Arlington Park Barn Notes: Divisidero To Million Next?

(Divisidero winning the Arlington Handicap / Photo Courtesy of Arlington Park & Coady Photography)

From the Media Team at Arlington Park:


Trainer Kelly Rubley is considering a return to Arlington International Racecourse in the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million on Aug. 11 for Gunpowder Farms’ Grade III Arlington Handicap winner Divisidero. Rubley, who has conditioned the 6-year-old since he transferred to her barn last winter, earned her first graded stakes victory with his win Saturday.

“We wouldn’t rule it out,” said Rubley. “I think he’s continued to show improvement this year.”

Divisidero contributed to a banner day for his sire, whose progeny Roaring Lion took the Group 1 Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park in England just hours prior. Kitten’s Joy stands at Hill ‘N’ Dale Stud for $60,000.

The Arlington Handicap was Divisidero’s first win since last May and his fifth stakes victory. As a 3-year-old he racked up a pair of wins in Churchill Downs’ Grade II American Turf and the Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont Park. The following year, he took the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, which he would go on to win for the second year in a row during his 5-year-old campaign.

Arlington Handicap second-place finisher Revved Up will go through the ring in Fasig-Tipton’s Summer Selects Horses of Racing Age Sale, where he will be consigned by Claiborne Farm and is listed as Hip 504.

Meanwhile, trainer Mike Stidham is not likely to point two-time graded stakes winner Synchrony to the Million after he finished third as the beaten favorite in the Arlington Handicap.

“We were testing the waters by adding some distance,” Stidham said. “Immediately after the race my first impression was that the added distance didn’t help. At this point we’ll see how he comes out of the race, but for us to think about the Million, we probably needed to do a little bit better.”


One can expect to see Grade III Modesty Handicap winner Daddys Lil Darling return for the Grade I $600,000 Beverly D., according to Normandy Farm owner Nancy Polk who also bred the daughter of Scat Daddy.

“It’s a thrill,” said Polk. “From the time she was a little to when she was grown up she was special. We wanted to keep her bloodline going from her mother (Miss Hot Salsa) so we decided to keep her and race her.

“I couldn’t be happier. She’s done everything right and she’s done everything that we ask of her. Besides that, she’s a nice horse. She is a pleasure to own. It’s a chance of a lifetime and I’m loving every minute of it.”

The Modesty Handicap was a first victory on the year for Daddys Lil Darling, whose last win prior to Saturday took place in the Grade I American Oaks at Santa Anita on December 30. Trained by Kenny McPeek, she also secured stakes victories in Churchill Downs’ Grade II Pocahontas Stakes as a juvenile and the Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs last September.

Daddys Lil Darling is a half-sister to Mongolian Saturday, winner of the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in 2015. With a victory in the Modesty Handicap, Daddys Lil Darling put her sire Scat Daddy atop the standings of graded stakes winning sires of 2018. He has now sired nine graded stakes winners this year.

Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s Prado’s Sweet Ride finished second in the Modesty Handicap for the second year in a row. Trainer Chris Block is considering running the 6-year-old Illinois-bred daughter of Fort Prado in the Beverly D. She finished tenth in last year’s edition.

“As I told the owners last night, it certainly warrants thinking about it,” Block said of a possible start in the Beverly D. “She ran the very same kind of race last year against Dona Bruja who was in fine form, and obviously Daddys Lil Darling is in fine form right now. I told them that we would analyze it once we get an idea of what horses may be coming and if it’s not extremely deep then maybe we would take a shot at it.”

A four-time stakes winner, Prado’s Sweet Ride captured the Grade III Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs as a 3-year-old and also won Canterbury Park’s Minnesota H.B.P.A. Distaff Stakes in 2016, the New Orleans Ladies Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots last April and took the Illini Princess Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course on Nov. 4.


Trainer Graham Motion is still considering the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million for Augustin Stable’s Spring Quality, who breezed six furlongs in 1:14.00 on Friday morning over the turf at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md. The son of Quality Road was an upset winner against a contentious field in the Grade I Manhattan Handicap at Belmont last time out, which featured 2017 Grade I Arlington Million winner Beach Patrol.

“He worked six furlongs and did it nicely,” Motion said. “The race is still a ways off but I’m very happy with how he’s been.”

Other possible Arlington Million contenders include Oscar Performance, Yoshida (JPN), Benbatl, Lord Glitters (IRE), Va Bank (IRE), Manitoulin, Robert Bruce (CHI) and Almanaar.

Motion went on to say that two-time graded stakes winner Ultra Brat is possible for the Grade I $600,000 Beverly D. and graded stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed Untamed Domain is possible for the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes. Both events are contested on Aug. 11 over the turf as part of Arlington’s International Festival of Racing.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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