Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 255-4300
Friday, August 4, 2000
61st Day


Three flights from overseas - the first one less than a week away - are presently scheduled to bring a host of European campaigners to Chicago and Arlington International Racecourse for the upcoming International Festival of Racing August 19.

Headed by the Grade 1 Arlington Million, to be contested for a $2 million purse for the first time this season, the one-day International Festival also includes the Grade 1 Beverly D. and the Grade 1 Secretariat. As a troika, the three races are the only Grade 1 events offered in Illinois, and throughout their history, have attracted horses from all over the world.

The Arlington Million, centerpiece of the summer season at Chicago's premier oval, is for three-year-olds and up and is contested at a mile and a quarter on the grass. The Beverly D., with its half-million dollar purse, is restricted to fillies and mares and run at a mile and three-sixteenths over the lawn.

The Secretariat, with a $400,000 purse, is also at a mile and a quarter on the turf but only open to three-year-olds, and serves as the final phase of Arlington's Mid-America Triple.

Two horses, both owned by Godolphin, are scheduled to arrive on the first international flight, a charter due at O'Hare Airport August 10. Booked on that flight presently are Million candidate Slickly and Secretariat prospect Best of The Bests. Both of those probable starters in their respective races are trained by Godolphin conditioner Saeed Bin Suroor.

Slickly is coming to Arlington off a winning effort in the Group 3 La Coupe Stakes at Longchamp. The French-bred four-year-old by Linamix out of a Conquistador Cielo mare won that mile and a quarter test by two lengths. In 1999 Slickly won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris and the Group 2 Prix Noailles. He also finished second, beaten two and a half-lengths, in the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois at Chantilly.

Secretariat candidate Best of The Bests finished fourth, beaten six lengths for all of it, in his last trip to the post in stakes company at Longchamp June 25. Earlier that month the Irish-bred finished fourth at Epsom Downs.

A second international flight to Chicago is scheduled August 15. Pine Dance, who won Grade 2 American Derby July 23 here, middle jewel of the Mid-America Triple, is currently the sole International Festival contestant slated for that flight.

In the American Derby, Pine Dance, owned by Highland Farms, Peter Wetzel and Five Star Racing Co., pressed the pace, rallied along the rail turning for home, gained the advantage in the lane and drew clear for a length and a half tally at the wire.

A third international flight is tentatively scheduled for August 16. Also presently due to arrive at Arlington August 10 from within the confines of the United States is Columbine Stable, Jones Jr. & Nicholls' Manndar. The Irish-bred son of Doyoun won the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at last asking at Belmont June 10 and is currently slated for favoritism in the Arlington Million. In his start before that Manndar tallied in Churchill's Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic May 6.


Injured apprentice jockey Zoe Cadman, the South African-born rider who won the first race of her career during the current meeting, will begin galloping horses August 11 and start accepting mounts August 15, according to her agent Bobby Kelly.

Kelly's other rider, Lonnie Meche, also injured this summer, is listed to ride Sunday at Arlington.

Donnie Meche, Lonnie's twin brother, who suffered a shoulder injury at Lone Star earlier this year, is scheduled to begin riding at Arlington in about two weeks.


Arlington jockey Eduardo Perez is closing in on the 1,000-win milestone. The count through Thursday: Eduardo Perez - 995 lifetime wins, Arlington Total: 24

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