James Covello, Sheep Pond Partners and Head of Plains Partners' Beach Patrol captured the G1 Secretariat during the 2016 Arlington International Festival of Racing, then did not find the winner's circle again until the same day in 2017, when he was triumphant in the 35th running of the Grade 1 Arlington Million. The 4-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid, ridden by Joel Rosario, fought the length of the stretch to defeat international invaders Fanciful Angel and Deauville by a half-length at the wire. Trained by Chad Brown, who saddled a pair of G1 winners on Saturday's card, Beach Patrol covered 1 1/4 miles over the firm turf in 2:02.39.
The victory earns Beach Patrol an expenses-paid berth in the Breeders' Cup Longines Turf this fall at Del Mar.
“They told me I had to get him out of the gate and get into a good position and let him find himself,” Rosario said. “It took a little bit of time, but he really found his way after. I appreciate the chance and the opportunity to be able to ride him today.”
A relatively even break had both Oak Brook and Oscar Nominated up for the early lead, along with Ghost Hunter, and Beach Patrol rushed up to join the frontrunners before the first turn. Oak Brook strode out to a 3/4-length lead as Beach Patrol moved comfortably into second on his outside, clocking steady early fractions of :24.45 and :49.53. Behind those two leaders was a three-wide tussle for third position between Deauville, Ghost Hunter, and Oscar Nominated.
Oak Brook clicked through three-quarters in 1:14.38, but as he approached the far turn he was confronted by Beach Patrol. Deauville sat chilly on the rail, waiting for room to run, and Fanciful Angel was maneuvering into position on the outside. Oak Brook went a bit wide at the head of the straight, giving Deauville that room to make it a three-wide battle for the lead with Beach Patrol.
Oak Brook was the first to give way, leaving Deauville and Beach Patrol locked in battle toward the wire. Fanciful Angel came up on their outside as Enterprising also tried to make a run at the leaders. In the final sixteenth, Beach Patrol found a little something extra and pulled away from both Fanciful Angel and Deauville, hitting the wire about three-quarters of a length in front. Fanciful Angel nosed out Deauville for second, and Enterprising was up for fourth. Ascend finished fifth.
“This was the spot and the race we've been waiting for a year,” said owner Sol Kumin. “He loves it here, Joel gave us a great ride, obviously Chad and his team had the horse ready and we're super happy. It's funny I've seen the trophy and Chad always talked about this is the best trophy in horse racing. It's always been on the bucket list and I'm super fortunate to be here with my kids and dad. It doesn't get much better than this.”
Bred in Kentucky by Nancy C. Shuford, Beach Patrol was a $250,000 weanling purchase at the Keeneland November sale. From 11 starts in graded stakes company, the colt has compiled two Grade 1 wins, four seconds and two thirds. Overall, his record stands at 4-5-3 from 15 outs, and Beach Patrol has earned nearly $1.5 million.
Watch the race replay here:
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