Beat Hollow is the 6-5 morning like favorite for the Arlington Million.
Results and photos
Arlington Park will showcase their International Festival of Racing on Saturday with three Grade 1 races on the turf. At a distance of 10 furlongs on the turf, the Arlington Million is the crown jewel of the Festival and attracts top grass horses from the US and around the world. It is also the fifth leg of the World Racing Series Championship.
First run in 1981, it was the first seven-figure purse to be awarded for a horse race. The race has yielded many champions in the past including the great John Henry, who won that inaugural edition, and followed that with a second placing in 1983 and another win in 1984. In 1985, only 25 days before the race, the old Arlington Park burned to the ground. However, tents were set up and Teleprompter shipped in to win wire-to-wire for Lord Derby in what became known as the Miracle Million. The following year, the mare Estrapade became only female horse to take the Million. Other Eclipse Award champions to win the race are Manila, Steinlen, and Paradise Creek.
This year Beat Hollow and Sarafan will renew their rivalry and take on seven challengers in the 20th running of the Arlington Million. Sarafan bested Beat Hollow at the Fair Grounds in the Explosive Bid Handicap in March. Beat Hollow then won two Graded stakes in a row, the Woodford Reserve at Churchill and the Mahattan at Belmont, before running into Sarafan again in the Eddie Read at Del Mar where Sarafan came out the victor by 1 1/4 lengths. Both will face stiff competition from four European invaders, headlined by the German based Paolini.
The Arlington Million will be broadcast on ESPN from 5:00-6:00pm EDT. Free past performances are available from Equibase, Daily Racing Form, and BRIS. Below is the field for the Arlington with post positions and odds. Click on each horse's name for a full background and analysis.
The Arlington Million|
Purse: $1,000,000 Distance: 1 1/4 miles Turf
Astra is the 9-5 favorite for the Beverly D.
Photo courtesy of Patty Yount.
Astra, who disappointed as the favorite in 2001, returns to face defending champion England's Legend and four other turf distaffers. Astra never got a hold of the yielding turf in last year's Beverly D. and faded to last after racing wide early on, in what proved to be her final start of 2001. Since returning to the races this year, she has reeled off three consecutive Graded stakes wins on the turf in California. Last year's winner, England's Legend, is making only her second start of the year but she won her first start back in the Modesty Handicap at Arlington as a prep for the Beverly D.
Free past performances for the Beverly D. are available from BRIS.
The Beverly D.|
Purse: $700,000 Distance: 1 3/16 miles Turf
The Secretariat Stakes, a mile and a quarter turf challenge for three-year-olds, closes out the Festival of Racing card at Arlington. It was first run in 1974 to commemorate the great 1973 Triple Crown champion whose last two starts, both wins, were on the grass and earned him the Turf Eclipse along with those for Horse of the Year and Three Year Old champion. Orchard Park, a winner in five of six starts this year, is a narrow favorite at 2-1 in a well-matched group of seven sophomore grass specialists.
Free past performances for the Secretariat are available from BRIS.
|The Secretariat Stakes|
Purse: $400,000 Distance: 1 1/4 miles Turf
Check back for results plus my photos from the races late Saturday evening.
All photos ©2002 Cindy Pierson Dulay
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