Beach Patrol gets mojo back swimmingly in Arlington Million
Bob Kieckhefer chronicles the Arlington Million for TurfTalk360
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Beach Patrol entered Saturday’s 35th running of the Arlington Million winless in six starts since taking the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on last year’s Million undercard. He fixed that in 2 minutes, 2 seconds and change.
With a nice assist from jockey Joel Rosario, Beach Patrol shadowed pacesetting long shot Oak Brook into the stretch turn. At that point, the favorite, Irish-based Deauville, took a short-lived lead, only to surrender it to Beach Patrol.
Rosario then got to work on the 4-year-old Lemon Drop Kid colt to hold off a late challenge from 73-1 chance Fanciful Angel, winning by 1/2 length. Deauville held on for show money, beaten another 1/2 length.
“They told me I had to get him out of the gate and get into a good position and let him find himself,” said Rosario, who took over riding duties from Florent Geroux, who finished eighth in the Million on Oscar Nominated. “It took a little bit of time, but he really found his way after.”
The victory capped a nice double for trainer Chad Brown and Sheep Pond Partners, who have a stake in both Beach Patrol and the winner of Saturday’s co-featured Grade I Beverly D. for fillies and mares, Dacita.
In the interval between last year’s Secretariat win and Saturday’s return to glory, Beach Patrol was second four times with a third and a fourth. And all but one of those races were Grade I affairs. He came to Arlington after finishing third in the Grade I United Nations at Monmouth July 1.
“This was the spot and the race we’ve been waiting for for a year,” said Sol Kumin of the owning group. “He loves it here. Joel gave us a great ride. Obviously Chad and his team had the horse ready and we’re super happy.”
Arlington unveiled a new trophy for the 35th running of the Million — a permanent version created by Tiffany to have winners’ names engraved and smaller versions to become the property of winning owners.
“It’s funny,” Kumin added. “I’ve seen the trophy and Chad always talked about this is the best trophy in horse racing. It’s always been on the bucket list and I’m super fortunate to be here with my kids and dad. It doesn’t get much better than this.”
Neither he nor Brown committed to a schedule for Beach Patrol going forward.
The European jockeys who chased Beach Patrol home expressed satisfaction with their mounts’ performance.
“We had a good spot on the rail and he cruised around,” said Daniel Muscutt, who rode Fanciful Angel in Dubai this spring and again later in England. “Got space at the right time, they were just one better at the end. I’m delighted.”
Ryan Moore said Deauville, third in a pair of Group 1 events in England earlier in the season, “ran a very good race. He had his chance. Maybe the trip stretched him.”