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Arcadius gives Sheppard milestone win
Arcadius record his first stakes win in the Helen Haskell Sampson
Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, long a dominant force in American
steeplechasing, registered his 1,000th career victory in that realm of the
American turf on Saturday when Hudson River Farms' ARCADIUS (Giant's
Causeway) collared long-time leader Slip Away (Skip Away) after the
final fence and drew off to win the $100,000
Helen Haskell Sampson S.
(NSA-G1) at Monmouth Park by a length under Brian Crowley. The 8-5
favorite in a field of seven, Arcadius completed the about 2 1/2-mile
distance in 4:37 2/5 on firm ground.
"One thousand wins means I've done something nobody else has done,"
Sheppard said. "I knew I was in range, but I honestly thought I wouldn't
be able to get there until next year. Thankfully, everything has fallen
into place this year and we've gotten lucky."
Though winless in a major hurdle this season, Arcadius had shown
consistency throughout the spring and summer and might now lay claim to
being the leader of an often chaotic division. Third by six lengths to
Tax Ruling (Dynaformer) in the Iroquois (NSA-G1) in May, Arcadius
earned runner-up honors in both the A.P. Smithwick Memorial (NSA-G2) and
New York Turf Writers Cup (NSA-G1) at the recent Saratoga meeting. He
avenged his Iroquois and Turf Writers Cup losses here as Tax Ruling and
stablemate Sermon of Love (Pulpit), who captured the Turf Writers Cup,
finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Arcadius paid $5.40, $3.20 and $2.20, while the 7-2 Slip Away
returned $4.40 and $3.20. It was 8 1/4 lengths back to Seer (Pulpit), who
nosed out fellow longshot Quiet Approval (Quiet American) for third and
returned $5.40 at 15-1. The exacta paid $30, the trifecta $105.60, and
the 1-6-7-4 superfecta was worth $1,183.60.
Three-times stakes-placed last season, including a third in the
Lonesome Glory Hurdle (NSA-G1), Arcadius has now earned $209,187 from a
line of 17-5-5-3. The six-year-old gelding was bred in Kentucky by
Jayeff 'B' Stables.
Arcadius was produced from the Grade 3-placed Unify (Farma Way), a
half-sister to Grade 2 winner Della Francesca (Danzig) and Grade/Group 3 scorers Caress (Storm Cat), Country Cat (Storm Cat) and Bernstein (Storm Cat). Caress
herself is the dam of Grade 1 winner Sky Mesa (Pulpit) and multiple Grade 3
victress Golden Velvet (Seeking the Gold). In addition to various Grade 3 scorers, this is the family of 1984 champion
two-year-old filly Outstandingly (Exclusive Native), and Grade/Group 2 winners
Sensation (GB) (Soviet Star) and Batroyale (Batonnier).
Arcadius' fifth dam is Busanda (War Admiral), who produced the legendary
Buckpasser (Tom Fool).
Looking ahead, the final two major jump races of the year are the October 23
Grand National (NSA-G1) at Far Hills, New Jersey, and the November 13 Colonial
Cup (NSA-G1) at Camden, South Carolina.
Sweet Ducky is now unbeaten in two starts on fast tracks
In the $100,000
Garden State S. for two-year-olds, the featured event
on the flat, George and Lori Hall's SWEET DUCKY (Pulpit) pressed a slow
pace set by Bravo Romeo (Bwana Charlie) to the far turn, opened up 2 1/2
lengths with a furlong remaining, then held off the late charge of Curlinello (Smart Strike) to win by a half-length under Joe Bravo. The
final time for one mile on the fast main track was 1:39 4/5. The 7-1
fourth choice, Sweet Ducky paid $16.20.
A five-length debut winner for trainer Kelly Breen at Monmouth in
June, Sweet Ducky failed to factor in the July 25 Tyro S. after being
bumped at the start. The 4-5 favorite in that 5 1/2-furlong dash
contested in the mud, Sweet Ducky
wound up fourth beaten 6 1/2 lengths. He's now bankrolled $106,250 from
a line of 3-2-0-0.
A $135,000 Keeneland September yearling, the Kentucky-bred Sweet
Ducky was produced by the multiple Grade 2-placed stakes winner Storm's
Darling (Storm Boot). His fourth dam is 1962 champion two-year-old
filly Smart Deb (Dedicate).
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