Paddy O'Prado: trainer feels he may be as good as Kitten's JoyPICTURE: Getty Images
Wigmore Hall finishes second to Paddy O'Prado
Report: USA, Saturday
Arlington Park: Secretariat Stakes (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo
THE Michael Bell-trained Wigmore Hall fell a length and a half short under Jamie Spencer behind top US turf performer Paddy O'Prado (Dale Romans/Kent Desormeaux) in the Secretariat Stakes.
Sent away the 3-1 second favourite, Wigmore Hall produced a gallant run in the straight in a paceless race that went to the 1-2 favourite.
Cherokee Lord, sent away a 50-1 no-hoper, set a crawling pace around the first turn and down the backstretch with the winner third behind Workin For Hops.
The real running began once the field reached the top of the straight. Working For Hops and Paddy O'Prado came outside the pacesetter and it was soon clear the favourite was going best.
Jamie Spencer: "no excuses"PICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Winning trainer Dale Romans said: "I thought I'd never see a horse as good as Kitten's Joy. I'm starting to think this one might be."
Wigmore Hall split horses soon after straightening and ran on well to finish nearly a length in front of Workin For Hops, who had just a neck on Cherokee Lord at the wire.
Spencer told the Daily Racing Form: "No excuses, the best horse won. I had plenty of time to get him in the straight. He needs a stronger pace."
Time for the 1m2f over going rated good was a dawdling 2m04.71s.
Also on Saturday
Arlington Park: Beverly D Stakes (Grade 1) 1m1½f, turf, 3yo+ f/m
THE Duchossois family, headed by patriarch Richard Duchossois, usually present the trophy for the Beverly D Stakes at Arlington Park, a race named for the late wife of the track chairman.
Gerard Butler: no luck with raiderPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
But this time the trophy stayed in the family as Duchossois's 6-1 chance Eclair De Lune (Ron McAnally/ Junior Alvarado) pulled clear in the final yards to claim her first Grade 1 victory.
"I would rather win this race than the Kentucky Derby," said Duchossois, 88, in the winner's circle. "It means more to me."
Formerly trained in France by Yves de Nicolay, Eclair De Lune sat second behind pacesetter Romacaca until just inside the furlong marker when she shot to the lead.
Hot Cha Cha and Acoma came on late to take the minor awards while never threatening the winner, and Romacaca held on for fourth ahead of the favourite Treat Gently.
The Gerard Butler-trained Pachattack, a 6-1 shot, badly missed the break and was never a factor, finishing sixth.