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Arlington Park Road To The Million

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


For the second straight summer, Million Preview Day returns to Arlington Park this Saturday to provide Arlington Million and Beverly D. hopefuls with a prep race over the world famous grass course at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval.

The tandem of preps has been strategically placed three weeks before Arlington's one-day International Festival of Racing on August 17, and along with Arlington's Round Table, Million Preview Day's stakes offer purses of a half-million dollars.

In advance of the 20th running of the Grade I Arlington Million on the third Saturday in August, Arlington offers the Grade III Arlington Handicap at that same mile and a quarter distance over the local lawn Saturday.

In preparation for the International Festival of Racing's Grade I Beverly D., the sister race to the Arlington Million that carries a $700,000 purse, Arlington will present the Grade III Modesty Handicap Saturday at a mile and three-sixteenths on the turf.

The Grade I Secretariat, final leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple restricted to 3-year-olds and also part of the International Festival in August, had its final preview Sunday with Grade II American Derby. The first three finishers in the second leg of the Mid-America Triple all came out of Sunday's race in good order and all are expected back for the Secretariat.

Starlex Farm's Private Son, second by a neck in the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf on July 6, is among eight or nine older turf stakes stars whose connections are considering the Arlington Handicap at this time.

British-bred National Anthem, owned by Richard L. Duchossois and conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, recently arrived from Southern California and breezed five furlongs on the Arlington lawn Monday in 1:06 3/5 in preparation for Saturday's Arlington 'Cap.

Team Block's Mystery Giver, hero of the $90,450 Cardinal Handicap here June 22, is another considered likely for the Arlington Handicap. Last February 6, Mystery Giver won the $100,000 Woodchopper Handicap in New Orleans.

French-bred Falcon Flight, owned by Gary A. Tanaka and winner of the Stars and Stripes here in 2001, is expected to make his seasonal bow in Saturday's Arlington 'Cap. He has been away from the races since a fifth-place finish in last September's Grade I Canadian International at Woodbine.

Others likely in Saturday's Arlington Million prep include Alan Drey's Bahroba, Gainsborough Farm Inc.'s Catchy Word, Ron Isbell Jr.'s Gretchen's Star, and Buckram Oak Farm's Tubrok. Oak Cliff Stable's Grampas is considered a possible starter in Saturday's test.

In other updates to the 20th running of the Arlington Million, centerpiece of the Chicago racing season, Wes Fitzpatrick's Continental Red was second and Edmund A. Gann's Lord Flasheart was third in Sunday's Grade II Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park. Both are Arlington Million nominees.

Pacific Heritage Farm's Grammarian, surprise winner of the Sunset, is not nominated to the Arlington Million and is now being considered for Australia's Group I Melbourne Cup.

In Canada on Sunday, Sam-Son Farm's Quiet Resolve finished second by a head in the Grade II Chinese Cultural Center Stakes. That Arlington Million nominee finished 10th in last year's Arlington Million.

Eight fillies and mares are considered probable at this time for Saturday's Modesty Handicap, with another four distaffers listed as possible.

Team Block's Ioya Two, defending champion in the Modesty, heads the group of those being pointed for the final local prep for the Beverly D. this Saturday. The Lord At War filly was most recently fourth in the $87,150 Lincoln Heritage Handicap here June 22.

Irish-bred Innit, owned by Richard L. Duchossois, breezed five furlongs on the Arlington grass Monday in 1:06 3/5 in preparation for Saturday's Modesty. Innit was most recently a good fourth in the Grade III Royal Heroine at Hollywood Park July 6.

Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Lady of Peace, heroine of the $45,000 Possibly Perfect Stakes here July 4 when best by a neck, is another mare being pointed for the Modesty. Like Ioya Two, she is a daughter of Lord At War.

Others likely for the Modesty include Frederick Seitz's Apasionata Sonata, Mary Lou Whitney Stables' Cozy Island, Martyn Burke's Esyoueffcee, and William S. Farish's Quick Tip.

Others considered possible for the Modesty include Tanaka's Histoire Sainte; B. Wayne Hughes' Blue Moon; William Lloyd, Gerald Belpedio & Sam Belpedio's Ellie's Rose and Lael Stables' Sweetest Thing.

In Sunday's American Derby at Arlington, Michael Jarvis, Gary Margolis et al.'s Mananan McLir, Moyglare Stud's Jazz Beat and Three Kings Stable's Extra Check, the first three finishers respectively, all came out of the race in good order and all are expected to return in the Secretariat.

In other Secretariat developments, Thomas Nichols' Century City, the winner of the Group II Goffs International Stakes at The Curragh July 13, is scheduled to arrive in New York in August with the Secretariat under consideration if plans for the Grade I Travers at Saratoga don't progress.

In addition to the Arlington Handicap Saturday on Million Preview Day, other weekend Million stepping stones include the Group I King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, sponsored by The De Beers Group, at Ascot Racecourse in Great Britain.

That British race is the fourth leg of the World Series Racing Championship (WSRC), with the Arlington Million serving as the fifth leg. The WSRC is 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 the 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.

Other Arlington Million preps this weekend are Friday's Grade II Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga, and Saturday's Grade I Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar.

Other Beverly D. preps this Saturday, in addition to the Modesty, include the Grade I Diana Handicap at Saratoga and the Grade I John C. Mabee Ramona Handicap at Del Mar.

Arlington Park, the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill., runs a 107-day meet in 2002 from Wednesday, June 5 to Sunday, Oct. 27. Arlington Park, which merged with Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN) in September 2000, also operates five off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities -- "Trackside" Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Quad City Downs (East Moline), Chicago, Rockford and Waukegan. For further information on Arlington Park, visit our website at www.arlingtonpark.com.

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