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Arlington Park Road To The Million

Contact: Graham Ross (847) 385-7500 ext. 7319


Lynn & Michael Shanley's Whitmore's Conn, the longshot who upset Saturday's Grade II Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park by almost two lengths, is nominated to the 20th running of the Grade I Arlington Million, now less than five weeks away on August 17 at Arlington Park.

Returning a win price of $31.80, Whitmore's Conn upset the favored Staging Post, owned by Juddmonte Farms Inc. That son of Pleasant Colony, who had been away from the races since his second-place effort in the Grade I San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap April 21, is also an Arlington Million nominee.

Whitmore's Conn, a Kris S. colt trained by Randy Schulhofer, commenced a rally while racing well out from the inside turning for home in the mile and three-eighths test and drew clear late for a length and three-quarter score.

"It was a big step up today," said Schulhofer following the Bowling Green. "He's matured, as a lot of Kris S.'s will do when they get older."

Although winless in stakes company prior to his Bowling Green score, Whitmore's Conn now has five wins, three seconds and four thirds in 18 career starts. His career earnings total $277,690.

Staging Post, trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bobby Frankel, is a product of the same owner-trainer tandem that captured the Arlington Million two years ago with Chester House. In the San Juan Capistrano at a mile and three-quarters, Staging Post made the lead at the furlong marker but could not stay with the winner late.

The Arlington Million is at a mile and a quarter over Arlington's world famous turf course, and is one of three Grade I turf tests offered as part of Arlington's International Festival of Racing on the third Saturday in August. Also contested that afternoon are the $700,000 Beverly D., restricted to the best grass-favoring fillies and mares throughout the world, and the $400,000 Secretariat, restricted to 3-year-olds of international stature in lawn competition.

The Arlington Million is also 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.

The fourth leg of this year's World Series -- the Group I King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, sponsored by The De Beers Group -- will be contested July 27 at Ascot Racecourse. Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Sakhee, one of nine late nominations to the Arlington Million, is being pointed toward that British grass test at 12 furlongs.

Sakhee, winner of the Group I Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (seventh leg of the 2001 World Series), was second by a nose in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park last year (10th leg). The entire son of Bahri out of the Sadler's Wells mare Thawakib presently has four points in the 2002 series following his third place finish in the Grade I Dubai World Cup (first leg of the 2002 World Series).

Of the nine latest Arlington Million nominations, which closed July 10, five sport the royal blue silks of Godolphin, including the Irish-bred Grandera. That 4-year-old son of Grand Lodge most recently won the Group I Prince of Wales Stakes during the Royal Ascot meeting June 19, but captured the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup (third leg of the 2002 World Series) on May 11 at the Singapore Turf Club.

Juddmonte Farms Inc.'s Banks Hill, five and a half length victress in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf last year when still a sophomore, is one of five late nominations to the mile and a three-sixteenths Beverly D. Late nominations to the sister race to the Arlington Million also closed July 10.

In her most recent trip to the post, the British-bred daughter of Danehill finished third in the Prince of Wales against males, five and three-quarter lengths behind Grandera.

Meanwhile, July 11 at Hollywood Park, Juddmonte's Beat Hollow worked six furlongs in 1:14 in preparation for a start in the Grade I Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar July 28. The British-bred Beat Hollow is considered the early favorite among Arlington Million candidates based in the United States. The son of Sadler's Wells, another Bobby Frankel trainee, captured the Grade I Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park in his last start Belmont Stakes Day June 9. Five weeks earlier, he was the hero of the Grade I Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.

In updates to the 26th running of the Secretariat Stakes, Juddmonte's Chiselling, a Secretariat nominee, captured Saturday's Grade III Lexington Stakes at Belmont Park.

Thomas Nichols' Century City won the Group II Goffs International Stakes at The Curragh last Saturday. Following that Irish event, trainer Aidan O'Brien indicated that the Danzig colt is likely to ship to Chicago for the Secretariat.

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