Horse Racing Coverage

Aug 13, 2014 5:24 PM by Brisnet News

Adelaide Looms Large In Secretariat; Dandino Seeks American St. Leger Repeat

Irish invader Adelaide has been installed as the 8-5 favorite versus eight three-year-old rivals in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Secretariat, one of four major turf races that comprise Arlington's International Festival of Racing. Ryan Moore will be in to ride the Galileo colt for trainer Aidan O'Brien, who will also send out stakes-placed maiden winner Belisarius, a 20-1 morning line outsider in the 1 1/4-mile affair.

Adelaide captured the Group 3 Gallinule at The Curragh in late May and finished second in the Group 2 King Edward VII at Royal Ascot nearly a month later. He was dispatched as the 2-1 favorite versus a deep group of opponents in his U.S. debut, the Grade 1 Belmont Derby on July 5, and seized the lead in the stretch drive of the 1 1/4-mile event only to be nailed late by Mr. Speaker, recording a neck second.

International-based sophomores have captured three of the last six runnings of the Secretariat, including the O'Brien-trained Treasure Beach in 2011. O'Brien also won the 2000 edition with Ciro.

The domestic contingent is headed by the surging Tourist, who will make his graded stakes bow for Bill Mott with a three-race winning streak. By Tiznow, the dark bay colt broke his maiden when making his turf debut at Gulfstream Park in February, scoring by 1 1/2 lengths, and Tourist came back from a four-month freshening to crush entry-level allowance foes at Belmont Park by a 5 3/4-length margin on June 8. Stepping up to face restricted stakes foes in the July 18 Sir Cat at Saratoga, he rolled to a front-running, 1 3/4-length triumph as the heavy favorite.

"We thought the horse had a lot of talent, and we felt like there was something that was going to improve him and thought, 'A surface change might help,'" Mott said of the decision to run Tourist on turf in his fifth career start. "We made the switch, and he responded well.

"It wasn't surprising to see him run so well (in the Sir Cat). After seeing his first two starts on the grass, we knew he belonged at this level, and now we have an opportunity to run in a Grade 1. I expect him to be forwardly placed. He's got speed but can rate."

Tourist, who will attempt to give Mott his third Secretariat victory, retains the services of Joel Rosario and is listed as the 5-2 second choice on the morning line.

Global View showed his class capturing the Grade 2 American Turf on the Kentucky Derby undercard and likely found the one-mile trip too short when second in the May 31 Penn Mile. He offered a solid middle move into contention before flattening out in the final furlongs of the Belmont Derby, checking in seventh, and the Tom Proctor charge will receive a jockey switch to Julien Leparoux on Saturday. The Galileo colt was made the 5-1 third choice.

Divine Oath comes next at 8-1 on the morning line following his tally in the Grade 2 American Derby on July 12, the local prep for the Secretariat.

Conditioned by Todd Pletcher, the son of Broken Vow has captured three of four turf starts and keeps local rider Florent Geroux in the saddle.

Can'thelpbelieving ships in for Graham Motion following a nice allowance win at Saratoga and General Jack returns to graded company following a victory in the grassy Centaur Stakes at Indiana Downs. Both colts are listed at 12-1. Rounding out the Secretariat field, at 15-1 on the morning line, are American Derby third Highball; and Sheldon, who finished fifth when making his first start against winners in the Belmont Derby.

The $400,000 American St. Leger, a 1 11/16-mile test which was inaugurated in 2012, drew a field of 11 long-distance specialists including defending champion Dandino.

Trained by Marco Botti, who also captured the first running of the race with Jakkalberry, the seven-year-old Dandino has earned more than $1.5 million while often competing against top-class rivals overseas. He overcame a troubled trip to score as the 4-5 favorite in last year's American St. Leger, but the son of Dansili won't bring the same stellar form into the race as he did in 2013.

Dandino opened last year with a pair of excellent seconds versus Group 2 opponents in England, but he's finished sixth in both attempts so far this year. Those starts did come against better company than he'll face Saturday, and it will be no surprise to see him rekindle his previous form over the Arlington turf, but he doesn't figure to be such an overwhelming favorite this time around.

He's listed as the 3-1 morning line favorite with jockey Frankie Dettori.

The Pizza Man and Suntracer were separated by less than a length when finishing first and third in the Grade 3 local prep, the July 12 Stars and Stripes, and both runners merit respect in this spot. They're listed at 9-2 and 4-1, respectively.

Eye of the Storm, who exits a Group 3 score at Leopardstown for O'Brien, comes next on the morning line at 6-1 along with California shipper Big Kick. Moore will be up on Eye of the Storm, a four-year-old son of Galileo, and leading local rider James Graham takes over the mount on Big Kick, who brings a two-race win streak for trainer Mike Machowsky, easily capturing the Grade 2 San Capistrano most recently in front-running fashion.

Admiral Kitten, winner of last year's Secretariat and a head second in the July 12 Arlington H., is a juicy 10-1 early price for trainer Mike Maker. Leparoux rides the Kitten's Joy colt.

Havana Beat, Moro Tap, Infinite Magic and Moment in Time are also entered. Hardest Core was cross-entered to the Arlington Million and is expected to opt out of the American St. Leger for that race.

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PHOTO: Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand -- Adelaide is the one in purple silks

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