Mrs. Carde Ostermann-Richter's Paolini, beaten less than a length in last year's Arlington Million (gr. IT) despite being denied racing room in the stretch run, will get a chance to make amends for that unlucky trip in 21st running of the Chicago centerpiece Saturday.
"That's racing," said German trainer Andreas Wohler with a shrug when reminded of that outing one year ago. "Hopefully, we'll have a better trip this time.
"Another thing he needs is good ground," said Wohler. "It should be okay if it stays the way it is right now. Hopefully, it stays dry from now until the race."
Two years ago, Wohler saddled Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof's Silvano to capture the 2001 Million, and Wohler was asked to compare Silvano to Paolini.
"That would not be easy," Wohler said. "They are completely different types. Silvano was all heart and an easy horse to train. Paolini has lots of ability, but he needs everything to go right. Thankfully, one of your local trainers named Moises Yanez has provided a lead pony for him when we've been taking him to the track. That helps keep him settled."
Jockey Andreas Suborics, who will ride Paolini once again in this year's Arlington Million, agreed with Wohler's assessment of the necessary turf conditions.
"As long as it's not soft the way we get soft ground in Europe, we'll be all right," said Suborics. "There's a little 'cut' to the ground here right now, and he'll like that. He likes the Arlington course quite well. He doesn't particularly care for Ascot. He doesn't handle the uphill part of it that well."
Paolini finished eighth in the Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot in his last start July 5. Before that the 6-year-old finished third, beaten only two lengths for all of it, in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong April 27.