Little Mike stands tall at Arlington Million
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Little Mike led from start to finish to win the 30th running of the Arlington Million on Saturday in Arlington Heights, Ill.
Britain’s Afsare closed fast on the turf, but finished 1½ lengths back in second.
Rahystrada and Colombian tied for third.
Ramon Dominguez steered Little Mike right to the lead from the No. 4 post position in the 11-horse race that featured five European-bred horses.
Little Mike ran the 1¼ miles in 2 minutes 2.44 seconds and paid $9.80, $5.60, and $4.40.
“At the three-eighths pole, I thought we’d done as much as we could to slow them down,” Dominguez said. “He really accelerated, and he galloped out like a freight train.”
Afsare, ridden by Kieren Fallon, returned $6.60 and $4.80, but only after delaying the start with antics at the gate.
“We went to the gate with him yesterday and he wasn’t fully straightforward, but he wasn’t straightforward at all today,” said trainer Luca Cumani’s wife, Sara, who oversaw Afsare’s preparations. “This was the worst he’s ever been, but he’s a tough customer.’’
Irish-bred favorite Crackerjack King finished fifth.
Beverly D. — I’m a Dreamer got a dream run before narrowly holding off Marketing Mix, making Hayley Turner the first winning female jockey in the 23-year history of the $750,000 race over 1 3/16 miles at Arlington Park.