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ARLINGTON MILLION, PACIFIC CLASSIC HIGHLIGHT THIS WEEK'S "THE ROAD TO THE WORLD THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS"
ESPN to Air Pair of Million Dollar Races Along with $700,000 Beverly D.; ESPN Classic to Air Arlington Million Retrospective
A pair of $1 million races, Arlington Park's Arlington Million and Del Mar's Pacific Classic, along with Arlington's $700,000 Beverly D., are on tap this weekend on "The Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships," the three-month racing series airing on the ESPN networks. The three Grade I stakes will feature some of the top contenders for the October 27 Breeders' Cup Classic, Turf and Filly & Mare Turf races.
Part of Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing, the Arlington Million and Beverly D. will be broadcast live by ESPN on Saturday from 4:00-5:00 p.m. (ET), while the Pacific Classic will be shown live by ESPN on Sunday from 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET). The top three finishers in the Arlington Million, (1¼ miles turf, 3-year-olds-and-up); Beverly D. (1 3/16 miles turf, 3-and-up fillies and mares); and Pacific Classic (1¼ miles, 3-and-up), will earn points in the Breeders' Cup Turf, Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf and Breeders' Cup Classic Divisions, respectively.
Set for the Arlington Million and the Beverly D. are horses tied for the lead in their respective Breeders' Cup Division standings: the California-based colt Bienamado (26 points in the Turf Division), and the five-year-old mare, Astra (16 points in the Filly & Mare Turf Division).
Bienamado drew post 10 in the Arlington Million and will have 11 challengers including four fellow Californians -- Senure, Redatorre, Takarian and White Heart; the East Coast's Hap; Canada's Quiet Resolve; and a foursome from Europe, led by Caitano and Silvano. Senure is trained by Bobby Frankel, who captured last year's Arlington Million with Chester House. Two horses -- Manila (1986 Breeders' Cup Turf) and Steinlen (1989 Breeders' Cup Mile) -- went on to capture Breeders' Cup races the same year they won their respective runnings of the Arlington Million.
Winner of five of the 10 Pacific Classics, trainer Frankel goes for six with last year's victor, Skimming, who defeated 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow in last year's renewal. Joining Skimming will be Futural and Captain Steve, who ran first, second and third, respectively, in last month's San Diego Handicap at Del Mar.
Hosting Saturday's Arlington Million telecast will be Jim Kelly, joined by Randy Moss, Kenny Rice and Jack Whitaker. Tom Dawson produces and Dorinda Ivey directs. Hosting Sunday's Pacific Classic show will be Jeff Medders, with Moss and Charlsie Cantey. Dave Bruner produces and Doug Wren directs.
ESPN Classic will air highlights from past Arlington Millions on its series, "Thoroughbred Classics." The program can be seen twice Friday, August 17 from 9:30-10:00 a.m. and again from 5:30-6:00 p.m. (all times Eastern). Jim McKay and Whitaker are the hosts.
"The Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" began in mid-July and culminates with a one-hour Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships special on October 26 on ESPN2, the day before the eight-race, $13 million Championships is held at Belmont Park. (See below for complete schedule.)
Racing television schedule
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