|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Four European-based invaders will arrive by air in Chicago this weekend to face five American-based Thoroughbreds in the 20th running of the Grade I Arlington Million at Arlington Park on August 17.
Together, that group of nine was pre-entered for the signature race of the Arlington Park racing season prior to the deadline for the early closing at midnight Friday. Under the rules of pre-entry for the Million, no additional horses will be considered although post position draws for the showcase event will not take place until next Wednesday.
Juddmonte Farms Inc.'s Beat Hollow, generally considered to be the top turf horse in training in the United States at the present time, will head the Arlington Million field. Although a British-bred, the 5-year-old son of Sadler's Wells has campaigned entirely in the United States this year. Out of a Dancing Brave mare, the homebred earned his reputation by winning the Grade I Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day and underlining that score in the Grade I Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day. Beat Hollow is expected to be the choice when the horses go in the gate for the 2002 Arlington Million.
Beat Hollow is conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel and will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey. As a threesome, the Juddmonte-Frankel-Bailey combination teamed up to capture the 2000 Arlington Million with Chester House.
However, sure to receive strong consideration for Arlington Million XX will be Gary A. Tanaka's Sarafan, who has defeated Beat Hollow twice this season. In their last meeting July 28 in Del Mar's Grade I Eddie Read Handicap, Sarafan bested Beat Hollow by a length and a quarter when that rival was trapped along the rail. But last March 2 in New Orleans in the Fair Grounds' Grade II Explosive Bid Handicap, Sarafan was up to collar Beat Hollow by a neck with a bold late rush.
Sarafan is trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Neil Drysdale, who has saddled five Arlington Million starters but has yet to reach the winner's circle. Sarafan, an altered son of Lear Fan out of a Caro mare, will be ridden by Corey Nakatani in the Million.
Well regarded among the European invaders should be Frau Carde Ostermann-Richter's Paolini. The German-bred is trained by Andreas Wohler and will be ridden by Austrian jockey Andreas Suborics. Together that tandem captured the 2001 Arlington Million with the German-bred Silvano, owned by Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof. Paolini's best race this year came May 11 in the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup where he was second by two lengths to multiple stakes winner Grandera in that third leg of the World Series Racing Championship.
The Arlington Million is the fifth leg of the World Series Racing Championship (WSRC), a 14-race series contested on four continents. This year, the series will return to Arlington Park October 26 for the Grade I John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf and Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic as part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. It will be the first time in history that any single racecourse will host three legs of the WSRC in the same year.
Another European invader for the Arlington Million is Roldvale Ltd.'s Freefourinternet, who finished fifth behind Grandera last time in the Group I Prince of Wales June 19 during the Royal Ascot meeting. In the Prince of Wales, Freefourinternet suffered traffic problems a quarter of mile from the wire. Previously, the Kentucky-bred son of Tabasco Cat had won the listed Huxley Stakes at Chester.
Peter Willmott's Cheshire, a British-bred who has campaigned exclusively in France, won the Group III Grand Prix de Vichy at the Vichy course in his last trip to the post July 24. On June 1, he was sixth at Chantilly, beaten only two and a half lengths for all of it despite a troubled trip and was eighth in the Group III Prix Perth at Saint-Cloud in his final start last year. Trainer John Hammond, who saddled Dear Doctor to win the 1992 Arlington Million, is the conditioner of Cheshire, who will be ridden by Japanese riding sensation Yutaka Take.
Perhaps the most interesting European invader for next week's Arlington Million is the British-bred Ulundi, owned by David Heath. Several of the 11 wins in Ulundi's 27-race career have come over the hurdles, but the son of Rainbow Quest out of a Lyphard mare appears equally accomplished on the flat. In his most recent effort on June 21 during the Royal Ascot meeting, Ulundi won the Wolferton Rated Handicap in his first start of the year despite shouldering the top impost of 133 pounds. Paul Webber trains and Richard Hughes has been engaged as the jockey.
Arthur I. Appleton's Forbidden Apple, a Florida-bred son of Pleasant Colony out of Northfields mare, is another Arlington Million projected starter among the American representatives. The homebred 7-year-old was most recently third, beaten only a neck for all of it in the Grade II Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga on July 26. Before that Forbidden Apple was second, beaten two lengths by Beat Hollow in the Manhattan Handicap June 8. French-born but American-based Christophe Clement is the trainer.
Gary A. Tanaka's Falcon Flight, although pre-entered Friday in the Arlington Million, remains as a possible starter pending a final decision by trainer Don Burke II in the middle of next week. Falcon Flight won the Grade III Arlington Handicap, final local prep for the Arlington Million, in his last start July 27 on Million Preview Day. He also won the Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap at Arlington Park last year. No Arlington Handicap winner or Stars and Stripes winner has captured the Arlington Million to date. Should Falcon Flight go postward in Arlington Million XX, Arlington's leading rider and defending jockey champion Rene Douglas is scheduled to handle the reins.
Team Block's Mystery Giver is another who was pre-entered for Arlington Million XX, although a final decision on his status has not been made. Mystery Giver, hero of the $90,450 Cardinal Handicap on Prairie State Festival Day June 22, suffered from an unfortunate trip in the Arlington Handicap last time and finished fifth, but was only beaten a length and a quarter for all the money. Mystery Giver is the local hope for this year's Arlington Million. He was bred by David and Patricia Block in Illinois, is trained by their son Chris, and would probably be ridden by Robby Albarado, 1996 jockey champion at Arlington.
Twenty thousand baseball caps with the Arlington Park logo will be given away at Arlington Park on August 17 to the first 20,000 paid admissions at Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing.
Arlington's one-day International Festival of Racing, centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season, includes the Grade I Arlington Million, Grade I Beverly D. and Grade I Secretariat on that third Saturday in August.
The baseball cap giveaway, sponsored by WMAQ-TV Channel 5, will include the NBC peacock on the back as well as the Arlington Park logo.
Ten of the 20,000 baseball caps given away on Arlington Million Day will have wagering vouchers worth $1,000 placed inside.
On August 15, 1967, Arlington Park first opened its seven and a half-furlong inner turf course. Gabby Abby won the first race over the new course. Arlington maintained two distinct turf courses from 1967-1987. In 1989, the two courses were combined into one course with a moveable rail, allowing more flexibility in the use of the course.
On August 15, 1981, for the first time in Illinois history, wagering is offered on an out-of-state event when Arlington simulcast the Grade I Travers Stakes from Saratoga. Willow Hour was the winner of the mid-summer derby that year.
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