Da Big Hoss; da good jockey
Florent Geroux was the star of the supporting card at Arlington, as the European raiders were unable to get the better of the in-form French-born jockey on his new home patch.Clondaw Warrior : Second in Chicago raid.
First, Clondaw Warrior was a fast-finishing second behind odds-on favourite Da Big Hoss in the American St Leger.
Willie Mullins' ultra-versatile performer is in the form of his life as a nine-year-old and has taken his owners to all of the big meetings.
Seamie Heffernan only had one rival behind him throughout but when he asked his mount to quicken in the short straight the Galway Hurdle winner found plenty for pressure.
Unfortunately for connections of the runner-up , the Mike Maker-trained favourite, ridden by Florent Geroux, had quickened past William Buick on Wasir to put the race to bed and off slow early fractions, Clondaw Warrior simply had too much to do. Wasir stayed on for third.
"He just loves to win, he always finds a way, it doesn't matter where he is in the race," said Geroux on NBC.
"I got a great trip and no-one tried any funny business, which can happen when you ride a favourite.
"Earlier I won a race wire-to-wire and this time I can from off the pace, the track is great."
Connections of the winner said afterwards that they are considering a tilt at the Melbourne Cup. He would be the first American to run in the race if the ambitious plan comes to fruition.
The following Secretariat Stakes saw a second Irish-trained runner-up and the next winner for Geroux as Aidan O'Brien's Long Island Sound was just touched off late on by Beach Patrol.
Seamie Heffernan hit the front turning into the straight but Geroux looked to be travelling much better on Beach Patrol.
Long Island Sound did not fold under pressure though and the Chad Brown-trained winner had to dig deep to claim a narrow victory with William Buick third on American Patriot.
Geroux said: "When I asked him to go he was great. The horse inside me wasn't giving up but he showed a lot of heart."
Then the Aidan O'Brien pair of Ballydoyle and Coolmore were both well beaten behind Sea Calisi in the Beverly D Stakes.
Both were well positioned for much of the race but when it started in earnest Coolmore was first to crack and while Ballydoyle stayed in contention a little longer, she, too, had no say in the finish.
Chad Brown's Sea Calisi was a strong local favourite but had plenty of ground to make up, however, the former Francois Doumen-trained filly – placed in both the Yorkshire Oaks and the Prix Vermeille when based with Doumen last season – showed smart acceleration to win, again under Geroux.
"Chad is one of the hottest trainers in North America and number one on turf," he said.
"She's a very nice filly, distance isn't a problem, she could go even longer. We had the pacemaker today and it was just a question of pulling the trigger."Read More at Sporting Life