The Churchill Downs is home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby. Running since 1875, the course itself gained its prestigious name in 1937. While the derby is the most famous race run at the course, there are plenty of other spectacular races that take place here each year. One of the most exciting is the Arlington Million.
The Arlington Million event is a one-day program, and this year it was held on August 13th, 2022. It is comprised of 11 thoroughbred races, two dirt stake races, and two turf stakes races. Race highlights included the Beverly D Breeders Cup Racing Challenge and Arlington Million. Yet this year, it was the homebred Santin who claimed the spotlight.
This year’s Arlington Million had a distinct lack of horses from overseas. It was the third time in its history and the first since 1990 that foreign-trained horses did not take part in the event. However, the Godolphin homebred colt Santin brought the international flavor, having been trained locally in Kentucky but coming from Dubai ownership. And this horse brought it by the bucketload.
The Arlington Million
Bred by Distorted Humor, the Kentucky-bred, 4-year-old made a late run to claim the race. The horse shadowed its opponent Smooth Like Straight and pushed to win by 1¾ length. It was the horse’s second grade 1 win this year. This followed the May 7th Old Forester Turf Classic over the same course.
The History of Santin
Santin has been one to watch since his first few races. Unraced by the age of two, he then won his first two outings late in 2021. The final race of the year saw him come in second at the Hollywood Derby. The win made Santin the seventh horse in 2022 to claim two US grade 1 races
Credit must also be given to his jockey in the race, Tyler Gaffalione. After winning the 2015 US Champion apprentice jockey, he has become one of the most watched up-and-coming jockeys in the states. Despite a string of major wins, his crowning glory to date must claim the 2019 Preakness Stakes riding War of Will. His tactic for Santin was to keep the horse close to fellow racer Smooth Like Strait, then make a late run.
What Does the Future Hold for Santin?
Santin’s next outing will be on October 8th at Keeneland in the $1 million Coolmore Mile, according to his trainer Brendan Walsh. It is expected that this will be his preparation for the later $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile on November 5th at Keeneland.
Being 2-1 at the Arlington Million, you can expect that the odds on this wonder horse at the Coolmore Mile will be favorable on sites like ExpressBet, which ranks among the best horse racing betting sites in the US. That way you can get the best odds in advance and watch them in the run-up to the big day.
This will mark the 25th year of the race at Keeneland sponsored by Coolmore. It has been a haven for notable winners in recent years. These have included two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan (2012 and 2014), three-time champion Gio Ponti (2010-2011), and standouts like Bowies Hero and Miss Temple.
The Breeders Cup
The Breeders Cup World Championship is a series of Grade 1 Thoroughbred horse races. Every year, the track chosen to host the event changes and each race will represent one of four trophies. The Classic race has a purse of $6 million making it extremely lucrative for trainers.
Three of its races are ranked among the top Grade 1 Races in the world. Including the Classic and the Turf, it is the mile in which Santin will enter and face his stiffest competition. In the coming year, some horses rumored to be lining up for the race will push both jockey and rider to the limit.
At the Breeders’ Cup Mile, odds are also not in, but a strong field is emerging. Emblem Road will arrive from Saudi Arabia, ridden by Jockey Olivier Peslier. In February, this horse had a half-length win over Country Grammar in the Saudi Cup in Riyadh itself. Making the first nine starts of his career in Saudia, he has seven wins, one second and one third-place finish. The horse’s maternal grandmother is 2008 Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Ventura.
Another one to watch and always prone to throwing up a few surprises is Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike. With his jockey Sonny Leon, he came in from the extreme outside post to come through the outside and win at 80 – 1. However, on his return in the May 21 Preakness Stakes, he only achieved a sixth position placing. It seems likely this horse still has it in him to produce results, so is definitely another to note.