Godolphin's Sulamani has been nominated to defend his title in the Arlington Million (gr. IT), it was announced today by the Arlington Park racing office. He headlines a group of 97 international runners nominated the signature event of the Chicago racing season. This year's Million will be run Aug. 14.
The 1 1/4-mile Million will be run for the 22nd time and is one of three grade I turf events on the International Festival of Racing card. Also run will be the 15th running of the Beverly D. for fillies and mares, and the 28th running of the Secretariat, for 3-year-olds.
British-bred Meteor Storm, off a strong victory last Saturday in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont, is another highly regarded Million nominee. The Horizon Stable runner won the 1 1/4-mile Manhattan by 1 1/4 lengths
Earlier this year, Meteor Storm, trained by Wally Dollase, won the San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) a 1 1/2 miles and the 1/34-miles San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
Should Sulamani run, the 5-year-old Irish-bred could become the first back-to-back Arlington Million winner in history. The legendary John Henry is the only two-time Million winner to date, capturing the inaugural running in 1981 and repeating that winning effort three years later. John Henry also finished second in 1983's Million.
Following last year's Arlington Million, Sulamani went to Belmont Park and captured the Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) Sept. 27, but finished fifth in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr.IT) at Santa Anita after clipping heels with a rival.
Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Sulamani was scheduled to make his first start of the year in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) at the Curragh May 23, but was withdrawn due to discovery of a subcutaneous infection in the horse's left front fetlock.
Mrs. Carde Ostermann-Richter's Paolini and Mrs. Susan McCarthy's Kaieteur, who dead-heated for third in last year's Million but were subsequently improved to second following the disqualification, have both been nominated to the Million again this year.
German-bred Paolini, also a contestant in the 2002 Arlington Million when beaten less than a length for all of it, began his 2004 campaign with a dead-heat for the win in the United Arab Emirates' Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) at Nad al Sheba March 27. The globetrotting 7-year-old was subsequently unplaced in the Audemars Piquet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) at Sha Tin and the Singapore Airlines International Cup (Sing-I) at the Singapore Turf Club.
Kaieteur, Kentucky-bred but European based, was third in the Tote Select Stakes (Eng-III) at Goodwood and seventh in the Emirates Airlines Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket last year following the Million. In his only start in 2004, the son of 1997 Arlington Million champion Marlin, was seventh in the Betfair.com Brigadier Gerard (Eng-III) at Sandown June 1.