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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Arlington Million XXV (GI)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 8, 2007) – The Tin Man, defending champion in the Grade I Arlington Million, will try to become the first horse in Arlington Park history to win its showcase race in back-to-back renewals on Saturday, but will have to overcome a bullish “Market” to do it.

Rising young star After Market, a 4-year-old colt owned by Pam and Martin Wygod, is expected to be favored in Saturday’s silver anniversary edition of the Arlington Million following three straight graded stakes wins in California.

Ralph and Aury Todd’s The Tin Man – the old man in the field as a 9-year-old – may be the tepid second choice in the wagering.

That’s because a three-horse contingent of strong European invaders, plus another suddenly sensational American star, are among eight expected starters in the premier event of Chicago’s Thoroughbred racing season.

After Market won Southern California’s Grade I Eddie Read Handicap on July 22 at Del Mar with a dominant performance, and took Hollywood’s Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap June 9 in similar fashion.

The Tin Man returned from an eight-month layoff to win Hollywood’s Grade I Shoemaker Mile May 28, but was defeated by a head in that same oval’s Grade II American Invitational Handicap June 30.

And the “Sun” also rises in Arlington Million XXV. A third American Million threat is expected to come from Aaron and Marie Jones’ Sunriver, undefeated in two starts on turf, including Belmont Park’s Grade II Bowling Green Handicap last time July 15. He also finished third in the Grade I Belmont Stakes and the Grade I Florida Derby as a sophomore last season.

However, the three European Million representatives have also each crossed the Atlantic with a win in the 25th running of the Million on their minds.

Javier Martinez Salmean’s Doctor Dino, a French-bred globetrotter, was third in Singapore’s Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup in his last start May 20 behind Japan’s top two horses, and was also third behind leading Europeans Dylan Thomas and Irish Wells in France’s Group I Prix Ganay at Longchamp April 29.

His Highness the Aga Khan Studs Ltd.’s Danak, an Irish-bred, was fourth in Ireland’s Group I Tattersalls Gold Cup at last asking May 27, but captured the Group III Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown by two lengths on May 13.

Also in from Europe for Chicago’s showcase race is Gary Tanaka’s Pressing, fifth when facing Europe’s top-tiered Thoroughbreds in the Group I Prince of Wales’s Stakes June 20 during the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting. Prior to Royal Ascot, Pressing finished second by a half-length in Italy’s Group I Presidente della Repubblica May 13 and had won the Group III Premio Ambrosiano before that on April 22 at San Siro.

Canadian invader Jambalaya, owned by Kingfield Farms, finished third by two lengths in Woodbine’s Grade II Northern Dancer Stakes at last asking July 22, and was third, beaten a head for all of it in the Grade II King Edward Stakes July 2 at that same Ontario oval.

Completing the field for the silver running of the Arlington Million is Fab Oak Stable, Bobby Hurley and John Goldthorpe’s Stream Cat – third beaten less than a length last time in Arlington Park’s Grade III Stars and Stripes Turf on July 4.

Riding assignments for Saturday’s Arlington Million are as follows: After Market, Alex Solis; The Tin Man, Victor Espinoza; Sunriver, Garrett Gomez; Doctor Dino, John Murtagh; Danak, Mick Kinane; Pressing, David Flores; Jambalaya, Robby Albarado; and Stream Cat, Julien Leparoux.

Also part of the big picture for Arlington Million XXV is the inaugural “Breeders’ Cup Challenge,” highlighted by its “Win and You’re In” format. The winner of the Arlington Million (as well as the winner of Saturday’s $400,000 Secretariat Stakes) will automatically qualify to run in the Grade I John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf on Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park.

Similarly, the heroine of Saturday’s $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes as the third Grade I event in Arlington’s highlighted one-day International Festival of Racing, will be an automatic qualifier for the Grade I Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on the last Saturday in October.

Saturday’s Arlington Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat Stakes are the only Grade I events offered in Illinois on an annual basis.

However, also scheduled this Saturday – for the first time as part of Arlington’s annual Festival – is the 20th renewal of the $100,000 Sea o’ Erin Mile, for 3-year-olds and up over Arlington’s world famous turf course.

Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 94-day meet in 2007 from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, Sept. 16. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates nine off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry and The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at

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