Contact: Graham Ross
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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.-Kentucky-bred King Cugat, who dominated in the Grade 2 Arlington Classic July 1, and Irish-campaigned Pine Dance, who flew in from the Emerald Isle to take the Grade 2 American Derby July 23, will face off against each other and six others in Saturday's Grade 1 Secretariat.

The race will mark the first time in the history of Arlington International's Mid-America Triple that the winner of the first leg (Arlington Classic) and the winner of the second leg (American Derby) will meet in the third and final leg without either having a race in between.

King Cugat, owned by the Centennial Farms of Don Little and trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott, was less than fully extended when winning the Arlington Classic by two and three-quarter-lengths, but trainer Mott elected to pass the American Derby and return for the final event.

Pine Dance, owned by Highland Farms, Peter Wetzel and Five Star Racing, despite being a Kentucky-bred, was making his first start in the United States in the American Derby and tallied by a length and half with only occasional encouragement.

However, the $400,000 Secretariat is more than a rubber match. Sam-Son Farm's Think Red is an undefeated son of Red Ransom who won Woodbine's Grade 3 Toronto Cup at last asking, and his smallest winning margin in three career starts is two lengths.

Jayeff B Stable's Ciro, another European invader who was third in the Group 1 Irish Derby in his last trip to the post July 2 at The Curragh, is sure to draw strong support from the fans. Ciro won the Group 1 Prix Lupin at Longchamp in May.

Hall of Fame reinsman Jerry Bailey is named to handle the reins on the favored King Cugat, while Irish jockey Eddie Ahern returns to sit in the tack astride Pine Dance.

Canadian rider Todd Kabel, the only rider Think Red has ever known in three career starts, will be in the irons once again, while Michael Kinane, another jockey based in Ireland, has the mount on Ciro.

Completing the Secretariat lineup are: Gary A. Tanaka's Guillamou City, Corey Nakatani aboard; Rich Meadow Farm's Slew Valley, Kent Desormeaux astride; Richard Nip & Scott Goldsher's Hymn, Robby Albarado in the irons; and Erik Penser's Compton Bolter, Alex Solis slated for the saddle.

French-bred Guillamou City won five in a row during a campaign in France before finishing sixth in the Group 1 Prix de Paris June 25, while Slew Valley won his last start at Belmont Park July 1 by three and three-quarter lengths. Hymn was second to Pine Dance in the American Derby, and Compton Bolter is coming off a fourth-place effort in the Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam July 14 at Deauville.

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Beverly D. Arlington Million Secretariat




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