ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Bricks and Mortar continued his strong case for Horse of the Year honors after blitzing past his foes to win Saturday’s $1 million Arlington Million XXXVII Stakes (G1) at Arlington Park.
The Arlington Million is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Bricks and Mortar receiving an automatic berth in the Longines Turf at Santa Anita Park this November.
Breaking from post 3 as the 1/2 favorite under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Bricks and Mortar allowed keener runners to get past him before settling into sixth along the inside. Up front, Bandua posted a fair opening pace of :24.45, :48.65, 1:12.94, and :1:36.80 for the first mile.
Heading into the far turn, Bricks and Mortar loomed dangerously but was stuck behind a wall and had to wait for room. As the field straightened at the top of the stretch, an opening finally appeared, and Bricks and Mortar launched through it.
Put to task with a furlong remaining, Bricks and Mortar swept past Bandua and Magic Wand to win the 1 1/4-mile event over the firm turf course in a final time of 1:59.44.
“Chad has a lot of people behind him that are all very special, and this horse is really special too,” said Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables. “What’s next is up to Chad, but I think the Breeders’ Cup is obviously on the horizon. It’s been an amazing experience so far.”
The victory made trainer Chad Brown the first conditioner to sweep the day’s three Grade 1 events that include the Beverly D. Stakes and the Secretariat Stakes.
Magic Wand, a European shipper who scratched out of the Beverly D. to run here, fell just short of winning on American soil for the fourth straight time. Included in that stretch is a second to Bricks and Mortar in January’s inaugural Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes (G1).
Despite being caught late, Bandua stayed on strongly to take third by a length over last year’s champion Robert Bruce. There was a gap back to Pivoine in fifth, while Intellogent headed Captivating Moon for sixth. Hunting Horn and Catcho En Die faltered after chasing Bandua early and completed the order of finish. The Great Day was scratched.
Bricks and Mortar’s win extended his undefeated streak to six, beginning with an allowance victory last December that was his first start in 14 months. The 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway improved his career record to 12-10-0-2 with $4,885,650 earned – $3,941,650 in 2019 alone.
“He’s just a great horse,” said Ortiz, Jr. “That makes six in a row for me and him. The first time I got on him, we won by a neck, but I knew how much he had left and how special he was. The rest has been history. I never worry about anyone else in the race with this horse, I just concentrate on him and let him take me where he wants. When I ask him, he’s there for me every time.”
Bricks and Mortar returned $3 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Magic Wand brought back $6.40 to place and $4.80 to show, while Bandua paid $5.20 to show.