Mondialiste Puts the International in Arlington Million Festival

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Ed DeRosa

August 14th, 2016

The Arlington International Festival of Racing featured an international flavor for its marquee race, as Mondialiste—racing in his fourth country in five starts—swung to outside and drove to a measured neck victory over Kasaqui in the $1-million Arlington Million (G1) on Saturday at Arlington Park.

Mondialiste had developed the reputation of a miler by virtue of his Woodbine Mile (G1) win and Breeders’ Cup runner-up finish behind eventual champion Tepin, but trainer David O’Meara said the longer trip was always within the Galileo horse’s scope.

“We stepped him up to a mile and a quarter at York, and he ran a really good race,” O’Meara said. “Once he handled that trip OK, we had this race in the back of our mind. We thought we’d bring him over because he performed so well on this side of the water last year.”

The Million is a Win And You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup, and O’Meara said he would be keen to try the World Championships again after last year’s runner-up at Keeneland, but that owner Geoff Turnbull would have the final decision on any return trips to the United States as well as whether they’d try to stretch out to 1 1/2 miles in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) or try Tepin again in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

Mondialiste led a foreign trifecta with the Argentine Kasaqui second and fellow Irish Deauville third. Greengrassofwyoming closed from way out of it to lead the U.S.-bred runners home in fourth.

Kasaqui was ahead of Mondialiste turning for home on the rail, but the eventual winner was able to quicken on the outside before Kasaqui could burst through a hole on the rail.

“I liked my trip until the three-eighths pole,” Kasaqui’s jockey Robby Albarado said. “I needed to get out a jump-and-a-half earlier, and I would have won.”

Belmont Derby winner Deauville was the lone 3-year-old in the field and made the lead late after pressing the pace before giving way to the closers.

“My horse had a pretty good run,” said Deauville’s jockey, Seamie Heffernan. “I got to the front, and two other horses just came and got me. Solid performance.”

Mondialiste is now 5-for-21 lifetime with more than $1.7-million in earnings. Both his Grade 1 wins have come in North America.

“He seems to love it over here, and he thrives over here,” jockey Daniel Tudhope said. “It’s amazing for the team to get a Win And You’re In to the Breeders’ Cup. Everyone back home works so hard. They deserve this as much as we do.”

Mondialiste was bred by Wertheimer and Frere out of the French highweight and Group 1 winner Occupandiste, by Kaldoun. Eurl Du Chene, agent, bought Mondialiste for $259,464 at the 2014 Aquana horses of racing age sale.


Photo courtesy Four Footed Fotos