|Arlington Park release
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
NAKATANI NAMED ARLINGTON MILLION JOCKEY FOR PERFECT SOUL
West Coast-based jockey Corey Nakatani, who finished second by a head aboard Gary A. Tanaka's Sarafan in the 2002 Arlington Million, will now get a chance to make amends for that defeat with the mount on Charles E. Fipke's Perfect Soul in Saturday's 21st running of the Grade I centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season.
Nakatani, 32, born in Covina, California, has ridden in six Arlington Millions to date and finished second three times, but has never posed in the winner's circle following the mile and a quarter turf test. He was named as the new rider aboard Perfect Soul on Monday.
In his last trip to the post July 20 in Woodbine's Grade II Chinese Cultural Centre Stakes, the Irish-bred Perfect Soul was asked to extend his talents to a mile and three-sixteenths and weakened in the final stages of the outing, finishing second by a length and a half. Before that, however, the entire son of Sadler's Wells won Woodbine's Grade II King Edward Breeders' Cup Handicap June 15 at the nine-furlong distance. Canadian jockey Robert Landry was up for both those races.
Nakatani's other two runner-up finishes in the Arlington Million came aboard Columbine Stable, Jones & Nichols' Manndar in 2000 and La Sierra Thoroughbreds Sandpit in 1995. In addition, he finished third aboard Sandpit in 1996, ninth aboard Columbine Stable, Greely & Nichols' Takarian in 2001 and eighth astride Allred & Hubbard's Leger Cat in 1993.
Corey Nakatani was introduced to Thoroughbred racing by his father, a Japanese-American born in a World War II internment camp in Colorado. The senior Nakatani later spent time at Santa Anita Race Course when it served as a relocation camp during the war.
Perfect Soul, trained by legendary Canadian conditioner Roger Attfield, is scheduled to breeze at Woodbine Wednesday morning and then board a van later that day for the nine-hour trip from Toronto to Chicago.
SUBORICS NOW SET FOR TOUCH OF LAND
Projected riding assignments for Saturday's 21st running of the Grade I Arlington Million were completed with the announcement that Austrian-born Andreas Suborics would be the jockey astride the French-bred Touch of Land. The 3-year-old owned by Gary A. Tanaka and trained by Henri-Alex Pantall will be facing older horses in Arlington Million XXI.
Suborics first became familiar to American and Chicago Thoroughbred racing fans when he guided Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof's Silvano to a three-length tally in the 2001 Arlington Million. The German-based reinsman returned to Chicago for last year's Million to finish an unlucky sixth aboard Mrs. Carde Ostermann-Richter's Paolini, who was trapped behind rivals most of the stretch run.
Like Suborics, Paolini returns for this year's Arlington Million, with German-based stable jockey Eduardo Pedroza getting the riding assignment.
Other Arlington Million XXI jockey assignments for horses invading from Europe are as follows: Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Sulamani, David Flores; Mrs. Susan McCarthy's Kaieteur, Rene Douglas; H R H Prince A A Faisal's Olden Times, Kent Desormeaux; 6 C Racing Ltd.'s Vangelis, Christophe Soumillon; SNC Jean-Louis Bouchard's Tripat, Michael Kinane; and Erik Penser's Beauchamp Pilot, Eddie Ahern.
North American-based Million contestants with their jockeys are: Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum's Storming Home, Gary Stevens; Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, Pat Day; Charles E. Fipke's Perfect Soul, Corey Nakatani; 3rd Turn Stables LLC's Honor in War, Jose Valdivia Jr.; and Ralph E. & Aury Todd's The Tin Man, Mike Smith.
SATURDAY'S SECRETARIAT FIELD AND JOCKEY UPDATES AS OF MONDAY
Saturday's 27th running of the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes, part of a troika of Grade I races making up Saturday's one-day International Festival of Racing, had its jockey assignments completed as of Monday morning.
The Secretariat, run at the Arlington Million distance of a mile and a quarter but restricted to 3-year-olds of international caliber, is also the final jewel in Arlington Park's Mid-America Triple.
European-based invaders and their jockeys for Saturday's sophomore fixture are as follows: Moyglare Stud Farm's Evolving Tactics, Patrick Smullen; Mrs. John Magnier & Michael Tabor's France, Michael Kinane; Christopher Ransom's Joe Bear, David Flores; and Gary A. Tanaka's King's Drama, Mike Smith.
North American-based Secretariat candidates and their jockeys: J. J. Pletcher & Barry Simon's Lismore Knight, Rene Douglas; Stephen Taub, Neil Papiano & Noctis Stable's Californian, Gary Stevens; Sondra D. Bender's Foufa's Warrior, Ramon Dominguez; Naify, Sugarman, Vistas LLC et al.'s Just Wonder, Kent Desormeaux; Brushwood Stable's Kicken Kris, Javier Castellano; and Brett Rice's Native Hawk, Paul Nolan.
Lismore Knight won the first leg of the Mid-America Triple when he took the Grade II Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, on June 28, but did not compete in the second leg.
Evolving Tactics invaded from Ireland to capture the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's -- the second leg of the Mid-America Triple run July 20 -- but did not compete in the first leg.
Still possible for the Secretariat are Everest Stables Inc.'s Gato Gato Gato with Chris Emigh up and Jer-Mar Stables LLC's Scottago with Carlos H. Marquez Jr. listed.
Virginia Inman's Distinguishable, Little Red Feather Racing's Singletary and Red Oak Stable's Sweet Return were late defections from the Secretariat field on Monday.
BEVERLY D. PROBABLE STARTERS AND THEIR JOCKEYS
As of Monday afternoon, a field of six fillies and mares was likely to contest to Saturday's 14th running of the $700,000 Beverly D., Arlington Park's Grade I event considered to be the sister race to the Arlington Million and part of Saturday's one-day International Festival of Racing.
Four other members of the distaff set remain as possibilities for the Beverly D., which along with Saturday's Arlington Million and Secretariat Stakes are the only three Grade I races offered in Illinois on an annual basis. The Beverly D. is contested at a mile and three-sixteenths over Arlington's world-famous turf course.
Likely for the Beverly D. at this time are: Green Hills Farm, Inc.'s Voodoo Dancer, Corey Nakatani; Moyglare Stud Farm's Dress to Thrill; Patrick Smullen; Robert Geringer, Michael Klein & Naify et al.'s Dublino, Kent Desormeaux; Arthur B. Hancock III's Owsley, Rene Douglas; Fox Ridge Farm's Riskaverse, Pat Day; and Gestut Schlenderhan's Walzerkoenigin, Andreas Suborics.
Still considered possibilities to start in the Beverly D. are John & Kris Richter's Bien Nicole, Michael Bello's Megahertz and Juddmonte Farms' duo of Heat Haze and Tates Creek, but no jockeys have been finalized.
PERFECT DRIFT WILL BREEZE, TRAVEL THURSDAY, SCHOOL HERE FRIDAY
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, winner of the Grade II Washington Park Handicap on the main track at Arlington Park July 19, will attempt a return to the winner's circle following Saturday's 21st running of the Grade I Arlington Million, contested over grass.
"He came out of last Saturday's breeze (five furlongs in 1:03 at Trackside Louisville) in good order and galloped today," said trainer Murray Johnson, speaking over the phone from his Louisville headquarters on Monday. "He'll train here (in Kentucky) again Thursday (before vanning to Arlington Park) and school in the paddock up there Friday, just the way we did before the Washington Park."
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