Speedy Sistercharlie sets turf record in Beverly D.
The classic song 'Luck Be A Lady' played to the crowd as seven fillies and mares made their way on to the track for Saturday's 30th running of the Grade 1 $600,000 Beverly D. at Arlington Park.
But luck was hardly a requirement for the 5-year-old mare Sistercharlie.
The daughter of Myboycharlie set the Arlington Park turf record for 1-3/16ths miles en route to a 3-length victory over 15-1 longshot and English-bred Awesometank.
The 2-5 favored Sistercharlie ran 1:52.43 to easily best the previous record of 1:53.16 set by Bandua last month in the Arlington Handicap.
"I'm lucky to have her," trainer Chad Brown told Arlington Park television personality Alyssa Ali after the race. "She is actually very easy to train."
Sistercharlie became the first two-time winner of the Beverly D., which was named for the Arlington's chairman emeritus Richard Duchossois' late wife.
"She's right up there with the best I've trained," said Brown, who won his fifth straight Beverly D. "And she is working her way into the Hall of Fame which means she'll be one of best to run."
Valid Point victorious in Secretariat Stakes:
Trainer Chad Brown's only loss in last year's Grade I International Festival of Racing came in the Grade 1 Secretariat when he finished second with Analyze It.
He got to the winner's circle this year with Valid Point, the second choice in the nine-horse field of three-year-olds.
Ridden by jockey Javier Castellano, Valid Point came from last after a half mile in the one mile race and rallied through to the stretch to top 28-1 Van Beethoven by one length. The Last Zip, also 28-1, took third.
Normally run at 1¼ miles in the most recent runnings, the $500,000 Secretariat was moved to a mile for the first time in its 43 runnings.
Valid Point covered the distance in 1:35.50 while winning for the third time without a loss in his career.
"The new distance just allowed me to bring a different horse here," Brown said. "I think it was a good idea to go to a mile so it wouldn't conflict with other races (in the country)."
Local kudos for Brown:
Trainer Chris Block knows about winning stakes races. He's Arlington's all-time leader with 45.
On Saturday, he saw the nation's top graded stakes trainer this season sweep the three Grade 1s of the International Festival of Racing.
Brown became the first trainer to win four Millions and three in a row. He scored with Robert Bruce in 2018, Beach Patrol in 2017 and Real Solution in 2013.
"He is amazing," Block said. "He has the right kind of stock to come here and do what he does. "Hats off to him, his crew and the horse he brings here. It's very impressive to see what he does."
Arlington chairman emeritus Richard Duchossois al had generous words for Brown, who was the nation's leader in money won ($61 million in purses) coming into the Festival.
"Isn't this wonderful what he did?," said Duchossois, who was recently inducted into the National Racing Museum Hall of Fame. "He's one of the top trainers in the country. To be a top trainer among all the other great trainers today is a great accomplishment."
In the paddock:
Arlington's all-time leader for wins, jockey Earlie Fires, and former Arlington rider Mike Manganello, who won the 1970 Kentucky Derby aboard Dust Commander, were visitors in the paddock for the Million.
"I'd never been to a Million," said Manganello, a Lexington, KY. resident who won the 1976 Pucker Up Stakes with T.V. Vixen. "I figured this was good time to start. I had a lot of good memories at the old Arlington Park."