Two Emmys stuns in Mr. D Stakes

  • Two Emmys (4), jockeyed by James Graham, narrowly beats Domestic Spending (3), ridden by Flavien Prat, during the Mr. D Stakes at Arlington Park on Saturday in Arlington Heights.

    Two Emmys (4), jockeyed by James Graham, narrowly beats Domestic Spending (3), ridden by Flavien Prat, during the Mr. D Stakes at Arlington Park on Saturday in Arlington Heights. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 8/14/2021 10:11 PM

It was an Oscar finish for Two Emmys.

The 27-1 longshot Two Emmys stunned heavy favorite Domestic Spending to win the Mr. D, formally the Arlington Million, on a beautiful sun-stroked day at Arlington Park.


Two Emmys broke to the lead and never faltered as Domestic Spending tried to run down the Hugh Robertson-trained Two Emmys in the final sixteenth. But Two Emmys found another gear, running the stretch in 22.7 seconds, to hold off Domestic Spending by a half-length in what all likelihood is the final Grade 1 stakes race run at Arlington.

Robertson, who is 80, is a legendary local trainer. He has had nearly 10,000 horses run for him in his career, but never a bigger win than the $600,000 Mr. D.

"I have run graded stakes, but never a Grade 1," said Robertson. "It was a really nice win. He got a great ride and he got the slow pace. When he turned for home he was going to hang on for part of the way. I didn't know if he could out kick Domestic Spending, but he did."

Robertson said he was not surprised that his horse, who he co-owns with Randall Wolfe, was not challenged earlier after Two Emmys took the lead. Two Emmys showed that he had what it took down the stretch.

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"The horse never gets any respect," Robertson said. "I was very happy with ride he got today."

James Graham, who also has made Arlington his home for many racing seasons, was aboard Two Emmys.

"I thought somebody may jump on me early, said Graham, who had never won an Arlington Million. "I begged, begged my agent to run this horse."

Graham was happy to come up with this big win at Arlington.

"This is home," Graham said. "It is very emotional right now. The Million is the set-piece of the races here in Chicago. It is a shame that is going to be stepped away."

Graham, who once won the Arlington handicap, was once asked which race he would like to win: The Kentucky Derby or the Arlington Million.

"This one, I said, "Graham said with a big smile on his face. "The Arlington Million was my answer."


Two Emmys generously rewarded bettors who had faith in him. He paid $56.20, $9.80 and $5.80.

It was day for favorites in the other Stakes races.

Another Mystery, an Illinois-bred and trained by Team Block withdrew from the Mr. D. Another Mystery, which was also entered in the $75,00 Black Tie Affair Stakes, made that decision look solid by posting the win and paid $2.80.

Earlier, in the final running of the Mike Spellman Memorial Stakes, favorite Bramble Queen ($2.80), held off a very game Summer Day to win race named for legendary Daily Herald sports writer Mike Spellman.

His brother Neil, who was with a group of 85 family and friends on Mike Spellman said that he hopes the race will continue at another venue.

"I would love that," Neil Spellman said. "If it can't exist here, just someplace. We would make an effort, if they kept the name, but my head tells me this was the final one. It is a good note to go out on. Million Day, exciting race. This is good memory. "

In the $400,000 Beverly D, trainer Aidan O'Brien's three-year old Santa Barbara ($4.00) broke at the top of the stretch to cruise to the win.

The inaugural $300,000 Bruce D stakes was won by a driving Point Me By ($5.40). Shantisara ($5.60) won the Pucker Up Stakes while Richiesinthehouse ($4.60) won the Cammack Memorial.

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