McLaugh­lin cov­ered in Schiller, turf or dirt

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By By­ron King

Whether Satur­day’s $150,000 Ar­tie Schiller is con­tested on a wet Aque­duct turf course or moved to the main track, Kiaran McLaugh­lin trains a lead­ing con­tender.

McLaugh­lin en­tered two in the Ar­tie Schiller, one for the grass and an­other for dirt. His grass rep­re­sen­ta­tive is Grade 2 Bernard Baruch win­ner Qur­baan, who fin­ished third over good turf in the Grade 1 Shad­well Turf Mile on Oct. 6 at Keeneland, while Ex­ult­ing, third in a Bel­mont Park al­lowance Sept. 22, stands as his main-track-only en­trant.

The Ar­tie Schiller, which drew 12 en­tries, is a more com­pelling race if it stays on the grass – though that is no cer­tainty given an al­ready damp Aque­duct turf course that is fore­cast to re­ceive rain from Fri­day af­ter­noon into early Satur­day morn­ing. As of mid­day Thurs­day, the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice was call­ing for more than an inch of pre­cip­i­ta­tion over that pe­riod for the New York area.

The Ar­tie Schiller is a backup race for Qur­baan, a 5-year-old Speight­stown horse McLaugh­lin had hoped to start in last week’s Breed­ers’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs. He was ex­cluded when the race over­filled with pre-en­tries.

“He’s been just great since he’s come to us,” said McLaugh­lin, who be­gan train­ing him this year af­ter the horse ar­rived from Eu­rope.

Although Qur­baan pos­sesses wet-course form – hav­ing also run third in a Group 3 stakes in France last year over good-to-soft go­ing – few in the Ar­tie Schiller are as skilled over off con­di­tions as Black­type.

A 7-year-old French-bred geld­ing trained by Christophe Cle­ment, Black­type en­ters the Ar­tie Schiller fol­low­ing two con­sec­u­tive wet-course vic­to­ries, capped by the Oct. 8 Knicker­bocker over good turf at Bel­mont in a race he won for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year af­ter tak­ing it over sim­i­lar ground in 2017. His win that pre­ceded his 2018 Knicker­bocker came over a yield­ing course in a Bel­mont al­lowance race Sept. 27.

“He prefers some give in the ground, which it looks like there is a chance we’ll get,” Cle­ment said.

Joel Rosario, a week af­ter win­ning three Breed­ers’ Cup races at Churchill Downs, re­turns in the irons aboard Black­type, who along with Qur­baan and stretch-out sprinter Pro­forma car­ries co-high­weight of 124 pounds. They spot the op­po­si­tion be­tween two and six pounds.

In ad­di­tion to Ex­ult­ing, oth­ers that would ben­e­fit from an off-the-grass sce­nario in the Ar­tie Schiller are Papa Zula, an­other main track-only com­peti­tor; Back­side of the moon, a horse with pre­dom­i­nantly dirt ex­pe­ri­ence; and the ver­sa­tile Pro­forma, a stakes win­ner on turf and dirt.

At­lantic Beach Stakes

A cou­ple races be­fore the Ar­tie Schiller, an­other stakes goes as the sixth race on the Satur­day card at Aque­duct – the in­au­gu­ral run­ning of the $100,000 At­lantic Beach for 2-year-olds, sched­uled for six fur­longs on the grass.

Six of the seven en­trants have al­ready raced on wet turf cour­ses. The ex­cep­tion, Ab­sen­tee, is un­raced on grass al­to­gether. The ex­pe­ri­enced lot in­cludes Back to his roots, sec­ond to even­tual Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile run­ner-up Un­cle Benny over good turf in the Fu­tu­rity on Oct. 7 at Bel­mont, as well as Wal­lace, who led through­out in win­ning over yield­ing ground in the Soar­ing Free Stakes at Wood­bine when he last sprinted on grass.

Wal­lace fol­lowed that race by fad­ing to 12th in the Grade 1 Sum­mer Stakes at Wood­bine, a mile race in which he set the pace for nearly six fur­longs.

If the At­lantic Beach is moved off the grass, Ab­sen­tee has the most sub­stan­ti­ated dirt form, hav­ing won his de­but at Parx Rac­ing be­fore fin­ish­ing sec­ond in a fast al­lowance won by Max­imus Mis­chief on Oct. 20. The lat­ter race earned him a race best 86 Beyer Speed Fig­ure, a num­ber 20 points higher than the fastest dirt fig­ure posted by Back to his roots.

BAR­BARA D. LIV­INGSTON

Qur­baan will start for trainer Kiaran McLaugh­lin if the $150,000 Ar­tie Schiller Stakes re­mains on the turf Satur­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.