Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode horses to victory in The Beverly D. and the Secretariat Stakes on Saturday at Arlington Park.
George LeClaire | Staff Photographer
He didn't win the showcase event of the day - the Arlington Million - but jockey Kent Desormeaux nevertheless had himself quite a Festival of Racing at Arlington Park on Saturday.
The veteran reinsman started things out with a stalk-and-pounce win aboard Take the Points in the Secretariat Stakes and then rinsed and repeated aboard Dynaforce in the Beverly D.
The Desormeaux Secretariat-Beverly D double of 7-7 paid $60.60.
Good day: Despite riding a couple of longshots in Saturday's festival, locally-based jockey E.T. Baird turned in a solid performance.
Aboard Tizaqueena in the Beverly D., Baird led heading into the stretch before finishing fourth at 20-1.
He used the opposite tactic in the Million, storming home late down the lane on 19-1 longshot Just As Well for a surprise second.
Worth the wait: The average exacta payoff Saturday in the three Grade I races at Arlington Park was about $89.
Those fans who stuck it out until the 12th had a chance to really hit the jackpot.
That's where 30-1 Rojo Sol and 60-1 shot Royal Thumb Tack combined for a $2,176 exacta and keyed a trifecta that paid $29,435 and a superfecta which delivered a $135,440 return.
Getting ahead: Million pace-setter Presious Passion opened up a 10-length lead in Saturday's race.
But that was only half as big as the 20-length lead he enjoyed in his 2-length victory in the Grade I United Nations on July 4 at Monmouth Park.
The 6-year-old son of Royal Anthem wound up last in the field of eight under rider Elvis Trujillo, a former Arlington regular.
"The horse didn't like the soft track," Trujillo said. "He tried. Around the three-eighths pole I asked him a little bit but he stayed the same stride and then stopped."
Not so fast: Saturday's Million time of 2:04 was the fifth slowest in the 27 runnings of the race.
The turf was updated during the day from yielding to good.
Second time the charm: Trainer Christophe Clemente, a New York trainer best known for his turf prowess, won the Million in only his second attempt Saturday.
His Forbidden Apple ran third in the 2002 Grade I event.
He said it: Jockey Fernando Jara after his mount Cliffy's Future finished ninth in the Secretariat Stakes: "My horse didn't even try."