Bricks and Mortar has added an Arlington Million championship to his magical 2019 campaign.
The 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway chased down pace-setter Bandua and Magic Wand in the final furlong Saturday to win the Grade 1 turf showcase at Arlington Park.
Bricks and Mortar, the number one ranked horse in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll, has won six races in a row since his December 2018 return off a 14-month layoff.
The Chad Brown trainee owns five wins this season, four of which are in Grade 1. With his Arlington Million victory, Bricks and Mortar, clinched a “Win and You’re In” berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf, scheduled for November 2 at Santa Anita Park.
Bandua, winner of the local Arlington Handicap (G3) prep race last month, led the 1 ¼-mile event Saturday through fractions of :24.45, :48.65 and 1:12.94.
As Magic Wand moved into position to challenge Bandua, Bricks and Mortar was stuck behind a wall of horses in the far turn.
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr finally found a seam at the top of the stretch. Bricks and Mortar bounded home from there to cross in 1:59.44.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly Magic Wand finished second to Bricks and Mortar, just as she did Jan. 26 in the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream Park.
Bandua crossed third for trainer Jack Sisterson.
Campaigned by Klaravich Stables Inc and William Lawrence, Bricks and Mortar paid $$3 to win as the 1-2 favourite.
Bricks and Mortar is the sixth runner to clinch a Breeders’ Cup Turf “Win and You’re In” berth, joining Il Mercato (Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini, San Isidro Racecourse), George Washington (Grande Premio Brasil, Hipódromo da Gávea), Crystal Ocean (Prince of Wales's Stakes, Ascot), Lys Gracieux (Takarazuka Kinen, Hanshin Racecourse) and Enable (King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ascot).
Five Breeders’ Cup Turf qualifiers remain: the Del Mar Handicap (Aug 17, Del Mar), Sword Dancer (Aug 24, Saratoga), Jockey Club Derby (Sept 7, Belmont Park), QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes (Sept 14, Leopardstown) and Qatar Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe (Oct 6, Paris Longchamp).