Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 255-4300
Saturday, July 29, 2000
57th Day


It was less than four years ago that the first meeting of international thoroughbred representatives took place in Toronto to discuss what would become the Emirates World Series Racing Championship.

The meeting drew attention to the fact that international racing was growing dramatically and that many prestigious intercontinental races had emerged over the previous two decades.

One of those races, of course, was the Grade 1 Arlington Million.

As a result of that meeting at Woodbine Race Course during Breeders' Cup week in 1996, the Million and other events that were the "crème de la crème" of international competition became linked in the Emirates World Series.

The initial race in the Emirates World Series this year was the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse March 25 in Dubai. The aptly named Dubai Millennium, owned by Godolphin, was the handy winner. William Clifton Jr. & Rudlein Stables' Behrens finished second six lengths back.

Earlier today at Ascot Racecourse, Michael Tabor's Montjeu took down winning honors in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. After trailing the field in the early going, the 4-year-old son of Sadler's Wells responded to the slightest encouragement from jockey Michael Kinane to win the second leg of the Emirates Series by two lengths from Godolphin's Fantastic Light. The race, as well as the Tote International Handicap that preceded the Group 1 event, was simulcast "live" at Arlington and at Trackside.

What serves as the next leg of the Emirates World Series Racing Championship?

The Grade 1 Arlington Million three weeks from now at Chicago's premier thoroughbred oval. Now with a $2 million purse, the Arlington Million will be run on the same day as the Grade 1 Beverly D. and the Grade 1 Secretariat, reflecting the tangible growth of not only the Million, but the International Festival of Racing and Arlington International Racecourse on the world stage.

Prospective starters in the Arlington Million at this time include Haras de Pomme's Asidero, bred in the Argentine but now California based, and John A. Toffan's Bienamado, a Kentucky-bred but European-campaigned colt who most recently won the Grade 2 Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Charles Cella's Dark Moondancer, British-bred and European and American campaigned, most recently won Hollywood's Grade 2 American Handicap and is due to start tomorrow in Del Mar's Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap. Dark Moondancer is being pointed toward the Arlington Million.

Other prospective starters in the Million include Gary A. Tanaka's Falcon Flight, a French-bred colt who is both European and American campaigned and due to start next in tomorrow's Eddie Read.

Godolphin's Gracioso, a Kentucky-bred who beat Montjeu in France last year, disappointed in the Dubai World Cup but is being pointed toward the Million. Columbine Stables, Jones Jr. & Nicholls' Manndar, bred in Ireland, is European and American campaigned and last won Belmont's Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap.

Richard J. Cohen's Running Stag, bred in Kentucky but out of a French-bred mare, has made globe trotting a career, racing in five countries, but last visited the winner's circle in the Grade 2 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs.

Godolphin's Slickly, another possibility for the Million, was bred in France and most recently won the Group 3 La Coupe at Longchamp.

As the next leg of the Emirates World Series Racing Championships, the Arlington Million is holding up well in promoting the long-range World Series goal of linking the top international contests.

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