Junior Alvarado up. He stepped right into top company after winning at first asking in June at Belmont Park for trainer Bill Mott.

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Roger McQueen had 'em all the way in Sunday's $125,000 Runhappy Ellis Park Juvenile, leading shortly after the start and winning by 1/2 length from Lucky Boss. Costa Terra was another head back in third.

Roger McQueen, a Unified filly, toured 7 furlongs on the fast track in 1:23.67 with Adam Beschizza up. Larry Rivelli is the winning trainer.

Feel the Fear, at odds of 21-1, opened a huge lead in Saturday's $100,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile at Prairie Meadows, the coasted home first by 2 lengths over American Sanctuary. The favorite, Tengo Mis Papeles, finished another 3 lengths back in third.

Feel the Fear, an Honor Code colt, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.51with Lane Luzzi up.

Thedayofthegray went to the front early in Saturday's $100,000 Best of Ohio Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes for state-breds at Thistledown, shook off challengers and went on to win by 1 3/4 lengths. The favorite, Tantrum, and Rumble Strip Ron, filled out the trifecta.

Thedayofthegray, a gray Twinspired gelding, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:12.02 for jockey Sonny Leon.

Juvenile Fillies

Verylittlecents led all the way to a 2 1/2-lengths victory in Sunday's $125,000 Runhappy Ellis Park Debutante Stakes. Golden Sights was up for second, 2 1/2 lengths better than Manasota Sunset.

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Verylittlecents, a daughter of Goldencents, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:23:32 with Joe Talamo aboard for trainer Randy Morse.

One Step Ahead got by pacesetting Summer Lightning in the late going of Saturday's $100,000 Prairie Gold Lassie at Prairie Meadows and won by 1 1/2 lengths over that rival. Eagle Express was third.

One Step Ahead, an Upstart filly trained by Chris Davis, finished 6 furlongs in 1:11.37 with Walter De La Cruz in the irons.

Pacific Coast contested the early lead in the $100,000 Miss Ohio Stakes at Thistledown, kicked into another gear in the lane and won by 6 1/2 lengths. Candlelight Hours was second, a head to the good of Flatter Her Again.

Pacific Coast, a daughter of Exaggerator, finished 6 furlongs in 1:11.88 with Jose Bracho aboard.

Around the world, around the clock:

France

If Palace Pier hadn't proved it before, he again demonstrated his superiority among European milers with a hard-won victory in Sunday's Group 1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois at Deauville.

Facing a field replete with Group 1 winners, the 4-year-old Kingman colt upped his marks to nine wins from 10 starts with the last three in Group 1 company.

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In Sunday's race, Palace Pier was held up near the back of the field by jockey Frankie Dettori, made progess heading for the 200-meters mark and battled gamely through the final 100 meters to win by a neck over Poetic Flair. Order of Australia, last year's FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile winner, was third.

Palace Pier earned a "Win and You're In "berth in this year's renewal of that race.

Dettori described Palace Pier as "the best miler I've ridden" and trainer John Gosden added, "It was a superb race and the second horse is made of iron, while Order Of Australia ran a great race. There's fabulous horses in there," according to Racing Post.

Meanwhile, back in North America:

Arlington Park

Trainer Chris Block saddled the exacta in Saturday's $75,000 Black Tie Affair Stakes for Illinois-breds with odds-on favorite Another Mystery dominating the final furlong to win by 2 lengths over stablemate Cammack. Blue Sky Kowboy was another 1/2 length back in third.

Another Mystery, a 5-year-old son of Temple City owned and bred by Team Block, ran 1 1/16 miles on good turf in 1:45.50 with Flavien Prat in the irons.

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Bramble Queen was scratched from the Beverly D. to run instead in Saturday's $75,000 Mike Spellman Memorial for state-bred fillies and mares. She took full advantage of that decision by trainer Michael Dini, rallying to win by 1/2 length.

Summer Day was dawning on the scene late but settled for second, 2 lengths better than Launch Away.

Bramble Queen, a 6-year-old Silent Name mare, ran 1 1/16 miles on good turf in 1:44.70 with Jareth Loveberry up.

Richiesinthehouse prompted the pace in Saturday's $75,000 Addison Cammack Memorial for Illinois-breds, inched in front in the stretch and won a battle to the wire by a neck over Locamotor.

Richiesinthehouse, a 7-year-old gelding by Sidney's Candy, ran 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:10.41 under Loveberry.

Get None led virtually gate to wire in Saturday's $75,000 Isaac Murphy Stakes for Illinois-bred fillies and mares and rolled home 5 1/2 lengths better than runner-up Jolina. Rare Action Attack was another 5 3/4 lengths back in third.

Get None, a 5-year-old Biondetti mare, ran 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:11.67 for jockey Chris Emigh.

Golden Gate Fields

Jungle Cry set a pressured pace in Saturday's $65,000 Robert Dupret Derby, finally inched clear and opened up to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Code Duello was second, 2 1/4 length better than Shore Break.

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Jungle Cry, an Animal Kingdom gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:44.92 with Catalino Martinez in the irons.

Gulfstream Park

Well Defined stalked the pace in Saturday's $100,000 Benny the Bull Stakes for Florida-breds, surged to a narrow lead and held off Shivaree by a neck at the finish. Pro Quality finished third.

Well Defined, a 5-year-old With Distinction gelding, ran 7 furlongs on a good track in 1:23.47. Emisael Jaramillo had the mount for trainer Kathleen O'Connell.

Thistledown

The rest of Saturday's "Best of Ohio" races for state-breds:

Circus Rings was in the fray all the way in the $100,000 Pay the Man Stakes for Fillies and mares, finally prevailing by a neck over Sally Strong. Market Success was third.

Circus Rings, a 6-year-old Wilburn mare, ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:53.48 with Hector Berrios up.

Magna Man stumbled out of the gate in the $100,000 Governor's Buckeye Cup, but then battled down the stretch with several rivals before hitting the wire a head in front of Forewarned. I Wanna Win was third and the odds-on favorite, Wicked Warrior, finished fourth.

Magna Man, an 8-year-old Magna Graduate gelding, ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:04.24 with Chelsea Keiser riding.

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Dougie D Oro kicked clear in the lane to win the $100,000 Honey Jay Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths over the favorite Nick Can Fix with Liberate another 3/4 length back in third.

Dougie D Oro, a 5-year-old Mio d'Oro gelding, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.62 for jockey Ricardo Feliciano.

Albuquerque

Canoodling rallied to a 3 1/4-lengths victory as the odds-on favorite in Sunday's $60,000 Albuquerque Distaff Handicap. The 3-year-old Pioneerof the Nile filly, with Roimes Chirinos in the irons, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:23.00. Zamara was second with Brave Cinderella third.

Raagheb came from last of seven to claim the victory in Sunday's $65,000 J R Malouff Handicap, edging Black Ops by a neck. Competitive Idea tired late to finish third.

Raagheb, a 9-year-old Street Cry gelding, finished 6 furlongs in 1:10.27 with Luis Colon in the irons.

Emerald Downs

Background, last seen racing at Arlington Park, rallied from the middle of the pack to win Sunday's $100,000 Grade III Longacres Mile by a head over Windribbon. Five Star General finished third.

Background, a 4-year-old Khozan gelding, ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:36.37 with Rocco Bowen riding.

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Princess of Cairo emerged from behind the leaders in the stretch run of Sunday's $50,000 Emerald Distaff and kicked away for a 4-lengths victory. Compelling Smile was second with Galileta third.

Princess of Cairo, a 4-year-old daughter of Cairo Prince, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.69 with Mario Gutierrez up.

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