ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) French-based Spirit One won the 26th running of the Arlington Million on Saturday, leading from start to finish for an upset victory over an international field of seven turf horses.
Winning jockey Ioritz Mendizabal raised his arm in triumph after Spirit Open turned back favored Archipenko by three-quarters of a length.
Then the Spanish-born jockey made a dash to the airport almost as soon as Spirit One finished the 1 1/4-mile Grade I stakes in 2:02.17.
Mendizabal was needed in France on Sunday to ride stakes races at Deauville, hence his record-breaking sprint out of Arlington Park.
Spirit One will soon follow, returning to France to recuperate. But trainer Philippe Demercastel said Spirit One probably will be back in the United States for the $3 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.
Spirit One earned an automatic starting berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf by winning the Arlington Million. Demercastel, speaking through an interpreter, said he had heard about this perk given to the winner of the Million but wasn't certain until hearing it confirmed after the race.