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Article updated: 8/16/2013 7:23 PM

Wigmore Hall pins hopes on St. Leger

A favorite in the grueling American St. Leger race, Dandino, above, could face a good challenge from Wigmore Hall, a six-year-old gelding that has raced in two Arlington Millions.

A favorite in the grueling American St. Leger race, Dandino, above, could face a good challenge from Wigmore Hall, a six-year-old gelding that has raced in two Arlington Millions.

 

Photo courtesy of Four Footed Fotos

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If at first you don't succeed in the Festival of Racing at Arlington International Racecourse, try, try ... and then try again.

And if you have to change races along the way, well, no problem, especially if you're European import and globe-trekking master Wigmore Hall, a six-year-old gelding who will be making his fourth straight Million Day start at a track he seems to adore.

"He definitely knows he's back here (at Arlington)," said Gillian Doman, assistant to trainer Michael Bell. "He loves it here. He's going around there bucking and squealing.

"I hope he gets (the win) this time."

After a second-place finish in the 2010 Secretariat as a 3-year-old, the Bell-trainee moved up in class to the Arlington Million the next two years and put together fourth- and seventh-place finishes, respectively.

On Saturday, Wigmore Hall will try something a little different, competing in the $400,000 American St. Leger, a grueling 1 11/16ths miles test on the turf.

"He's only been 2400 meters (1 ½ miles), but I think he can get the extra ground," Doman said. "He won the (Grade I) Northern Dancer at 2400 meters."

With the probable scratch of Dark Cove, the heavy favoritism figures to remain with Dandino (9-5 in the morning-line), followed by Wigmore Hall (7-2) and Najjaar (6-1).

"I think we probably got Dandino to beat," said Doman, who has had Wigmore Hall out training with the favorite this week. "We've raced against him.

"I don't know too much about the Americans, but we're hoping there will be a bit of early pace. He usually likes to come off a faster pace."

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