|Arlington Park release
Contact: Graham Ross
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DRYSDALE: STORMING HOME 'STRAIGHT INTO ARLINGTON MILLION'
Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum's Storming Home, a British-bred who kept his American record a perfect two-for-two with a win in Hollywood Park's Grade I Charles Whittingham Handicap at a mile and a quarter June 14, will now be pointed straight toward the Grade I Arlington Million August 16, Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale has indicated.
Since that Whittingham win, Storming Home worked a half-mile over the Hollywood turf course June 26, recording a bullet move of :48 4/5.
"I've talked with the racing manager since that work," said Drysdale June 30, speaking over the phone from his West Coast headquarters, "and we've decided to train the horse straight into the Arlington Million. We considered the (Grade I) United Nations Handicap (at Monmouth July 5), but with all that heat that he'd be going into up there, we decided to skip the 'U.N.' and go right to the Million. It's been cool here in California until today."
Drysdale, who saddled Gary A. Tanaka's Sarafan to finish second in last year's Arlington Million and Gainsborough Farm Inc.'s White Heart to finish fifth two years ago, had nominated both to this year's running, but downplayed their chances of coming this year.
"Sarafan popped a splint in his race the other day," said Drysdale, "so I don't think he'll make it, and White Heart is just starting back now."
Koji Meada's Sunday Break, a Japanese-bred that Drysdale had nominated to this year's Arlington Million, is scheduled to run July 4, the trainer indicated.
In another recent development, Team Valor, WinStar Farm & Sunmark Partners' Ipi Tombe surprised no one with her measured victory in Churchill's Grade III Locust Grove Handicap June 28, and facile nature of her score flavored her position as the "X-factor" in the upcoming Arlington Million less than seven weeks away. Ipi Tombe is nominated to both the Million and the Grade I Beverly D., the Million's sister race, and both events are contested on the same day as part of Arlington's one-day International Festival of Racing on the third Saturday in August.
Although Ipi Tombe's trainer Elliott Walden has said he is "leaning toward the Beverly D." with the Zimbabwe-bred mare, allowing her to compete against members of her own sex, her ownership has not as yet demonstrated that same preference.
Allen E. Paulson's Estrapade, who captured the 1986 Arlington Million, is the only female to date to have posed in the winner's circle following the showcase event of Chicago's Thoroughbred racing season.
Although Ipi Tombe's first American start in the Locust Grove was against fillies and mares, she has competed successfully against males in the past. While still a sophomore last year, Ipi Tombe won against older males in the Group I Durban July Cup Handicap last July 6 in her final South African start, and beat the boys again in the Grade I Dubai Duty Free at Nad al Sheba March 29 in her first start as a 4-year-old on Dubai World Cup Day.
Following Ipi Tombe's less than fully extended win in the Locust Grove, her Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day said: "I dropped my hands on her and she kind of backed up to them coming to the wire. She had done what was necessary to get the job done. There are plenty of dances to dance. We want to conserve some energy for later on."
Ipi Tombe's next start is projected as the Grade I Diana Handicap at Saratoga July 26, planned to fit perfectly for another start three weeks later. Still not etched in stone is whether that start will come in the Million or the Beverly D.
In other Beverly D. developments, Green Hills Farm Inc.'s Voodoo Dancer narrowly bested Geringer, Klein & Naify et al.'s Dublino in the Grade II Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park June 28. Michael Bello's Megahertz finished third in that traditional prep for the Beverly D. All three of those members of the distaff set are nominated to the Beverly D., which carries a $700,000 purse.
In other Arlington Million news, it has been announced that Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof's Silvano, the German-bred winner of the 2001 Million, will shuttle to Andreas Jacobs' Maine Chance Farm in South Africa for the 2003 Southern Hemisphere breeding season. He stands in Germany during the Northern Hemisphere season, and is believed to be the first German-bred to shuttle south of the equator.
In addition to the Arlington Million, Silvano won the Group I Singapore Cup in Singapore and the Group I Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong during his racing career.
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