Nakatani on Perfect Soul in Arlington Million

Edited release from Arlington Park
West Coast-based jockey Corey Nakatani, who finished second by a head aboard Gary A. Tanaka's Sarafan in the 2002 Arlington Million, will now get a chance to make amends for that defeat with the mount on Charles E. Fipke's Perfect Soul in Saturday's 21st running of the grade I centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season.

Nakatani, 32, born in Covina, California, has ridden in six Arlington Millions to date and finished second three times, but has never been in the winner's circle following the mile and a quarter turf test. He was named as the new rider aboard Perfect Soul on Monday.

In his last trip to the post July 20 in Woodbine's grade II Chinese Cultural Centre Stakes, the Irish-bred Perfect Soul was asked to extend his talents to a mile and three-sixteenths and weakened in the final stages of the outing -- finishing second by a length and a half. Before that, however, the son of Sadler's Wells won Woodbine's Canadian grade II King Edward Breeders' Cup Handicap June 15 at the nine-furlong distance. Canadian jockey Robert Landry was up for both those races.

Nakatani's other two runner-up finishes in the Arlington Million came aboard Columbine Stable, Jones and Nichols' Manndar in 2000 and La Sierra Thoroughbreds Sandpit in 1995. In addition, he finished third aboard Sandpit in 1996, ninth aboard Columbine Stable, Greely and Nichols' Takarian in 2001 and eighth astride Allred & Hubbard's Leger Cat in 1993.

Perfect Soul, trained by Roger Attfield, is scheduled to breeze at Woodbine Wednesday morning and then board a van later that day for the nine-hour trip from Toronto to Chicago.

In another jockey assignment for the Million, Austrian-born Andreas Suborics will ride French-bred Touch of Land. The 3-year-old owned by Gary A. Tanaka and trained by Henri-Alex Pantall will be facing older horses in Arlington Million XXI.

Other Arlington Million XXI jockey assignments for horses invading from Europe are as follows: Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Sulamani, David Flores; Mrs. Susan McCarthy's Kaieteur, Rene Douglas; H R H Prince A A Faisal's Olden Times, Kent Desormeaux; 6 C Racing Ltd.'s Vangelis, Christophe Soumillon; SNC Jean-Louis Bouchard's Tripat, Michael Kinane; and Erik Penser's Beauchamp Pilot, Eddie Ahern.

North American-based Million contestants with their jockeys are: Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum's Storming Home, Gary Stevens; Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, Pat Day; Charles E. Fipke's Perfect Soul, Corey Nakatani; 3rd Turn Stables LLC's Honor in War, Jose Valdivia Jr.; and Ralph E. and Aury Todd's The Tin Man, Mike Smith.