The Pizza Man works; Million rival Tryster takes first tour of Arlington

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TwinSpires Staff

August 7th, 2016

Edited press release

Midwest Thoroughbreds’ The Pizza Man stepped out at Arlington International Racecourse Saturday morning to put in his final work as he prepares an attempt at becoming the only back-to-back winner of the $1 million Arlington Million (G1) in the race’s history. The 2015 winner worked in company on the Polytrack for trainer Roger Brueggemann, covering the four furlongs in :49.40 and galloping out in 1:01.20 according to clockers.

“I was thinking they would go a little faster, but it can be hard to get two riders on the same page,” Brueggemann said of the work. “I wanted them to go in :48 but they went in :49. They picked it up at the end though.”

The 7-year-old gelding by English Channel became the first Illinois-bred to win the state’s marquee race last year when he bested eventual 2015 Eclipse champion turf horse Big Blue Kitten by a neck in the 1 1/4-mile event. The two could face off again as trainer Chad Brown is pointing Big Blue Kitten for another run this year in the Arlington Million for new owners Calumet Farm.

Brueggemann also sent out Midwest Thoroughbreds’ First Tomoe for her final work before a possible start in next Saturday’s $100,000 Pucker Up (G3). The 3-year-old daughter of First Samurai worked four furlongs by herself in a time of :49. The filly made her debut on July 16 going five furlongs on the turf in a maiden special weight, gaining ground late to finish third.

“The race was too short, but I wanted to get a start in her,” Brueggemann remarked. “Mike Smith is coming out to ride The Pizza Man, so we are thinking he will ride [her as well].”

Also at Arlington on Saturday morning, Godolphin’s Tryster cleared quarantine and took to the track in preparation for the Million. The Charles Appleby trainee was ridden out to the main oval by Jo Hunnam, who let the 5-year-old son of Shamardal break into a light jog for a half mile going clockwise before reversing on the backstretch and doing one lap at a steady canter over the Polytrack. The colt then returned to the backside and settled into Barn 28 where he will remain throughout the rest of his stay.

Winner of the Jebel Hatta (G1), Tryster is coming into the Million off a fifth-place effort in the Prince of Wales’s S. (G1) at Royal Ascot on June 15. Godolphin previously earned a win in the 2003 Arlington Million with Sulamani and trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

Arlington International Racecourse’s International Festival of Racing attracted 51 pre-entries in its four graded stakes. Topped by the 34rd running of the Arlington Million, which has an oversubscribed field of 15 nominated, the Festival also features the $700,000 Beverly D. (G1) (14 pre-entries), $450,000 Secretariat S. (G1) (10) and $350,000 American St. Leger (G3) (12). All four of the Festival races are to be contested over the Chicagoland oval’s world-renowned turf course.

Horses bred in seven countries – Argentina, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Morocco, and the United States – are among the 50 individuals nominated. Al & Bill Ulwelling’s Pumpkin Rumble is cross-entered in both the Million and American St. Leger.

The Pizza Man photo courtesy Four Footed Fotos