|Arlington Park Road To The Million
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
SARAFAN, FALCON FLIGHT, PAOLINI ALL NOW IN ARLINGTON MILLION MIX
Early 2002 Arlington Million favorite Beat Hollow was upset in Southern California on Sunday to headline the list of significant developments to the 20th running of the Arlington Million August 17.
However, numerous other updates to Arlington Park's one-day International Festival of Racing on that day occurred throughout the United States and Europe during the last weekend in July as the traditional centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season takes firmer form.
The Arlington Million, the $700,000 Beverly D., and the $400,000 Secretariat are the three Grade I events that make up the International Festival of Racing now less than three weeks away. From California to New York, and more specifically in Chicago during Arlington Park's Million Preview Day Saturday, American campaigners possible for the Festival continued to sort themselves out.
Meanwhile, the offices of the International Racing Bureau have provided tentative plans for the German-bred Paolini, a European candidate considered likely for the Million at this time.
But the top story came out of Southern California late Sunday, when Gary A. Tanaka's Sarafan upset Juddmonte Farms' Beat Hollow by a length and a quarter in the Grade I Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar.
Sarafan, who is the only horse to have defeated Beat Hollow in the United States to date, was accomplishing that feat a second time Sunday. Last March 24 in the Grade II Explosive Bid Handicap in New Orleans, Sarafan bested Beat Hollow by a neck.
But in the Grade I Woodford Reserve on Kentucky Derby Day, May 4, and again in the Grade I Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day, June 8, the British-bred Beat Hollow had clearly dominated his rivals to earn the early favorite's mantle for the Arlington Million.
A 5-year-old entire son of Sadler's Wells out of a Dancing Brave mare, Beat Hollow was trapped along the rail in the upper stretch of Sunday's run, and came outside late to gain the place position by a neck.
Sarafan, also a 5-year-old, is an altered son of Lear Fan and out of a Caro mare, and was winning for the first time since the Explosive Bid. In his previous start the Kentucky-bred had finished third by three-quarters of a length when brushed in the stretch run of Monmouth Park's Grade I United Nations Handicap July 6. Before that he had been fourth, beaten two and a half lengths, when encountering traffic problems in the Hollywood Park's Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap June 15.
At this time, the Arlington Million is expected to provide another rematch between the top two finishers in Sunday's Eddie Read.
Last Friday at Saratoga, expected Million starter Forbidden Apple, owned by Arthur I. Appleton, finished third in the Grade II Bernard Baruch Handicap, beaten a neck for all of it. Other American-based candidates considered likely for the Arlington Million include Ralph E. & Aury Todd's The Tin Man, winner of the Grade II American Handicap at Hollywood Park July 4, and Red Baron's Barn LLC's Suances, coming off a fourth-place finish in the United Nations.
An international candidate considered likely for the Arlington Million at this time is Frau Carde Ostermann-Richter's Paolini, who was the runner-up in the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup May 11 at the Singapore Turf Club. That 10-furlong event was the second leg in the 2002 World Series Racing Championship. The Arlington Million is the fifth leg of that 14-race series contested on four continents.
Paolini is trained by Andreas Wohler, who saddled Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof's Silvano to win last year's Arlington Million. Tentative plans have Paolini scheduled to leave for Chicago on a flight out of Frankfurt, Germany, August 11.
Luis A. Taunay's Redattore, third in Sunday's Eddie Read, is also an Arlington Million nominee and considered a possible starter. The Brazilian-bred finished third in the 2001 Arlington Million.
However, the ubiquitous Tanaka is also the owner of Falcon Flight, who won Saturday's Grade III Arlington Handicap by a neck at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval. The Arlington Handicap is the final local prep for the Arlington Million.
"If he comes out of this race good...I'll consider the Million," said Falcon Flight's trainer Donald Burke II during winner's circle ceremonies Saturday.
Along with Falcon Flight, Tom Tatham's Kappa King, the runner-up in Saturday's Arlington Handicap, are considered possible starters in the Million.
The most significant recent developments to the Beverly D., sister race to the Arlington Million, occurred locally in Saturday's Grade III Modesty Handicap. Edouard de Rothschild's England's Legend, heroine of last summer's Beverly D., took down winning honors in the final local prep for Arlington's premier distaffer event, winning by two lengths in gate to wire fashion.
England's Legend, who shipped to Saratoga the day after her local score, is expected to return to Arlington to defend her championship in the Beverly D.
At Del Mar on Saturday, Janis R. Whitman's Affluent prompted the pace and then took command in the final strides to capture the Grade I John C. Mabee Ramona Handicap by a neck from the Irish-bred Golden Apples, another Tanaka colorbearer.
Both are considered probable Beverly D. starters, as is Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Astra, who won the Grade I Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park June 29 after failing as the odds-on choice in last year's Beverly D.
Juddmonte Farms' Tates Creek, victress by a nose in last Friday's Grade II Diana Handicap at Saratoga, is considered a possibility for the Beverly D. at this time, as is Green Hill Farms Inc.'s Voodoo Dancer, runner-up in that test.
In recent developments to the Grade I Secretariat, the first three finishers in Arlington's Grade II American Derby July 21 remain probable for the third and final leg of the Mid-America Triple.
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 in the middle leg of the Triple, are all expected to renew their rivalry.
Jazz Beat, the Irish-bred who returned to the Emerald Isle following the American Derby, is due back on a flight tentatively scheduled out of Amsterdam August 11. As he did prior to the American Derby, Jazz Beat would be boxed by ferry from Ireland to England, and from England to the Continent prior to that flight.
Another European-based candidate considered possible for the Secretariat is H. H. Aga Khan's Khalkevi, winner of the Group I Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris June 23 at Longchamp.
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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