Don’t have much interest in US racing, but I notice tonight’s Arlington Million has again attracted a predictably second-rate field; last year’s winner – the admirable but limited Mondialiste – would probably be close to favourite if he was running again this time round.
It’s very en vogue to prefix those you have disdain for with the soubriquet ‘Poundland’ – politicians, sportsmen, the hill at Epsom etc – but the association may be more literal in Arlington’s case. The trouble with naming your race ‘The Million’ (and sticking to that costing) is that it’s difficult to up the ante when inflation catches up with you, although historically Newmarket managed it with the 1000/2000 Guineas I suppose! What was a stunning prize in 1981 is more commonplace nowadays and the big talent goes elsewhere. Certainly, the John Henry days are over.
Poundland themselves are stuck with decreasing bang-for-your-buck even though they have prospered through these low-inflationary times. Those choccy bars will keep getting smaller until the quantum leap to TwoPoundLand (a la The National Lottery) becomes inevitable.
Here’s hoping Permian pounds the opposition into the ground in the Secretariat Stakes earlier on in the card. I can’t think of a horse in training that deserves a Group/Grade 1 win more.
To be fair the Arlington Million still attracts plenty of quality, it’s always supported by European trainers (notably O’Brien) and the undercard is always worth watching. A million dollars is still an awful lot even today.
I really liked that tough little horse. I love racing but really hate that this happens- to any horse; but you remember the ones that you like and admire like Permian. Sad that he isn’t coming home.
Hope Buick is OK. Nothing else to say really. Goodbye little warrior.