|Arlington Park Barn Notes 8/6/03
In today's notes:
Godolphin Racing's Sulamani, winner of the Grade I Dubai Sheema Classic this spring and the Group I Prix du Jockey-Club last season, is now slated to arrive on a private equine charter Sunday to contest the showcase event of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season: the 21st running of Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 16.
Adding to the attraction of Sulamani in the Arlington Million is the fact that the Arlington Park centerpiece could provide Godolphin with its 100th grade or group I winner worldwide during the 10th anniversary year of its unprecedented successful operation.
Sulamani finished second in his most recent trip to the post in the Group I King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot July 26, third leg of the World Series of Racing Championship.
The Arlington Million is the fourth leg of this year's World Series of Racing, which announced a partnership with Rolls Royce Motor Cars Ltd. shortly before the recent Ascot race.
Before his runner-up finish at Ascot, Sulamani had finished fourth in the Group I Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, his only other start since his Dubai outing in March.
In addition to his French Derby win last year, Sulamani was second in the Group I Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe while still racing in the silks of the Niarchos family. The 4-year-old son of Hernando has won five of nine lifetime starts and earned $2,527,245 in his career.
Godolphin, who purchased Sulamani following the Arc last October, has been stuck on the 99-win mark in Thoroughbred racing's top bracket for more than six weeks. Most recently, Godolphin's Highdown was second in the Group I Grosser Dallmayr Preis-Bayerisches Zuchtrennen in Germany Aug. 3. Before that, Godolphin's Hi Dubai got to the front in the Group I Nassau Stakes at Goodwood Aug. 2 but she then weakened to finish fourth. Earlier in the Goodwood meeting, Godolphin's Moon Ballad finished fifth in the Group I Sussex Stakes.
H R H Prince A A Faisel's Olden Times, a top European candidate for the Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 16, has now been confirmed for the 21st running of Arlington Park's signature event and will be added to the manifest of an Aug. 11 international equine charter to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Winner of the Group I Prix Jean Prat as a sophomore, Olden Times made only one start as a 4-year-old due to injury, but seems to have returned to top form this season.
In his most recent trip to the post, Olden Times was fourth in the Group I Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown July 5, beaten a head for the third spot by Kaieteur, another Arlington Million candidate who races in the silks of Mrs. Susan McCarthy. Previously, Olden Times was also fourth in the Group I Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot June 18, and won the Group III Earl of Sefton at Newmarket going nine furlongs in his seasonal bow.
Trained by John Dunlop, Olden Times has been recently sold for breeding purposes to Plantation Stud, a transfer that had complicated his projected start in the Arlington Million until this week.
European trainer Brian Meehan, Irish-born but British-based, projected positive thoughts when reached by telephone at his English yard Wednesday morning concerning Mrs. Susan McCarthy's Kaieteur. That 4-year-old Kentucky-bred has an upcoming transatlantic journey scheduled for arrival Friday in order to compete in the 21st running of the Grade I Arlington Million Aug. 16.
Meehan, familiar to Chicago Thoroughbred racing fans for bringing Freeforinternet from Great Britain to finish eighth in last year's Arlington Million, was asked when he first considered Kaieteur for this year's renewal of Arlington's showcase event.
"Probably, when we bought him as a yearling," said Meehan. "He's by Marlin, who won the Million in 1997, and we really think he fits the bill. He's in good shape, now. He ran very well when he was third in that last start in the (Group I) Coral-Eclipse (July 5) and he might have caught them if the race had been a little longer.
"In his start before that (when sixth in the Group I Prince of Wales's Stakes June 18), he was coming off a long layoff so we were pleased enough with that run as well," Meehan said.
"However, he was absolutely awesome when he won the (Group I) Bayerisches Zuchtrennen last year beating older horses as a 3-year-old," Meehan said, "and that was on a course with left-handed turns. My sister-in-law (and assistant) Jane Alexander will travel with the horse this week," Meehan concluded, "and I'll probably come along five or six days later."
European-based Secretariat nominees that have now been eliminated from the list of probable starters include Michael Tabor's Magistretti, Robert E. Sangster's Private Charter and Abdullah Saeed BelHab's Delsarte, as well as American-based Toccet, owned by Daniel M. Borislow.
Trainer Richard Hazelton and jockey Carlos Silva combined their talents for two winners on Sunday's program, taking the fifth with Asiel Stable's Kemp and returning to the winner's circle after the seventh with Suburban Racing Stable's Oza.
Groom of the Week this week is Susana Diaz of the Charlie Livesay stable.
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