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Highland Reel heads to the winner's circle after the 2015 Secretariat Stakes
The first of three Grade 1 stakes races on Arlington Million Saturday was the $450,000 Secretariat Stakes (G1) for 3-year-olds going the Million distance of 1 1/4 miles on the turf. A field of 7 went to post with Belmont Derby (G1) winner Force the Pass sent off as the 3-2 favorite. In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Highland Reel, winner of the Gordon Stakes (G3) at Goodwood, and 5-1 third choice War Dispatch, second in the Prix Eugene Adam (G2) at Maisons-Laffitte. The turf course was rated firm but steady rain fell during the running, with the course downgraded for the later races.
Highland Reel leads in the stretch.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 6 Highland Reel Hefferman 5.80 4.89 3.00 1 Closing Bell Lezcano 11.20 4.80 2 Force the Pass Rosario 2.40 Winning Time: 2:02.26 $2 Exacta (6-1) 91.20 $0.50 Trifecta (6-9-2) 68.75 $0.10 Superfecta (6-1-2-3) 53.09Results Chart
Left: Highland Reel in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Seamie Heffernan said, "I didn't see much pace in it. And if there wasn't much pace in it, and you've got a horse like this who gallops and stays and is honest, you know what to do. When it started raining it felt like home! I was never in any doubt. I won easy."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Secretariat Stakes.
Left: Highland Reel in the heads out to the track before the race. T.J. Comerford, assistant to winning trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "Aidan was delighted with him, he's a good horse. Nobody wanted to make it and if they don't Aidan has no problem with it. Aidan likes the horse and there are plenty of races for him."
Right: Highland Reel heads to the barn in his new winner's blanket.
Left: Second place finisher Closing Bell in the paddock before the race. Jockey Jose Lezcano said, "I had a good trip, but it took him a little while to get going and to find his stride, and that cost us a bit of position, but when I asked him, he ran for me."
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Force the Pass in the post parade. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "When they opened the gate, he went straight up in the air. He can be like that and be nervous. He made a good run."
The first stakes race on the card was the $50,000 Bruce D. Memorial Stakes (formerly run as the Straight Line) for three-year-olds going 1 mile around one turn of the Polytrack. 12-1 Shrewd Move set the pace of 23.18, 45.72, and 1:10.78 until 4/5 favorite Recount, who stalked him the whole way, gained the lead at the 3/16 through 7/8 in 1:23.76. Shrewd Move fought back in the late stages but Recount held him off by 1/2 a length in 1:37.70. It was a long 3 3/4 lengths back to 22-1 Belomor third.
On to the Arlington Million won by The Pizza Man
On to the Beverly D. won by Watsdachances
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