Arklow Begins in Pegasus World Cup on January 25

Millionaire Arklow, winner of New York’s Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and one of America’s top turf horses, is on target to make his next two starts in the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25 and the $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, Donegal Racing founder Jerry Crawford announced.
Luis Saez will ride the 6-year-old Arklow in the Pegasus Turf, Crawford said. Saez won Gulfstream Park’s 2017-2018 Champions meet riding title and lost the 2018-2019 crown by a single win behind reigning Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz.
The 1 3/16-mile Pegasus World Cup Turf is part of a blockbuster card Jan. 25 in south Florida, while the 1 1/2-mile Dubai Sheema Classic is part of the March 28 Dubai World Cup card that is one of the world’s premier race days.
Trained by Brad Cox, Arklow is one of eight Grade 1 winners who received invitations to the Pegasus World Cup Turf, along with seven other graded-stakes winners.
“Arklow is a world-class horse, and his dance card in 2020 will reflect that,” Crawford said. “He’s always in the hunt and is a major threat to win every race he is in. As he proved in the Joe Hirsch, when things break his way, watch out. Even in defeat, he never loses by much and always tries.
“Even in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, he might have finished eighth but lost by only a total of 2 3/4 lengths behind likely Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar while racing wide and having to cover more ground than any horse in the field. We don’t have to contend with Bricks and Mortar this year, and I think Arklow is sitting on a huge 2020. We’re excited about having Luis, who might be the most underrated superstar jockey today.”
According to Trakus, the high-tech timing system, no horse in the Breeders’ Cup Turf raced farther than Arklow. Trakus reports that Arklow ran 70 feet farther than Bricks and Mortar, 104 feet farther than runner-up United and 114 feet more than third-place Anthony Van Dyke. Arklow also had the fastest Ragozin and Thoro-Graph handicapping numbers of any horse in the Breeders’ Cup Turf owing to the extra distance he traveled.
Arklow has won six of 24 starts, along with six seconds and two thirds, while accruing $1,816,382 in purse earnings for his career. The horse, a son of the late Claiborne Farm stallion Arch and a $160,000 yearling purchase by Donegal, achieved a graded-stakes victory at age 3, 4 and 5, including the Grade 3 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup in 2018, then worth $750,000. Arklow was second in the $1 million running of the Kentucky Turf Cup in 2019, avenging his defeat to Zulu Alpha in the Joe Hirsch at Belmont Park.
Even faced with a couple of fluky setbacks in 2019, Arklow finished in the top three and earned $743,000 in five of the six races in which he finished, having unseated his rider shortly after the start in his 5-year-old debut, a debacle that impacted the first part of his season. Arklow also finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2018.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to run in the Pegasus Turf,” said Cox, who is a finalist for the Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding trainer in 2019. “When Arklow is doing well, he’ll let you know. And right now he is doing really well. He’s always been a horse that we thought would get better with age. I do think he’s set up for a big year.”
In addition to managing partner and majority owner Donegal Racing, Arklow campaigns for Joseph Bulger and Peter Coneway. Donegal’s partners in Arklow include Nick Nurse, coach of the reigning NBA champions Toronto Raptors.
Donegal Racing was founded in 2008 and two years later had its first Breeders’ Cup starter as Paddy O’Prado, a Grade 1 winner on turf and the Kentucky Derby third-place finisher, came in fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The partnership has had at least one Breeders’ Cup starter every year since with the exception of 2013. Keen Ice, who in taking Saratoga’s Travers Stakes became the only horse to defeat Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015, was third in the 2016 Classic after taking fourth in 2015.
Donegal also has won Grade 1 races with Dullahan (who was third in the 2012 Kentucky Derby), Finnegans Wake and Carrick. Unlike some partnerships, where horses are syndicated individually, Donegal partners buy into an entire crop of horses purchased each year so that everyone shares in the success.

Donegal Horses Racing This Weekend (Jan. 12-13, 2019)

Ian Glass, a promising turf horse, seeks his second win in the 9th race Saturday (Jan. 12) at The Fairgrounds in New Orleans.  Weather permitting, the race will run at a mile on the grass at 4:22 pm Central Time.  You can watch the race on TVG on most cable systems and on DirecTV (channel 602).  Ian Glass is trained by Tom Morley and will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan.  The purse on the race is $40,000.

Tiergan, who won his debut race in stunning come-from-behind fashion, will run Sunday in the $100,000 Rego Park Stakes (Race 7) at Aqueduct Race Track in New York.  The race will be run at 6 1/2 furlongs (13/16th of a mile) on dirt at 3:58 pm Eastern Time  Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott, Tiergan will be ridden by Junior Alvarado.  It will be televised on TVG, which can be found on most cable and satellite systems.



Green Fleet finishes 3rd in field of 10 at Santa Anita

Green Fleet, Donegal Racing’s improving three year old, finished a solid third against a promising group of non-winners at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.  Breaking well from the gate from the 10 post, he sat mid-pack on the outside before rallying past all but the top two horses to finish four lengths clear of the rest of the field but well behind the two favorites.

Green Fleet earned $6,600 for his efforts.  He is trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Joe Talamo.

Green Fleet takes on 9 at Santa Anita

Green Fleet, Donegal Racing’s only West Coast-based horse, will run Friday, January 4, in the sixth race at Santa Anita Park.  Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Green Fleet drew the 10 post in a field of 11 in the one mile race for maiden three-year-olds.

Following his less-than-impressive debut at Del Mar on December 1, Green Fleet finished a fast-closing second at 18/1 in a Maiden Special Race at Los Alamitos on December 16.  Ridden by Joe Talamo, Green Fleet is a son of 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes winning sire Afleet Alex.

First post is 12:30 p.m. on Friday with the sixth race scheduled to go off at 3 p.m.