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Jockey Rene Douglas celebrates his win in the Beverly D aboard Royal Highness.
The distaff counterpart to the Arlington Million is the $750,000 Beverly D Stakes (G1) for older fillies and mares going 1 3/16 miles over the turf at Arlington Park in Chicago. Bobby Frankel trainee Citronnade was sent off as the lukewarm 2-1 favorite coming into the race off five consecutive wins including the Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood in her last start. In to face the California invader was 5-2 second choice Honey Ryder, second in the United Nations at Monmouth Park against males last time out, after winning the Sheepshead Bay. 3-1 Lady of Venice, winner of the CashCall Mile and the Ouija Board Handicap rounded out the top three on the tote board.
Royal Highness leads as they come down the stretch.
30-1 longest shot Jennie R. went to the lead right away and was allowed to set an uncontested pace of 24.67, 49.90, and 1:14.16 while as many as 4 lengths clear of 9-2 fourth choice Irridescence who sat in second, herself 2 lengths clear of the balance of the field. Entering the stretch, Jennie R. gave way as Irridescence took over the lead at the 3/16 pole. 9-1 Royal Highness, who raced in mid-pack sixth early, saved ground on the clubhouse turn but came out wide on the far turn, hooked Irridescence inside the 1/16 pole and after a brief duel, prevailed by a head at the line in 1:56.68. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to late-running Lady of Venice in third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 7 Royal Highness Douglas 20.40 9.40 5.60 3 Irridescense Murtagh 6.60 4.40 4 Lady of Venice Leparoux 3.40 $2 Exacta (7-3) paid 128.00 $2 Trifecta (7-3-4) paid 615.20 $2 Superfecta (7-3-4-1) paid 1765.80 Winning Time: 1:56.68Results Chart
Royal Highness in the winner's circle. Her jockey Rene Douglas said, "Turning for home, I knew my chances were really, really big, But when I got to the other filly, she wouldn't give up. My filly really ran big to win."
Left: Royal Highness heads out for the post parade.
Right: The trophy presentation for the Beverly D.
Second place finisher Irridescence in the post parade. Her jockey John Murtagh said, "She ran a great race. She couldn't have done much more. Her (Royal Highness) head was down, my filly's was up. She behaved beautifully. I thought I was going to win. It was a good battle for the last half-furlong, but she just got me on the line."
Third place finisher Lady of Venice heads out for the post parde. The 3-1 second choice made a good 6 wide move under jockey Julien Leparoux on the far turn but had too much ground to make up, finishing third. She improved her career record to 7 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 11 starts with earnings of $1,038,771 for owner Martin Schwartz and trainer Patrick Biancone.
Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Citronnade in the paddock. Her jockey David Flores said, "I got a bad break. We had a rough start right away but I ended up in a good position all the way around. She just wasn't that comfortable with the track. It was too soft for her. She tried, but it was just too soft."
Royal Highness schooling in the paddock on Friday afternoon.
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