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Arlington Park release

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


California-based but Chicago-familiar The Tin Man continues to be pointed toward the Grade I Arlington Million August 16, but European-based Rakti has been declared from Arlington Park's showcase event due to injury.

Also, the internationally campaigned mare Ipi Tombe, owned by Team Valor, WinStar Farm and Sunmark Partners and nominated to both the Arlington Million and the Grade I Beverly D., has suffered a minor injury but remains on track for Arlington's International Festival of Racing, now less than five weeks away.

These three updates head last week's developments on the road to Arlington Million XXI, contested at a mile and a quarter over the world famous turf course at Chicago's premier Throughbred oval.

The Arlington Million, centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season, will be run along with the $700,000 Beverly D. and the $400,000 Secretariat as part of Arlington's one-day International Festival of Racing on the third Saturday in August. Together, the three classics complete a troika of the only Grade I events contested in Illinois on an annual basis.

Ralph E. & Aury Todd's The Tin Man, familiar to Chicago racing fans for setting the pace before weakening late in the Grade I John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf at Arlington Park last October, remains on schedule for a second trip to the Windy City as a participant in the 21st running of the Grade I Arlington Million.

When setting the early fractions in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf, The Tin Man attempted to prop going under the wire the first time but continued willingly before gradually faltering in the late stages. The Kentucky-bred finished fourth, beaten three lengths for all of it.

Most recently, The Tin Man pressed the pace in the Grade I United Nations Handicap on July 5 at Monmouth Park, could not get by the front-running winner Balto Star but clearly held the second spot. Earlier this season, however, the 5-year-old altered son of Affirmed drew off for a nine and a half-length win the Grade II San Luis Obispo Handicap on Feb. 15 at Santa Anita Park over a yielding turf course.

Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, The Tin Man has seven wins from 16 career starts with earnings of $933,620. Last year, he won the Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship Stakes at Santa Anita prior to his trip to Arlington.

Among the other Mandella-trained Million nominees this year is Mr. & Mrs. Jerome S. Moss's Kudos, who finished third in the Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup July 13. Gary Mandella, assistant to his father, was asked about plans for that 6-year-old son of Kris S.

"I don't know if he (the senior Mandella) would bring anyone else to run against that horse (The Tin Man)," Gary Mandella said, when asked about Mandella's Million assault. "Kudos has proved effective on the grass in the past, but I would think he is more likely for the (Grade I) Pacific Classic (Del Mar, Aug. 24)."

Gary Tanaka's Rakti, who was being pointed for the Arlington Million after most recently finishing second in the Group I Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot June 18, will now not make the transatlantic trip due to an undisclosed injury. The British-bred colt had captured the Group I Premio Presidente della Repubblica at Rome on May 11.

"Rakti met with an injury in the Prince of Wales's Stakes," trainer Michael Jarvis told Racing Post. "It's not career threatening, but he needs a bit of time off."

Meanwhile, South African champion Ipi Tombe, eligible to both the Million and the Beverly D. and a winner against males in the past, missed a workout last week after rapping her leg and will miss Saratoga's Grade I Diana Handicap July 26. However, she remains on track for her trip to Chicago in August.

"We gave her a few days off, which means she missed a work so no Diana," said trainer Elliott Walden July 14, speaking from Louisville. "She's already back on the track and on schedule for (the Arlington races). At this point, we're saying Beverly D., but we have the option to run in (either race) and we're keeping those options open."

Ipi Tombe won her first start in the United States by taking the Grade III Locust Grove Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 28. Earlier in the year she beat males in the Grade I Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Nad al Sheba in Dubai.

In another development along the road to the 14th running of the Beverly D., last year's winner Golden Apples, subsequently honored with an Eclipse Award as female turf champion, prepared for her 2003 debut by working seven furlongs in 1:27 on the Hollywood Park turf course July 13.

Golden Apples, who like Rakti wears the emerald green with gold trim silks of international sportsman Tanaka, is scheduled to make her first start of the season in the Grade I John C. Mabee at Del Mar July 26, and is then scheduled for a defense of her championship in the sister race to the Arlington Million.

The Irish-bred daughter of Pivotal, now a 5-year-old mare, has six wins from 15 starts in two seasons and earnings of $1,621,917.

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