Arlington Million scouting report: Bookrunner
Bookrunner has the potential to be much better than he’s had the opportunity to show so far. American conditions might be the key to this American-bred son of Tiznow and Grade 3 winner Take the Ribbon (a daughter of 2000 Arlington Million [G1] romper Chester House).
Trainer Mikel Delzangles has rated Bookrunner very highly. And Delzangles has already had international success with Flotilla in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) and the globetrotting warrior Dunaden, best remembered for his victory in the Melbourne Cup (G1). In his latest American foray, he sent out Canndal to finish second at 9-1 in the Belmont Derby Invitational (G1).
Bookrunner was nominated to the 2014 U.S. Triple Crown, and his five-length debut conquest at Chantilly shows why connections entertained the possibility (clip starts at 1:26):
Runner-up Auvray later developed into a promising stayer. After taking the Prix de Lutece (G3) and Prix Chaudenay (G2) on Arc weekend, Auvray sold for approximately $1 million to China Horse Club. He’s now in Australia gearing up for a Cups campaign.
Bookrunner opted to focus on the European rather than American classics. Reappearing in the Prix Djebel (G3), he was forwardly placed throughout and checked in fourth in a blanket finish. That was an encouraging effort for a second lifetime start, especially considering that the winner, Charm Spirit, went on to win the Prix Jean Prat (G1), Prix du Moulin (G1) and Ascot’s Queen Elizabeth II (G1):
Bookrunner was sent to Newmarket for the 2000 Guineas (G1), where he found the Rowley Mile too stiff a challenge and wound up 11th, beaten nearly seven lengths. He’s not the only inexperienced type to succumb to that trial by fire.
Although Bookrunner returned to capture a Maisons-Laffitte conditions race, he was sidelined for the remainder of his three-year-old season. He wasn’t seen again until a May 29 conditions race at Saint-Cloud. Despite needing the run off the 10-month layoff, he fought to prevail by a head.
Delzangles marveled at Bookrunner’s courage in that comeback win.
"I loved him very much” as a three-year-old, he told Paris-Turf, “but he had health troubles and we waited to get everything in order. It is still far from his best.”
Bookrunner stepped up in class for the July 5 Prix Messidor (G3), where he set the pace and tired to third behind Fractional. A Godolphin runner, Fractional is best known for being awarded the Prix Dollar (G2) upon the disqualification of Cirrus des Aigles last Arc weekend:
Just taking his past stakes results literally, Bookrunner has to improve markedly to make an impact at this level. But as a lightly raced type, with an astute trainer, he has the look of a real dark horse.
It’s also worth mentioning that Bookrunner has been competing at distances probably shorter than preferred. In light of how he dominated his 9 1/2-furlong debut from off the pace – his only start beyond a mile – he should enjoy the chance to stretch out.
Photo courtesy of Four Footed Fotos.