|Arlington Park Road To The Million
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
FIVE EUROPEAN CAMPAIGNERS READY TO INVADE ARLINGTON MILLION XX
Two British-breds, an Irish-bred, an expatriated Kentucky-bred and a second successive German-bred are likely to be coming to America for the 20th running of the Grade I Arlington Million, now less than a fortnight away on August 17.
No trainer or jockey has ever won back-to-back renewals of the traditional showcase event of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season, but German conditioner Andreas Wohler and Austrian jockey Andreas Suborics could change that shortly.
One year after saddling 2001 Million winner Silvano, owned by Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof, Wohler is expected to bring another German-bred -- Frau Carde Ostermann-Richter's Paolini -- for Arlington Million XX.
Paolini disappointed in his last trip to the post, well behind the winning Grandera, in the Group I Prince of Wales at Royal Ascot June 19 but had a troubled trip in that mile and a quarter test. The 4-year-old son of Lando was a good second behind that same rival in the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup May 11 at the Singapore Turf Club. Paolini earned six points with his Singapore second, third leg in the World Series of Racing (WSRC) this season, and could garner an additional 12 points with a win in the Arlington Million.
The Arlington Million is the fifth leg of the 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.
Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Tobougg, who won the Group I Darley Dewhurst Stakes in England and the Group I Prix de la Salamandre when undefeated as a juvenile two years ago, is considered a probable starter in the Arlington Million at this time. Although he failed to win as a sophomore, the 4-year-old by Barathea was third in the Group I Epsom Derby won by Galileo and was then second by a neck in the Group I Champion Stakes won by Nayef. He closed out his 3-year-old season when second by a head in the final leg of the 2001 WSRC, the Group I Hong Kong Cup won by Agnes Digital.
Another European-based campaigner likely for the Arlington Million is the Kentucky-bred Freefourinternet, owned by Roldvale, Ltd., and trained by Brian Meehan. The 4-year-old son of 1994 Preakness and Belmont winner Tabasco Cat was fifth in the Prince of Wales, beaten less than nine lengths by Grandera, but before that had won quite handily at Chester going nine furlongs on May 19.
Perhaps the most interesting European campaigner likely for the upcoming Arlington Million is David Heath's Ulundi. Bred in Great Britain, Ulundi boasts a victory over the hurdles during his career, but has also done well on the flat. The 7-year-old trained by Paul Webber made his first start of the current season on June 21, beating a field of 17 at the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting despite shouldering the top impost of 133 pounds. He had not started since last November 10 prior to that score.
Peter S. Willmott's Cheshire, another British-bred expected for Arlington Million XX, won the Group II Grand Prix de Vichy July 24 at that oval in central France. Trained by John Hammond, who saddled Henri Chaloub's Dear Doctor to win the 1992 Arlington Million, Cheshire was ridden by Japanese jockey champion Yutaka Take in that French test, and Take is expected to be the rider once again in the Million.
Padua Stable's Bach and Jumeirah Racing's Simeon, formerly listed as possible European starters in the upcoming Arlington Million, are no longer considered likely to make the journey across the Atlantic.
The five Europeans likely for the centerpiece of the local season will join five North American-based probable Million candidates. They include Juddmonte Farms, Inc.'s Beat Hollow, the early Million favorite now likely to be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, and Gary A. Tanaka's Sarafan, who defeated Beat Hollow in Del Mar's Grade I Eddie Read Handicap July 28.
Another horse likely for the Million from North America is Arthur I. Appleton's Forbidden Apple, third in the Grade II Bernard Baruch July 26. Also probable, Red Baron's Barn LLC's Suances, coming off a fourth-place finish in the Grade I United Nations at Monmouth Park on July 6; and Ralph E. Todd & Aury Todd's The Tin Man, winner of the Grade II American Handicap at Hollywood Park July 4.
Remaining as possible starters in the Arlington Million are Gary A. Tanaka's Falcon Flight, winner of the Grade III Arlington Handicap July 27 and Team Block's Mystery Giver, victor in the $90,450 Cardinal Handicap June 22. Also possible are Luiz A. Taunay's Redattore, third in the Eddie Read and third in last year's Arlington Million; and Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Startac, winner of 2001 Secretariat and fourth in the Grade II Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park July 13.
However, also contested as part of the one-day International Festival of Racing on Arlington Million Day are the Grade I Beverly D., the $700,000 sister race to the Million for fillies and mares of global turf stature; and the Grade I Secretariat, a $400,000 race restricted to 3-year-old turf stars of international caliber.
Possibly the lone European candidate for the August 17 Beverly D. this year is the British-bred Golden Silca, owned by Aldridge Racing Ltd., and trained by Mick Channon, a former professional football (soccer) star.
Golden Silca disappointed in her last start at Goodwood, racing over an undulating course she was unable to negotiate. However, previously she had been sixth behind Grandera when racing against males in the Prince of Wales Stakes at 10 furlongs and should appreciate the return to a shorter distance as well a race restricted to members of her own sex.
She will join probable North American Beverly D. starters such as Edouard de Rothschild's England's Legend, defending champion in the Beverly D. and most recently victress in the Grade III Modesty Handicap here July 27.
Other North Americans likely for the Beverly D. include Janis R. Whitham's Affluent, winner of the Grade I John C. Mabee Ramona Handicap at Del Mar July 27, as well as Gary A. Tanaka's Golden Apples, second by a neck in that same Southern California test.
The Estate of Allen E. Paulson' Astra, who won the Grade I Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park June 29 is also likely for the Beverly D. despite failing as the choice in last summer's edition.
Also probable for the 13th running of the Beverly D. are Juddmonte Farms' Tates Creek, winner of the Grade II Diana Handicap July 26, and Lael Stable's Sweetest Thing, victress in the Grade III at Dance Smartly Handicap at Woodbine July 6.
Foreign horses likely for the 26th running of the Secretariat include Moyglare Stud's Jazz Beat, set to return to the United States from Ireland after finishing second in the Grade II American Derby July 21. The American Derby was the second leg in Arlington's Mid-America Triple and the Secretariat is the third and final leg.
Also likely from Europe for the Secretariat is Michael Tabor's Della Francesca, who won over the 10-furlong Secretariat distance while at Leopardstown, was third in the Group I Irish Guineas behind Rock of Gibraltar, and sixth behind High Chaparral in the Group I Irish Derby.
Completing the European set for the Secretariat might be Mick Doyle's Love Regardless, who won the Group III Jaguar-Meile at Cologne on August 4 by two lengths. The son of Storm Bird finished 13th behind Rock of Gibraltar on May 4 in the Group I Two Thousand Guineas.
American Derby winner Mananan McLir, owned by Michael Jarvis, Gary Margolis, et al., remains the likely Secretariat favorite. Three Kings Stables' Extra Check, third in that July 21 test, is also expected back for the final leg of the Mid-America Triple.
Juddmonte Farms Inc.'s Chiselling was scratched out of Saratoga's Grade II National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap on August 5 in favor of a start in the Secretariat. Also, Peter Vegso's Orchard Park, winner of the $500,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs at last asking July 13, is an expected Secretariat participant.
Arlington Park, the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill., is running 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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