Four European shippers are entered in the Arlington Million (G1)Four European shippers are entered in Saturday’s 37th running of the Arlington Million (G1) – Aidan O’Brien’s Magic Wand, who is cross-entered to the Beverly D. (G1), and stablemate Hunting Horn; Intellogent from France; and British-based Pivoine. While Intellogent and Pivoine are venturing abroad for the first time, the O’Brien entrants are familiar to fans on this side of the pond. Magic Wand is on her fourth transatlantic mission and Hunting Horn on his sixth. Before diving into the details, an historical note. Internationals had more success in the first decade or so of this millennium, winning six Millions between 2001-13. That tally arguably should have been eight, if not for the disqualifications of Powerscourt (2004) and The Apache (2013). Powerscourt gained revenge in 2005, giving O’Brien his first of two Millions, followed by Cape Blanco (2011). The trend has reversed in the past five editions, with four American-based winners and only British shipper Mondialiste (2016) intervening. REILLY: 2019 Beverly D. international scouting reports: Magic Wand, Fleeting, Awesometank
MAGIC WAND and HUNTING HORNRyan Moore is named to ride Hunting Horn, and Wayne Lordan is listed aboard Magic Wand in both the Million and Beverly D. With plans to be determined for Magic Wand, we’ll treat the Ballydoyle pair together since their races overlap. And even if she does opt for the Beverly D., the unified treatment also offers more context for Hunting Horn. We’ll concentrate on their efforts this campaign considering they’ve been covered in this space previously (see links to past scouting reports). Magic Wand was the subject of scouting reports ahead of her fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and in advance of her second in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) to Million favorite Bricks and Mortar, both on rain-affected ground that didn’t play to her strengths. A favorable forecast in Chicago is essential for the Galileo filly to have any chance to turn the tables. Hunting Horn, a Camelot colt and “nephew” of High Chaparral, was also covered in scouting reports last summer prior to his third in the Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) and his flop at this track and trip in the Secretariat (G1), where he succumbed to a pace battle from an outside post. He was included in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) scouting report as well, but unsurprisingly was no match for Enable while serving as stablemate Magical’s wingman. Hunting Horn made the trek to Gulfstream with Magic Wand for Pegasus World Cup Day, but ran in the W.L. McKnight (G3) on the undercard, endured a checkered passage, and showed belated interest in third. Unlike Magic Wand who wasn’t seen again until Dubai World Cup night, Hunting Horn shipped to Qatar in February for the H.H. The Amir Trophy and placed third. That form isn’t the deepest but at least the victorious French King has come back to take a pair of German Group 2s. Hunting Horn and Magic Wand were reunited in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1), and neither delivered their best in a race where O’Brien tends to underperform. Magic Wand faded tamely in fifth, edged by Hunting Horn in the photo for fourth. Both were back on form, however, in the May 11 Man o’ War (G1) at Belmont. Pacemaker Hunting Horn nearly pulled off the coup until compounding in the 11th furlong. He could be dangerous if adopting the same brazen tactic going a furlong shorter here, although Bandua might not let him get away. Magic Wand rallied for a close third, finally finding firm ground stateside. Still, the bare form with Channel Maker and Arklow indicates she needs to find more versus the leading U.S. turf male. The stablemates went their separate ways at Royal Ascot. Magic Wand was compromised by soft ground in the listed Wolferton S., but placed a game second to Addeybb. The form has worked out as Wolferton third Elarqam has gone on to win his next two, recently gaining vengeance upon Addeybb in the July 27 York (G2). In contrast, Hunting Horn faced a far stiffer task as Magical’s pacemaker in the Prince of Wales’s (G1). Yet he stayed on for a creditable fourth to Crystal Ocean, Magical, and Waldgeist. Among those behind Hunting Horn were two subsequent winners at Glorious Goodwood – Deirdre, the Japanese classic victress who just upset the Nassau (G1), and Desert Encounter, last year’s Canadian International (G1) hero who snapped his losing skid in the Glorious (G3). Magic Wand reverted to distaff company, for the first time since the Breeders’ Cup, when wheeling back in the June 28 Pretty Polly (G1) at the Curragh. Although putting away familiar rival Wild Illusion, she could not fend off the hit-or-miss sophomore Iridessa who was carrying 12 fewer pounds. Magic Wand had no problem conceding that weight to the other sophomore, her dual classic-placed stablemate Pink Dogwood, the third-placer as the favorite. Meanwhile, Hunting Horn stayed on pacemaker duty for Magical in the Eclipse (G1), retreating to sixth behind Enable and his hard-trying stablemate. With Magical on holiday for the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth (G1), it was Magic Wand joining Hunting Horn back at Ascot. Magic Wand was burned up chasing another O’Brien rabbit and wound up a tailed-off last, but the stalking Hunting Horn was a decent fifth to Enable. Magic Wand’s effort is a toss in the circumstances, especially since it smacks of giving her something to do ahead of Arlington. Note that Magic Wand won’t get as much of a weight concession as in her last two stateside appearances. She has to carry 123 pounds compared to 116 in the Man o’ War (eight pounds fewer than Channel Maker) and a feathery 112 in the Pegasus. Bricks and Mortar, who gave her 12 pounds there, only has to spot her three here. Better ground helps, but that’s still quite a gap for her to bridge. Also, for all of her admirable Grade/Group 1 placings, including last fall’s Prix Vermeille (G1) and Prix de l’Opera (G1), Magic Wand’s signature win remains her last, the Ribblesdale (G2) at Royal Ascot more than a year ago. Hunting Horn likewise brings a losing streak dating back to 2018 Royal Ascot, when he scored his lone stakes victory in the Hampton Court (G3).
INTELLOGENTTrainer Fabrice Chappet, who developed Uni and Precieuse before Chad Brown got them, sends out the only European Group 1 winner in action on Million Day. By the Galileo stallion Intello and descending from a deep German family, Intellogent has been competing in marquee events at home, beat Hunting Horn in their only prior meeting, and sports collateral form through another Ballydoyle notable. Showing resolve to prevail in his debut as a juvenile at left-handed Saint-Cloud, Intellogent was on the French classic trail at three. Fiona Carmichael’s chestnut appeared in the midst of a winning rally as the favorite in the 2018 Prix Omnium II, only to have front-running Francesco Bere fight back to score by a half-length. Intellogent was overturned again in a ParisLongchamp conditions race, finishing third by the same margin, and subsequently didn’t take up his engagement in the French 2000 Guineas (G1). A switch to Chantilly, and better ground, helped him lift his game. Up to about nine furlongs for the Prix de Guiche (G3), Intellogent closed from well off the pace and outbattled Patascoy and favored Glorious Journey to the line. Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). Intellogent was put in his place when he ventured outside of his division and into deeper Group 1 waters at a mile. Sixth to the superb Alpha Centauri in the Prix Jacques le Marois (G1), he was wrapped up on when 10th of 11 in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1). Stretching back out as a four-year-old, Intellogent resurfaced with a distant third to Godolphin’s vaunted Ghaiyyath in the about 1 1/4-mile Prix d’Harcourt (G2) April 7. He suffered an even worse loss in the Prix Ganay (G1), a double-digit last behind Waldgeist, Study of Man, and Ghaiyyath. The addition of cheekpieces made Intellogent much more competitive in his latest, the May 26 Prix d’Ispahan (G1). Closing from the rear to snare fourth to Zabeel Prince and Study of Man, he bested Wild Illusion who presumably needed that comeback run. Intellogent figures to enjoy 1 1/4 miles in American conditions, and he’s coming off his best performance since last summer. Florent Geroux picks up the mount.
PIVOINEAlthough a handicapper with class questions, Pivoine has a profile roughly similar to Fanciful Angel who finished a half-length second in the 2017 Million at odds of 73-1. But Pivoine brings a more enticing pedigree as a Ballymacoll Stud-bred by Redoute’s Choice from the family of 2013 Melbourne Cup (G1) hero Fiorente and multiple English highweight Islington, an Eclipse Award winner in light of her 2003 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) victory. Pivoine was on the upswing for his original trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, when he was cataloged in the 2017 Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale as one phase of the Ballymacoll dispersal. Then a sophomore coming off scores at Kempton and Doncaster, he commanded 340,000 guineas ($471,383). The new recruit for King Power Racing was transferred to trainer Andrew Balding, whose Side Glance twice finished third in the Arlington Million (2013-14). Balding’s major North American scores have come at Woodbine, the 2003 Canadian International (G1) with Phoenix Reach and more recently the 2017 E.P. Taylor (G1) with Blond Me. Pivoine stuck to handicaps in 2018, winning twice from seven outings. Both came on good-to-firm in the vicinity of 1 1/4 miles. After dominating a Class 3 handicap at Sandown last summer, he took three tries to break through in a Class 2. Pivoine responded to blinkers to achieve that goal in a handicap during York’s prestigious Ebor meeting, but ended the season with a 10th (of 33) in the famed Cambridgeshire at Newmarket, where he shouldered 135 pounds as one of the top weights. One spot ahead of him in ninth was Danceteria, who’s gone on to finish fourth to Enable in the Eclipse and just landed a German Group 1 on July 28. While Pivoine can’t match that rise up the ranks, he wasn’t disgraced when sixth to Crystal Ocean in the April 26 Gordon Richards (G3) – note that the fifth-placer, Trais Fluors, later edged Intellogent when they were third and fourth, respectively, in the d’Ispahan. Pivoine pursued Crystal Ocean again in the 1 1/2-mile Al Rayyan (aka Aston Park) (G3) at Newbury but didn’t make much more of an impression in fourth. After a forgettable run in Royal Ascot’s Duke of Edinburgh, Pivoine struck a new career high when returning to York for the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup. The five-year-old sprang a 14-1 upset in the lucrative handicap, again proving he’s at his best at around 10 furlongs on good-to-firm. He’s also two-for-two at York, implying Arlington could be congenial for him as well.
Arlington Million scenic (c) Jamie Newell/Horsephotos.com
💎🏆 The John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup goes to Pivoine! 🏆💎The Andrew Balding trained gelding wins in decisive style in the hands of @rob_hornby18 #JohnSmiths60 pic.twitter.com/Uk7dt0b1FC — York Racecourse (@yorkracecourse) July 13, 2019