Pre-entries for the Arlington Million (gr. IT) closed Aug. 13 with 10 older horses named to prestigious turf race.
To be run Aug. 21 and once again carrying a “Win and You’re In” provision for the Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) in November, the pre-entries were led by Castleton Lyon’s Gio Ponti, the defending champion from last year. The 5-year-old is attempting to become the first horse in history to win back-to-back renewals of the Million.
Robert Courtney Jr.’s Rahystrada, Jonathan Sheppard’s Just as Well, Shadwell Stable’s Tajaaweed, and Robert Evans’ Marsh Side—first, second, third, and fourth, respectively, in the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) on July 17—are also all pre-entered.
Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters, winner of Churchill Downs’ Woodford Reserve Turf Cup (gr. IT), is also pre-entered for the Arlington Million, as is Jean and Ted Barlas and Michael Porcaro’s Quite a Handful, an improving veteran of last year’s Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) who won his last start by two lengths at Indiana Downs in July.
European invaders for the 28th Arlington Million are Debussy, an Irish-bred colt that finished fourth in Great Britain’s group II Sky Bet York States at York on July 24 after the rider lost his whip; Summit Surge, an Irish-bred gelding who captured that same group II outing; and Tazeez, a Kentucky-bred but European-campaigned horse who was beaten only 1 1/4 lengths when third in Great Britain’s group I Prince of Wales’s Stakes during the Royal Ascot meeting in June.
Paddy O'Prado, considered one of the top turf horses of any age currently in training, and Workin for Hops, trying to become the fourth horse in history to sweep Arlington’s Mid-America Triple, head a group of seven sophomores pre-entered for the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes on the same day as the Million.
Eleven fillies and mares, including two European-based members of the distaff set, have been pre-entered for the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) as the Arlington Million’s sister race during the International Festival of Racing program.