Daddy Long Legs: colt out to give Aidan O’Brien a third Secretariat win
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
O’Brien aims for a third win in the Secretariat
Preview: USA, Saturday 9.48pm BST
Arlington Park: Secretariat Stakes (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo
AIDAN O’BRIEN, successful here with Ciro (2000) and Treasure Beach (2011), bids for his third victory in this $500,000 contest with Daddy Long Legs, who is partnered by last year’s winning rider Colm O’Donoghue.
After finishing last, virtually pulled up on dirt in the Kentucky Derby, the son of Scat Daddy was a decent fourth in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, since when he has had a break.
Prix Eugene Adam winner Bayrir (Alain de Royer-Dupre/Christophe Lemaire) brings in useful form from France as he represents the Aga Khan but this isn’t always a gimme for the visitors.
A strong home defence is led by the two top US three-year-old turf performers in Silver Max and Summer Front.
Front-runner Silver Max (Dale Romans/Robby Albarado) breaks from the outside gate in the eight-runner field as he bids to win his seventh race on the spin for a trainer who has also won this twice in the past.
“Silver Max is in such good form and is such a nice horse, he’s going to be difficult to beat,” said Romans, who also runs Cozzetti and Finnegans Wake. “But if he stubs his toe or something goes wrong in the race, then it wouldn’t surprise me if one of these two were the ones to beat him!”
Silver Max gives up to 7lb away all round; he gives 3lb toSummer Front (Christophe Clement/Ramon Dominguez), undefeated in five turf starts.
Also on Saturday
Arlington Park: American St Leger (ungraded) 1m5½f, turf, 3yo+ (9.14pm BST)
A welcome addition to the programme given the dearth of so-called ‘marathon’ races in the States, the inaugural running of the American St Leger is not yet eligible for graded status but still carries a $400,000 purse.
Three British-based horses take up the challenge, headed by Melbourne Cup hope Jakkalberry (Marco Botti/Colm O’Donoghue), who was fifth last time out in the much hotter company of Royal Ascot’s Hardwicke Stakes.
A Group 1 winner in Italy, the five-year-old is joined by Princess Haya’s November Handicap victor Zuider Zee (John Gosden/William Buick) and Bridge Of Gold (Mikael Magnusson/Kieren Fallon).
Best of a large domestic contingent may be locally based Grade 3 winner Ioya Bigtime (Chris Block/Jeffrey Sanchez).