Arlington Million

Arlington Million XXVI Aug. 9 Attracts Ten

Churchill Downs Communications | 08/02/2008 #
  • Archipenko winning at Ascot

In Today’s Notes: 

·        Arlington Million XXVI Aug. 9 Attracts Ten

·        Bidding for ‘Dining With the Dynasties’ Closes Wednesday

·        Inez Enters Arlington’s Top Ten Jockey Standings


Ten of the world’s best turf horses – including three star-quality European invaders – were pre-entered Friday for the upcoming Arlington Million on Aug. 9.

The Grade I mile and a quarter turf test – centerpiece event of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season – will be run along with the Grade I Beverly D. for grass-favoring fillies and mares and the Grade I Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds of international caliber on grass to make up Arlington Park’s one-day International Festival of Racing on the second Saturday in August.

Heading the list of European-based Arlington Million invaders is Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum and Dr. A. H. Parker’s Archipenko, winner of Hong Kong’s Group I Audemars Picquet Queen Elizabeth II Cup last April 27.  Archipenko came back from a brief layoff since that start in the Orient to take down winning honors in Great Britain’s Group II Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot July 12 in a tune-up for this 25th renewal of the Million.  South African jockey Kevin Shea, Archipenko’s regular rider, has been named in the irons.

Archipenko arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport Friday night, and was vanned through the Arlington Park stable gate at 11 p.m.  The 4-year-old son of Kingmambo is expected to clear quarantine on Sunday morning in time to go to the track.

Equally impressive among the European invaders is Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s Mount Nelson, who won Great Britain’s Group I Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown in his last start July 5.  The British-bred captured France’s Group I Criterium International at Saint-Cloud two years ago.  Johnny Murtagh, aboard for the Coral-Eclipse tally, is slated for the saddle once again.

Kamel Chehboub’s Spirit One, an improving French-bred, French-campaigned runner who raced extremely well against Duke of Marmalade, Europe’s top 10-furlong runner, is an improving colt who will be ridden by Ioritz Mendizabal in the Million.

Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein, winner of the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day May 3, heads the list of American-based Million contestants, with Arlington’s 1996 jockey champion Robby Albarado up.

Fab Oak Stable, Robert Hurley and John Goldthorpe’s Stream Cat, hero of the Grade III Arlington Handicap July 12, and Chrysalis Stables’ Silverfoot, who took down the Grade III Stars and Stripes at Arlington July 4, are also strong Arlington Million threats based in the Midwest.  Stream Cat has Julien Leparoux – the nation’s Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey two years ago –  named aboard for the Million, while Silverfoot gets the riding services of Arlington’s defending champion jockey Rene Douglas.

T N T Stud’s Out of Control, second by a nose in Belmont’s Grade I Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day June 7, and Gary Tanaka’s Sudan, fourth in Belmont’s Grade I Man O’ War July 12, have John Velazquez and Garrett Gomez respectively named to ride.  Velazquez was the Eclipse Award-winning jockey three years ago and Gomez captured the Award last year.   Both Out of Control and Sudan are conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who will be trying to saddle his third Arlington Million winner next weekend.

Also pre-entered for the Arlington Million is Flying Zee Stable’s Cosmonaut, who was pre-entered without a rider named but is also entered in Sunday’s Grade II Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga.

The Illinois Race Track Chaplaincy of America has opened bidding on eBay for the opportunity to be one of seven guests at a special luncheon called “Dining with the Dynasties.”

Those seven guests will join Racing Hall of Fame jockeys Jerry Bailey, Pat Day and Earlie Fires at the luncheon to be held in the Arlington Million Room Aug. 8.  Day and Fires, and possibly Bailey, will sign autographs at the track from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on that same day.

Proceeds from the auction as well as the autograph sales will benefit the Illinois RTCA and the Disabled Jockeys Fund.

Bidding for “Dining with the Dynasties” will close at 9 p.m. on Aug. 6.

Apprentice jockey Inez Karlsson, with consecutive riding doubles Thursday and Friday at Arlington, has entered into a tie with jockey Ramsey Zimmerman for the tenth spot among the current top 10 riders at the northwest suburban oval.

“I have good people behind me,” said Karlsson by way of explanation when referring to the trainers that have been naming her on their horses.  “Without these guys, I couldn’t do it.”

Karlsson had reached the winner’s circle 26 times, with 30 runner-up finishes and 37 third-place runs from 249 mounts through Friday’s races at Arlington.