Arlington Park news release
Contact: Brian W. Spencer
CALIFORNIA CHROME, MAIN SEQUENCE, BAL A BALI AMONG 15 GRADE/GROUP I WINNERS NOMINATED TO ARLINGTON MILLION XXXIII
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 5, 2015) – A total of 50 graded and group stakes winners bred or based in 12 countries on six continents – including 15 Grade or Group I winners – are among the 78 nominations for the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million XXXIII, the centerpiece of the International Festival of Racing on August 15 at Arlington International Racecourse that also includes the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D. for turf fillies and mares, Grade I $500,000 Secretariat Stakes for turf 3-year-olds and Grade III $400,000 American St. Leger for turf marathoners.
Headlining this year’s nominations are reigning Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old California Chrome, reigning champion turf horse Main Sequence and Brazilian Triple Crown winner Bal a Bali. California Chrome, last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes victor, has raced twice in 2015 and finished second in both – including a game effort in the Group I $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates. Trained by Art Sherman, the son of Lucky Pulpit is scheduled to compete on June 17 in the Group I $807,106 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting in England. After his European tenure, he is schedule to be shipped to the quarantine facility at Arlington, according to owners Steven Coburn and Perry Martin.
Flaxman Holdings’ Main Sequence was under serious consideration for the 2014 Million by trainer Graham Motion, but instead rerouted to Saratoga after European-based Flaxman flag-holder Smoking Sun shipped stateside for the Chicagoland classic. Main Sequence won four Grade I races in 2014 en route to championship honors and has raced twice in 2015, including a dull seventh last out in the Group I $6,000,000 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan. The son of Aldebaran has since returned to the work tab with two minor works at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.
Fox Hill Farms and Siena Farms’ Bal a Bali – a victor in 12 of 13 career starts and winner of the 2014 Brazilian Triple Crown – made a smashing American debut in the aptly named Grade III $100,000 American Stakes at Santa Anita Park for new trainer Richard Mandella. Purchased privately with the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Million in mind last fall, the son of Put It Back has four Group I victories to his credit ranging from one mile to 1 1/2 miles on the turf.
The Million also attracted the nominations of past winners Hardest Core (2014) and Little Mike (2012), as well as Grade/Group I winners Big Blue Kitten, Ganesh, Il Campione, Jack Milton, Just the Judge, Morandi, Ring Weekend, Seek Again, Winning Prize and 2013 Canadian Horse of the Year Up With the Birds. Other notable nominees include Illinois-bred hero and 2014 American St. Leger winner The Pizza Man, highly regarded Irish-based and Group I-placed Fascinating Rock, impressive 2014 Royal Ascot winner Cannock Chase and streaking California-based multiple Grade II winner Ashleyluvssugar.
A ‘Win and You’re In’ Challenge Race, the Million entitles its victor an entry into the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf, as well as waived pre-entry and entry fees and a travel stipend. In 2012, Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Little Mike completed the Million-Turf double, resulting in an Eclipse Award nomination for champion turf horse. A truly international list, nominees to the 32nd renewal of the Million include horses who were bred or based in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Ireland, Great Britain, France, China, Chile, South Africa, Australia and Germany.
The 26th running of the Beverly D. at 1 3/16-miles on the world-renowned Arlington turf course garnered the most nominations of any Festival event – 86 – which is not surprising considering the second- and third-place finishers from last year – Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Stephanie’s Kitten and Qatar Racing’s Just the Judge – mirrored those results in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf – for which it is a ‘Win and You’re In’ race – at Santa Anita Park 11 weeks later. Stephanie’s Kitten and Just the Judge headline this year’s nominee list along with Team Valor International’s defending champion Euro Charline.
Also nominated are European Group I winners Avenir Certain, Found, Pleascach, Tapestry, Together Forever and We Are, as well as American Grade I winners Ball Dancing, Coffee Clique, Crown Queen, Kitten’s Dumplings, Lady Eli, Personal Diary and Rosalind. Three-time Chilean Group I winner Dacita and two-time South African Group I winner In the Fast Lane make for an impressive 18 Grade or Group I-winning Beverly D. nominees.
The 39th running of the Secretariat, at 1 1/4 grassy miles, has historically featured some of the best sophomore turf horses in the country and was won last year by multiple international Grade/Group I winner Adelaide from the powerful Coolmore operation and trainer Aidan O’Brien. This year’s 76 nominees include Richard Santulli’s Grade III $500,000 Penn Mile winner Force the Pass, as well as Gunpowder Farms’ promising multiple stakes winner Divisidero and Godolphin Racing’s Arlington-based recent stakes victor Crittenden.
The nominee list for the fourth running of the marathon 1 11/16-miles American St. Leger includes Midwest Thoroughbreds’ defending champion The Pizza Man, Grade I-winning globetrotter Sheikhzayedroad, 2014 Belmont Gold Cup winner Charming Kitten, 2013 Kentucky Derby runner-up Golden Soul, aforementioned Argentinian Group I winner Ganesh, improving 2014 third-place finisher Havana Beat and internationally adored Group I winner and three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux.
Please visit the Arlington International Racecourse website for a complete list of International Festival of Racing Nominations: http://www.arlingtonpark.com/horsemen/stakes-nominations.
Arlington International Racecourse – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 77-day meet in 2015 from Friday, May 1 through Saturday, Sept. 26. Arlington International Racecourse, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates ten off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities in Arlington Heights, Aurora, Chicago, Waukegan, Villa Park, Rockford, South Elgin, Hodgkins, McHenry and Orland Hills. Arlington International Racecourse is a proud member of America’s Best Racing. Information on Arlington International Racecourse and Trackside OTB can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arlingtonpark and www.facebook.com/tracksideotb, and on Twitter at @Arlington_Park for the latest happenings, @arlingtonracing for the latest racing news and @tracksideotb for all things pertaining to off-track wagering.