Cindy's Horse Racing Website Index

2003 Arlington International Festival of Racing

"Against All Odds", the statue of John Henry beating The Bart in the first Arlington Million.

Date: 08/13/2003


Saturday at Arlington Park in Chicago some of the best turf horses in the world will compete in the Arlington International Festival of Racing card, Illinois racing's biggest day. Older horses contest the 1 1/4 mile Arlington Million, a race with the distinction of being the first to offer up a $1 million total purse. Many greats have won this event including two-time winner John Henry who won the inaugural running in 1981 and again two years later. A life-size statue depicting John Henry's nose victory over The Bart in the 1981 running overlooks the paddock at Arlington. On the undercard are two more Grade 1 events, the Beverly D. for the fillies and mares at 1 3/16 miles, and the Secretariat for three year olds over the Million distance of 1 1/4 miles.

Sulamani after winning the Dubai Sheema Classic.
In the main event, European-based Sulamani, a winner of multiple Group 1 outings on other continents, and Storming Home, undefeated in two starts since coming to America, head a field of 13. Global powerhouse Godolphin Racing will be attempting its 100th grade or group 1 winner worldwide with Sulamani Saturday at Arlington.

In his last trip to the post July 26 in Great Britain, Sulamani finished second in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot, third leg of the 2003 World Series Racing Championship. The Arlington Million is the fourth leg of this year's World Series, now sponsored by Rolls Royce Motor Cars Ltd.

Conditioned since the beginning of 2003 by Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale, Storming Home began his season with a two-length tally in Hollywood Park's $400,000 Jim Murray Handicap. The 5-year-old son of Machiavellian returned to the winner's circle following the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood June 14 in an impressive performance at the Arlington Million 10-furlong distance. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, lately famous for his abilities as an actor portraying jockey George Woolf in the first-run film Seabiscuit, has been in the irons aboard Storming Home in both his wins this year, and will journey to Arlington for the mount once more on Saturday.

Post time for the Milion is 5:15 CDT and the race will be televised on ESPN from 5:00 to 6:00pm EDT. Free past performances are available from Daily Racing Form. Below are the entries for the Arlington Million. All horses carry 126 lbs. except Touch of Land who has 120 lbs. Click on each horse's name for a full background and analysis.

Post HorseJockeyTrainerM/L
1SulamaniDavid FloresSaeed bin Suroor8-5
2VangelisChristophe SoumillonAlain de Royer-Dupre50-1
3PaoliniEduardo PedrozaAndreas Wohler20-1
4Storming HOmeGary StevensNeil Drysdale7-2
5Perfect SoulCorey NakataniRoger Attfield20-1
6Perfect DriftPat DayMurray Johnson4-1
7Beauchamp Pilot Eddie AhernGerard Butler30-1
8Touch Of LandPatrick ValenzuelaHenri-Alex Pantall50-1
9KaieteurRene DouglasBrian Meehan20-1
10The Tin ManMike SmithRichard Mandella4-1
11Honor In WarJose Valdivia Jr.Paul McGee12-1
12TripatMick KinaneRichard Gibson50-1
13Olden TimesKent DesormeauxJohn Dunlop30-1

Tates Creek in the winner's circle at Saratoga after last year's Diana Handicap.
In the distaff event, the $700,000 Beverly D., Juddmonte Farms Inc.'s uncoupled entrymates Tates Creek and Heat Haze, both conditioned by Bobby Frankel, figure as the ones to beat. Tates Creek comes in to the Beverly D. off a rare three-way dead heat for place in the Grade 1 John C. Mabee Handicap last month at Del Mar. Prior to that, the daughter of Rahy had reeled off four consecutive wins dating back to last September. Heat Haze, second in the Grade 1 Diana Handicap at Saratoga in her last trip to the post, will attempt to give Frankel his second Beverly D. victory. The Laura de Seroux-trained Dublino, a disappointing 10th over this course in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf last October, returns to Arlington off three straight second-place finishes in graded stakes competition. Last time out, the daughter of Lear Fan was part of the same triple dead heat for place in the John C. Mabee Handicap that involved Tates Creek.

Beverly D. entries with post positions, odds, and horse profiles here

Lismore Knight winning the Arlington Classic.
In the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes, Lismore Knight and France head a well-matched group of 12. The Secretariat serves as the third leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple that began with the Grade 2 Arlington Classic, on June 29 and continued with the Grade 2 American Derby on July 20. Evolving Tactics, shipped from Ireland to win the American Derby by a neck in his U.S. debut and returned to Ireland following the race to continue his preparations for the Secretariat. Lismore Knight, winner of the Arlington Classic, did not participate in the American Derby, opting instead to run in the Grade 3 Kent Breeders' Cup Handicap at Delaware Park the same day where he finished third as the 6-5 favorite. France, an English-bred son of Desert Prince, may be the most accomplished of the race's strong European contingent. Winner of the Group 3 EBF Tetrarch Stakes at The Curragh in April, France finished second in the Group 1 Irish Two Thousand Guineas a month later, a race in which Evolving Tactics ran ninth. Last time out, the Aidan O'Brien pupil was third in the Group 2 Goffs International Stakes at The Curragh. Michael Kinane, France's regular rider, will make the trip from Ireland for the mount Saturday.

Secretariat Stakes entries with post positions, odds, and horse profiles here

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