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Contact: Graham Ross
SULAMANI, PAOLINI, KAIETEUR AMONG 97 ARLINGTON MILLION NOMINEES; CHICAGO'S SHOWCASE RACE RUN AUG. 14 ALSO ATTRACTS METEOR STORM
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 9, 2004) -- Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Sulamani, the Arlington Million's defending champion following the disqualification of the first horse under the wire last year, heads a group of 97 internationally prominent Thoroughbreds nominated to this summer's Aug. 14 renewal of Arlington Park's Grade I grass test: the traditional signature event of the Chicago racing season.
The 22nd Arlington Million, which annually attracts the best grass horses throughout the world, will be run at its classic mile and a quarter distance as one of three Grade I event that make up Arlington Park's one-day International Festival of Racing this summer. Also run that afternoon over the Arlington lawn will be the 15th running of the $750,000 Beverly D. for fillies and mares, and the 28th running of the $400,000 Secretariat, restricted to 3-year-olds of international caliber.
Should Sulamani's connections choose to participate in Arlington Million XXII, the 5-year-old Irish-bred could become the first back-to-back Arlington Million winner in history. The legendary John Henry is the only two-time Million winner to date, capturing the inaugural running in 1981 and repeating that winning effort three years later during the summer of 1984. John Henry also finished second in 1983's Arlington Million.
Following last year's Arlington Million, Sulamani went to Belmont Park and captured the Grade I Turf Classic Invitational Sept. 27, but finished fifth in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita Oct. 25 after clipping heels with a rival.
Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Sulamani was scheduled to make his first start of the year in Ireland's Group I Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh May 23, but was withdrawn due to discovery of a subcutaneous infection in the horse's left front fetlock.
British-bred Meteor Storm, hero of the Belmont Park's Grade I Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day June 5, is another highly regarded nominee to Arlington Million XXII. The Horizon Stable color bearer was a length and a quarter the best when capturing the Manhattan, run at the Million's mile and a quarter distance over the Belmont turf course.
Earlier this year Meteor Storm, conditioned by Wally Dollase, won Santa Anita's grassy Grade II San Luis Rey Handicap at a mile and a half March 20 and the Grade II San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap at a mile and three-quarters April 18.
Mrs. Carde Ostermann-Richter's Paolini and Mrs. Susan McCarthy's Kaieteur, who dead-heated for the third position under the wire in last year's Arlington Million but were subsequently improved to second following the disqualification, have both been nominated to the Million again this year.
German-bred Paolini, also a contestant in the 2002 Arlington Million when beaten less than a length for all of it, began his 2004 campaign with a dead-heat for the win in the United Arab Emirates' Grade I Dubai Duty Free at Nad al Sheba March 27. The globe trotting 7-year-old was subsequently unplaced in Hong Kong's Group I Audemars Piquet Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin and the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup at the Singapore Turf Club.
The Hong Kong and Singapore races were the first two legs of the 2004 World Series Racing Championship. Arlington Million XXII will be the fourth leg in that Series.
Kaieteur, Kentucky-bred but European based, was third in Great Britain's Group III Tote Select Stakes at Goodwood and seventh in the Group I Emirates Airlines Champion Stakes at Newmarket last year following the Arlington Million. In his only start in 2004, the son of 1997 Arlington Million champion Marlin, was seventh in England's Group III Betfair.com Brigadier Gerard at Sandown June 1.
Arlington Park, the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill., is running a 96-day meet in 2004 from Friday, May 14 through Sunday, Sept. 19. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities - Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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