Deauville ready for Arlington
View from the British and Irish connections ahead of a stellar card in Chicago, including the Arlington Million and Beverly D Stakes.
Deauville bids for more transatlantic success
Deauville is aiming to become just the second three-year-old to win the Arlington Million on Saturday evening.
Run since 1981 – with a two-year hiatus in 1998-99 when Arlington Park was closed – the last horse from the Classic generation to be successful was Luca Cumani's Tolomeo in 1983.
The Europeans have a reasonable record in the race, with Andre Fabre, Saeed bin Suroor, John Gosden, Andreas Wohler and Deauville's trainer Aidan O'Brien all having been successful.
O'Brien bids for his third win after Powerscourt, who would have been a dual winner but for being disqualified in 2004, and Cape Blanco.
Deauville is already a winner in America after he overcame a wide draw under an excellent Jamie Spencer in the Belmont Derby.
He spearheads a strong raid on the meeting for the County Tipperary maestro.
"Deauville won nicely the last day," said O'Brien.
"He's drawn wide again but is in good form. He would have had a penalty in the Secretariat so he's running in this.
"He's a straightforward horse who gets the trip well. He's in good form for the Million."
David O'Meara's Mondialiste, second to Tepin in the Breeders' Cup Mile and back to form last time, is joined by the Charlie Appleby-trained Tryster and Decorated Knight, from Roger Charlton's yard.
Tryster is on a recovery mission after beating only one horse home on unsuitable soft ground in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Appleby told www.godolphin.com: "His breeze on Wednesday morning went very well.
"He does have a wide draw but we won't change his running style, and he will come from off the pace.
"He will need some luck in running but I couldn't be happier with his preparation."
Decorated Knight was a very smooth winner of a Group Three in Ireland last time out and appears to be still improving.
The Beckhampton handler told www.rogercharlton.com: "Decorated Knight has settled in very well at Arlington for the Million on Saturday.
"His regular work rider says he feels great, and he has not left any food since he arrived.
"All the tweets from the local journalists show him rolling on the grass, if he is not eating it, which is his little party trick."
Local hopes rest with last year's winner The Pizza Man and World Approval, for Tepin's trainer Mark Casse.
The Europeans also have a good record in the Beverly D Stakes and their record would be even better had Ralph Beckett's Secret Gesture not been controversially disqualified last year.
This time the betting is dominated by a pair of O'Brien-trained fillies, Ballydoyle and Coolmore.
Things have not gone to plan for Ballydoyle since chasing home Minding in the 1000 Guineas and she finished last in the Belmont Oaks.
Coolmore's best display came when third in the same American race.
"The two fillies are in good form. Ballydoyle slipped a bit on the home bend the last day but is in good form, while Coolmore will get the mile and a quarter trip well," said O'Briien.
"Colm (O'Donoghue) felt Ballydoyle slip so he looked after her. She came out of the race very well. She's a bit sharper than Coolmore.
"Ballydoyle would probably get away with shorter but Coolmore will stay it well, we think and hope Ballydoyle does get a mile and a quarter."
The Mikel Delzangles-trained Pretty Girl is the only other European-based runner.
O'Brien's Long Island Sound, the beaten favourite in the Belmont Derby, is the sole European representative in the Secretariat Stakes.
"Long Island Sound ran well the last day as we think he's progressing," said O'Brien.
"We think he's getting better with every run."
Clondaw Warrior flies the flag for Ireland and Willie Mullins in the Grade Three American St Leger after his recent success in the Galway Hurdle.
He is owned by a syndicate which includes the wives of Ruby Walsh and David Casey.
Patrick Mullins, the trainer's son and assistant, said: "He's been great sport for the girls – he's taken them to Ascot, Cheltenham, Galway, France, Punchestown and now America.
"He's holding his form really well, arguably his Galway win was his best ever over hurdles.
"The trip and ground will be fine and he's got Seamie Heffernan on who knows the track really well.
"There's good prize-money and Willie left on Friday morning so he'll be there.
"It's a bit left field but we're hoping he can run really well."
Man On The Spot Verdicts
Willie Mullins sends over Clondaw Warrior for this. A winner over hurdles last month, he was placed in the Queen Alexandra at Ascot when last on the Flat while German raider Wasir won over over 2m before well beaten in the Ascot Gold Cup. But both will do well do well match the turn of foot of DA BIG HOSS over today's trip despite Mike Maker's charge winning over 2m at Belmont last time as he's a prolific Graded winner over 1m4f on Turf. Stablemate Generous Kitten should also stay today's distance while Pascal Bary's Billabong and O'Prado Ole could go well at a price.
Aidan O'Brien bids for a third straight win in this with Long Island Sound. The latter should be acclimatised having finished sixth behind stablemate Deauville in the Belmont Derby last month but he was also behind Surgical Strike and BEACH PATROL on that occasion. Chad Brown's colt finished a creditable third considering he raced four lanes wide on both turns and should make a bold bid with luck in-running. American Patriot represents Todd Pletcher but this his toughest task to date having won a Grade 3 at Delaware last month.
Ballydoyle and Coolmore represent Aidan O'Brien but both were beaten in a Grade 1 at Belmont last month. The latter never threatened in third while Ballydoyle ran no sort of race and can only improve. Faufiler beat Al's Gal and Secret Someone to land a Grade 3 here last time but SEA CALISI looks the one to beat. Third to Treve in last year's Prix Vermeille, the import from France won a Grade 2 at Belmont on her first start for Chad Brown and went close again behind stablemate Dacita last time despite being slowly away. There should be more to come from her.
The Pizza Man won this last year but this looks a stronger renewal. Wake Forest was only sixth in 2015 but has joined Chad Brown since and won a Grade 1 at Belmont in May before finishing third to World Approval in another Grade 1 event at Monmouth. The latter can reverse earlier running on better terms with Take The Stand while Deauville arrives fresh from success at the highest level at Belmont. But the Ballydoyle colt and Godolphin's Tryster will need some luck in-running from high draws today while Roger Charlton's Decorated Knight steps up in class after landing a Group 3 at Leopardstown. MONDIALISTE is no stranger to these shores as he won the Woodbine Mile last year before finding only the brilliant Tepin too good at Keeneland in October. A similar effort to either of those runs would see David O'Meara's charge go very close in this.