Dona Bruja May Run Next in Arlington Park’s Beverly D

From the Media Team at Arlington Park:

  • Dona Bruja Remains On Track for Grade I Beverly D.
  • Arlington Jockeys Raise Funds on “PDJF Day”


Trainer Ignacio Correas, IV has had the Grade I $600,000 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington International Racecourse in mind for Dona Bruja (ARG) all summer long and on Monday morning, she will record her penultimate work at Keeneland Racecourse in preparation for the 1 3/16-mile event.

The 6-year-old daughter of Storm Embrujado (ARG) has been at the Lexington oval since April, where Correas keeps a string of horses, and logged bullet workouts in her last three moves the most recent of which was a half-mile drill over Keeneland’s all-weather training track on July 22. She completed the four furlongs in 49.20.

“So far so good,” Correas said of his three-time American graded stakes winner. “We’ll work her Monday but so far she’s doing good, that’s why we’re pointing here. (Jockey Jose) Valdivia will work her and the idea is to run here there, but she’s been training great. Tomorrow will be her big work so it just depends on how she does.”

Owned by Dom Felipe, Dona Bruja (ARG) began her racing career in her native Argentina where she won the Group 1 Copa de Plata-Roberto Vasquez Mansilla-Internaciona at San Isidro in December 2016.This was her last start before joining Correas’ barn in the United States. In her American debut, she won the Grade III Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes at Churchill Downs then shipped to Arlington to take the Grade III Modesty Handicap. She went onto compete in last year’s edition of the Grade I Beverly D., but came up a half-length shy of winner Dacita (CHI).

Dona Bruja made her seasonal debut with a victory in the Grade III Endeavor Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on February 10, which she won in wire-to-wire fashion. Her last start took place in the Grade I Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland on April 14, where she finished fifth behind the Chad Brown-trained duo of Fourstar Crook and Sistercharlie (IRE) who also are likely for the Beverly D.

Correas will also be represented by Real Story in the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes. Owned by Jeffrey Amling and Merriebelle Stable, the 3-year-old son of Fast Bullet won the Grade III American Derby on July 7 in his most recent start following a victory against winners in a first level allowance race over the Arlington turf. He is a spotless two-for-two over the Arlington turf.

“He’s doing very well,” Correas said. “He’s going to go in the Secretariat and he’s training super, he likes the track and he’s undefeated there. We feel good about the race. Every time that we ask him to step up, he steps up. No reason not to feel good.”

Real Story is out of the Lasting Approval mare My Own Story who also produced stakes winner My Afleet.

Joining Real Story from the Correas barn is Pont Du Gard, who finished fourth behind his stable mate in the American Derby. Owned by Wimborne Farm, the Louisiana-bred son of Liason is out of two-time Louisiana-bred stakes winner Mi Isabella. Prior to the American Derby, he finished second behind Ezmosh in the Grade III Arlington Classic.

“He only got beat two lengths that day,” Correas said. “I think that he’s going to run a good race.”

Correas stated that jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr. would have the mount aboard Dona Bruja (ARG) and Real Story, while Mitchell Murrill is scheduled to ride Pont Du Gard.


Jockeys at the Chicagoland oval participated in support of the 5th annual “PDJF Day Across America” on Saturday afternoon at Arlington International Racecourse to raise money to benefit the 59 disabled riders assisted by the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

The fundraiser was organized by jockey and trainer Joel Campbell with assistance from Arlington Senior Director of Communications and Marketing Howard Sudberry, Clerk of Scales Leo Gonzalez, and Jody Musielak.  Campbell along with Arlington based riders Brittany Vanden Berg, Jose Lopez, Carlos Marquez, Jr., Constantino Roman, Skyler Spanabel and Carlos Ulloa walked around the park area of the track with their riding boots in hand to collect donations on behalf of the PDJF.

“As a group we need to do whatever we can to help our fellow jockeys,” Campbell said. “It’s just something that I think is the right thing to do to fellow co-workers. Leo is the one who got all the jockey’s together. Howard Sudberry sure helped out; he walked around and talked to patrons and collected donations. It’s a very collective cause.”

Arlington also hosted a “Jockey Jog” 5k marathon on June 16 after the races to support the PDJF. Between the marathon and Saturday’s fundraiser, Campbell estimates that $7,500 was raised for the important cause.

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
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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