| Contact: Graham Ross
Saturday, August 12, 2000
SLICKLY STRETCHES LEGS AFTER CLEARING QUARANTINE
A short flight from England to France, an Air France charter directly to O'Hare, and finally a brief van ride to Arlington International made up a journey that ended shortly after midnight Friday morning for Godolphin's Slickly.
The first of the European invaders for the International Festival of Racing cleared quarantine about 9 a.m. Saturday, and was on the track an hour later to stretch his legs with a mile and a quarter gallop in anticipation of next Saturday's Arlington Million.
Looking at his past performances, the mile and a quarter distance of next Saturday's Arlington Million would appear to be ideal for Slickly. The gray colt won the Group 3 La Coupe at that distance in his last trip to the post June 15 at Longchamp. After making the pace, the four-year-old drew clear after a mile and increased the margin to two lengths at the wire. It was his first start of the year.
Last August, in his final start as a sophomore, Slickly was a competitive second, beaten two and a half-lengths by his highly regarded stablemate Dubai Millennium in the one-mile Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville. That rival went on to capture the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba in March and then dominated rivals in the Group 1 Prince of Wales June 20 during the Royal Ascot meeting. Earlier this month, however, Dubai Millennium was retired due to injury.
Slickly's previous trip to the winner's circle, in June of 1999, was also at the mile and a quarter distance when he captured the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris. In that outing, also at Longchamp, the French-bred alternated for the lead throughout the first mile before drawing clear in the final two furlongs.
"A mile and a quarter seems to be his best trip," said Brian Powell, who accompanied Slickly from Europe. Powell, aboard for Saturday's mile and a quarter gallop, was deputized into service in that capacity when Slickly's regular exercise rider encountered visa problems.
"I've been to Chicago before, but only when I was flying back to Europe from a race at Churchill Downs," said Powell. "However, this is my first trip to Arlington.
"Slickly is in good form now," concluded Powell of the Godolphin colorbearer. "As for how he'd prefer the turf on that day, I would say he probably wouldn't want in too firm. But there is plenty of grass out there where they will have the rail for the Million, so that shouldn't be a problem."
BEVERLY D. PROSPECT WILD HEART DANCING WORKS
My Jo Lee Stable's Wild Heart Dancing, a prospect for the Grade 1 Beverly D., worked a half-mile on the turf in :49 3/5 Saturday morning with Mark Guidry up.
"It was a perfect work and she galloped out well," said trainer Eugene Brajczewski, who took over Wild Heart Dancing's training about 10 days before her last start in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap July 30. The four-year-old daughter of Farma Way finished third in the final local prep for the Beverly D., beaten only a neck.
"She came out of the work in excellent shape," the trainer said. "She's the sweetest horse I've ever been around. She hasn't given me a minute of trouble.
"We've made a change in rider," Brajczewski noted. "Nothing at all against Ray (Sibille, who rode her in the Modesty). He did everything right. The owner wanted to get Jorge Chavez, but he has a commitment in the Alabama, and the owner has an agent who thought that Guidry fit her a little better. She loses a lot of weight after a work, so I like to work her a week to 10 days before a race. I'll probably blow her out down the lane three or four days before the race.
"If you look at the (Ragozin) sheets on the fillies in the race, with the exception of Frankel's filly (Happyanunoit) Wild Heart Dancing is right up there with all of them," Brajczewski concluded. "She's beaten Perfect Sting (in Keeneland's 1999 Palisades), probably one of the best grass fillies in the country."
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