By John Manley
Jayeff B Stable’s Ciro responded to a well-timed move by Michael Kinane to win the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington by a length and a half over King Cugat on Saturday. The victory was the first Grade I victory in America for trainer Aidan O’Brien.
Ciro, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Woodman out of the Nijinsky mare Gioconda, had never been worse than second in the four outings in which Kinane had ridden him. He was never better than third with other partners, including the Irish Derby, in which he was third with George Duffield in the saddle.
The winner broke alertly from the eighth and outside post, pressing the early pace in this 10-furlong grass event for 3-year-olds. He took back around the clubhouse turn to move toward the rail and save ground, staying a couple lengths off the leaders throughout the run down the backside and into the far turn.
As the heavily favored King Cugat swept past on the outside, Kinane moved Ciro off the rail rounding into the straight. The pair was all out to wear down the favorite, under Jerry Bailey. Ciro covered the 10 furlongs over a yielding lawn in 2:01.64. Of more importance to his backers was the $11.60 tote payout.
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