German Connections Seek Arlington Million Repeat

(Edited from track report)
No trainer or jockey has ever won back-to-back renewals of the Arlington Million (gr. I), but German conditioner Andreas Wohler and Austrian jockey Andreas Suborics could change that shortly.

One year after saddling 2001 Million winner Silvano, owned by Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof, Wohler is expected to bring another German-bred – Frau Carde Ostermann-Richter's Paolini – for the 20th Arlington Million.

Two British-breds, an Irish-bred, an expatriated Kentucky-bred and a German-bred are likely to be coming to Chicago for the 20th running of the Arlington Million on August 17.

Paolini disappointed in his last trip to the post, finishing well behind the winning Grandera in the Group I Prince of Wales at Royal Ascot June 19, but had a troubled trip in that 1 1/4-mile test.

The 4-year-old son of Lando was a good second behind that same rival in the Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup May 11 at the Singapore Turf Club. Paolini earned six points with his Singapore second, third leg in the World Series of Racing (WSRC) this season, and could gain an additional 12 points with a win in the Arlington Million.

The Arlington Million is the fifth leg of the WSRC, a 14-race series contested on four continents. This year the series will return to Arlington Park October 26 for the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) as part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. It will be the first time in history that a single racecourse will host three legs of the WSRC in the same year.

Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Tobougg, who won the Group I Darley Dewhurst Stakes in England and the Group I Prix de la Salamandre when undefeated as a juvenile two years ago, is considered a probable starter in the Arlington Million at this time.

Although he failed to win as a sophomore, the 4-year-old by Barathea colt was third in the Group I Epsom Derby won by Galileo and was then second by a neck in the Group I Champion Stakes won by Nayef. He closed out his 3-year-old season when second by a head in the final leg of the 2001 WSRC, the Group I Hong Kong Cup won by Agnes Digital.

Another European-based campaigner likely for the Arlington Million is the Kentucky-bred Freefourinternet, owned by Roldvale, Ltd., and trained by Brian Meehan. The 4-year-old son of 1994 Preakness and Belmont winner Tabasco Cat was fifth in the Prince of Wales, beaten less than nine lengths by Grandera, but before that had won quite handily at Chester going nine furlongs on May 19.

Perhaps the most interesting European campaigner likely for the upcoming Arlington Million is David Heath's Ulundi. Bred in Great Britain, Ulundi boasts a victory over the hurdles during his career, but has also done well on the flat.

The 7-year-old trained by Paul Webber made his first start of the current season on June 21, beating a field of 17 at the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting despite shouldering the top impost of 133 pounds. He had not started since last November 10 prior to that score.

Peter S. Willmott's Cheshire, another British-bred expected to vie in the Arlington Million, won the Group II Grand Prix de Vichy July 24 at that oval in central France. Trained by John Hammond, who saddled Henri Chaloub's Dear Doctor to win the 1992 Arlington Million, Cheshire was ridden by Japanese jockey champion Yutaka Take in that French test. Take is expected to be the rider once again in the Million.

Padua Stable's Bach and Jumeirah Racing's Simeon, formerly listed as possible European starters in the upcoming Arlington Million, are no longer considered likely to make the journey across the Atlantic.

The five Europeans likely will join five North American-based probable Million candidates. They include Juddmonte Farms, Inc.'s Beat Hollow, the early Million favorite now expected to be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, and Gary A. Tanaka's Sarafan, who defeated Beat Hollow in Del Mar's Eddie Read Handicap (gr. I) July 28.

Another U.S.-based horse likely for the Million is Arthur I. Appleton's Forbidden Apple, third in the Bernard Baruch (gr. II) July 26. Also probable is Red Baron's Barn LLC's Suances, coming off a fourth-place finish in the United Nations (gr. I) at Monmouth Park on July 6; and Ralph E. Todd & Aury Todd's The Tin Man, winner of the American Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park July 4.

Remaining as possible starters in the Arlington Million are Tanaka's Falcon Flight, winner of the Arlington Handicap (gr. III) July 27 and Team Block's Mystery Giver, victor in the $90,450 Cardinal Handicap June 22. Also possible are Luiz A. Taunay's Redattore, third in the Eddie Read and third in last year's Arlington Million; and Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Startac, winner of 2001 Secretariat and fourth in the Bowling Green Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park July 13.