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Julien Leparoux and Shamdinan after winning the Secretariat Stakes
The first of three Grade 1 events on Million day at Arlington Park is the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (G1), restricted to 3-year-olds. Nine went to the gate in this 1 1/4 mile turf event, with European invader Admiralofthefleet sent off as the 9-5 favorite after a 5th place finish in the Coral Eclipse Stakes against older horses at Sandown last time out. 3-1 second choice Red Giant from the powerful Todd Pletcher barn was the upset winner of the Virginia Derby in his last start, while 9-2 third choice Shamdinan was ninth in the Irish Derby last out at the Curragh.
Shamdinan starts to run down Red Giant in the stretch
13-1 shot Pleasant Strike was sent to the front by jockey Rene Douglas and he set a pace of 24.97, 48.94, 1:14.64, an 1:39.61 while being stalked by 24-1 Fleeting Shadow and 5-1 Lattice. Favorite Admiralofthefleet hugged the rail in fourth early on. Entering the stretch, Pleasant Strike tired badly as Red Giant, who was 5th early, came out wide and took over the lead, opening up a 1 1/2 length advantage with a furlong to go. However, Shamdinan, who was near the back of the field early, came out widest of all into the stretch and closed with a rush to prevail by 1/2 a length in 2:04.02. It was a long 5 1/2 lengths back to 10-1 Going Ballistic in third, and 1 3/4 lengths more to favorite Admiralofthefleet in fourth who could not improve his position late. .
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Shamdinan Leparoux 11.60 6.00 4.80 5 Red Giant Gomez 4.00 3.20 1 Going Ballistic Berry 4.60 $2 Exacta (8-5) paid 47.20 $2 Trifecta (8-5-1) paid 279.00 $2 Superfecta (8-5-1-2) paid 922.00 Winning Time: 2:04.02Results Chart
Shamdinan in the winner's circle. His jockey Julien Leparoux said, "The jockey who rode him in France (Christophe Soumillon) told me don't let him drop the bit. He was very relaxed for me today and took the bit and I thought he won pretty easy. At the 1/2-mile pole, I thought I would win. At the 1/8 pole, I knew I had him."
Left: The connections pose with Shamdinan in the winner's circle. He was recently purchased from the Aga Khan on the condition he never race in Europe again, so as not to compete against his other horses.
Right: Shamdinan in the post parade before the race
Second place finisher Red Giant in the paddock. His jockey Garrett Gomez said, "I had a good trip. I was able to get in a great spot. When I said 'let's go' he did. He ran a great race. It's what I'd call a dead turf. They have to work to get over it."
Third place finisher Going Ballistic heads out for the post parade. His jockey Cliff Berry said, "The winner ran a great race. I tried to move when he did but he was able to get the jump on me. I don't think I would have been able to beat him today, anyway. He ran a great race. No excuses. He saved ground all the way, and when the winner came by me I tried to go with him; had to wait a little longer, but I don't think it made any difference."
Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Admiralofthefleet is led to the track by his handlers. His jockey Mick Kinane said, "I probably needed to get out between the 1/4 pole and the 1/2 mile pole but I could not. When I did come out, I just stayed one-paced. It was disappointing."
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