ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Mike Ryan’s Valid Point rallied from the rear in the stretch to prove victorious in Saturday’s $500,000 Secretariat Stakes (G1) at Arlington Park.
Breaking from post 7 under Javier Castellano as the 5/2 second choice, Valid Point took back heading into the first turn as a five-wide wall appeared ahead of him. On the opposite side of that wall, The Last Zip and Crafty Daddy dueled through opening fractions of :24.14, :47.68, and 1:12.08.
Heading into the far turn, Valid Point tipped out into a clear position that would allow him to launch his attack when ready. As they straightened for home, Castellano shook the reins and Valid Point responded sharply.
Seeming to float over the turf as he gobbled up ground with every step, Valid Point shot past his competition and took command near the 1/16 pole. Continuing to fly through to the wire, the Chad Brown trainee crossed with a lenth advantage in a final time of 1:35.50 for the mile-long event over the firm turf course.
“I really like the way he felt today,” Castellano said. “I let the horse be himself and relax going into the first turn and get into a nice rhythm. The way he finished was impressive to me. When I picked him up, he responded right away, and I think he’s going to be a really nice horse.”
Van Beethoven similarly closed from near the rear but was unable to prevent the winner from getting past and settled for second, 3/4 of a length ahead of a game The Last Zip. Crafty Daddy was just 3/4 of a length further back in fourth. Never No More nosed out fifth over the 2/1 favorite Fog of War, who was stuck in the middle of the aforementioned wall and struggled to find clear running room. Faraway Kitten, Ry’s the Guy, and Clint Maroon completed the order of finish.
Valid Point’s win was his third in as many career starts, all coming in 2019, with his previous triumphs occurring at Gulfstream Park and Belmont Park. The 3-year-old son of Scat Daddy, purchased for $140,000 as a yearling, has now bankrolled $367,400.
Valid Point returned $7.20 to win, $4.60 to place, and $4 to show. Van Beethoven brought back $19.20 to place and $9.20 to show, while The Last Zip paid $7.40 to show.