Joseph Allen's French stakes veteran Vertiformer, pre-entered last week for both the 30th anniversary edition of the Grade 1 Arlington Million and the inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger this Saturday, breezed five furlongs in 1:06 4/5 Monday morning over Arlington's world famous turf course.
Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez, who is riding at Arlington for the first time this summer but is a solid fifth in the standings, was aboard Vertiformer for the move over the grass course which was rated "good" with the "dogs" well out from the rail.
In his last start, Vertiformer, who is conditioned by Arlington's perennial leading trainer Wayne Catalano, finished fourth after breaking slowly in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap on July 14 as the designed local prep race for Saturday's Million.
Also with a breeze over Arlington's grass course on Monday morning was Millard Seldin Revocable Trust and the Estate of Hoss Inman's Arlington Million pre-entrant Cherokee Lord, who went three-quarters in 1:16 4/5 with the veteran jockey Francisco Torres in the irons.
Trained by Charlie Livesay, Cherokee Lord finished a nose behind Vertiformer when fifth in the Arlington 'Cap and was fourth in the Secretariat two years ago.
At Saratoga on Monday, Arlington 'Cap runner-up Boisterous breezed a half-mile in :47 3/5 over the firm Oklahoma training turf. The Phipps Stable homebred, who scored his biggest win in the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap last November, finished third in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap two starts ago.
Robert Courtney Jr.'s Rahystrada, who bested Boisterous by a neck when winning the local Million prep, went four furlongs in :51 2/5 at The Thoroughbred Center in Kentucky last Saturday.
Saturday's one-day International Festival of Racing at Arlington also features the Grade 1, $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes for some of the worlds' best grass-favoring fillies and mares and the Grade 1, $500,000 Secretariat Stakes for three-year-olds of international turf caliber. The Million, Beverly D. and the Secretariat stakes are also the only three Grade 1 races offered in Illinois on an annual basis.
In other International Festival of Racing news:
Although none of the European invaders that are already on the grounds at Arlington had cleared quarantine at the end of training hours Monday morning, the following were on site safely.
That group included three candidates for the inaugural running of the $400,000 American St. Leger: Eastwind Racing's Kentucky-bred Bridge of Gold, Australian TB Bloodstock et al.'s Irish-bred Jakkalberry and Darley Stud Management's German-bred Zuider Zee.
On the grounds in advance of the Arlington Million were Darley Stud Management's duo of British-bred Afsare and Irish-bred Colombian as well two others bred on the Emerald Isle -- EFFEVI and ABT's Crackerjack King and Mark Hawtin's Wigmore Hall.
Marco Botti trains the Group 1-winning half-brothers Crackerjack King and Jakkalberry, and the pair had their final gallops in Newmarket on Saturday.
"Crackerjack King and Jakkalberry are both in good order and I am confident that they will cope well with the journey to America," Botti said. "Although I currently have no confirmed jockey, Ryan Moore is a possibility."
The trip will be the start of an international campaign for the veterans, who are both likely to head into quarantine on their return to the United Kingdom in order for a visit to the Southern Hemisphere for the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
"We shall assess the well being of both horses on their return to the U.K., and if everything is in order we will take them to Australia," Botti added.
Fillies and mares that were being bedded down in advance of the Beverly D. Stakes as the Million's sister race were Andrew Stone's Irish-bred I'm A Dreamer, Darley Stud Management's British-bred Joviality and Gestut Karlshof's German-bred Kapitale.
European-based invading sophomores who had arrived in advance of the Secretariat Stakes were His Highness the Aga Khan's Studs' French-bred Bayrir and Darley Stud Management's Kentucky-bred Dark Stranger.