| Contact: Graham Ross
MANNDAR, SLICKLY TOP SEVEN IN ARLINGTON MILLION XVIII
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.-Manndar, an Irish-bred but American-based colt owned by Columbine Stable, J. Merrick Jones and Tom Nicholls, should rule the choice when he faces French campaigner Slickly, owned by Dubai-headquartered Godolphin Racing Inc., and five others in Saturday's 18th running of the Grade 1 Arlington Million.
As the centerpiece of the one-day International Festival of Racing, highlight of the Chicago thoroughbred season, the Arlington Million will be contested for a $2 million purse for the first time this year, and makes it's debut as the third leg of the Emirates World Series Racing Championship.
The Arlington Million is contested at a mile and a quarter over the world-famous Arlington International turf course.
When first contested in 1981, the Arlington Million set a new standard for thoroughbred competition at the worldwide level. The Emirates World Series, now including the showcase event of the Illinois racing season, reflects the tangible growth of international racing in the last two decades.
American favorite Manndar, a one-length winner of his last start June 10 in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day, split the early leaders in the final furlong of that mile and a quarter grass test in a dominant performance. Previously, the four-year-old bay had captured the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 6, Kentucky Derby Day. Jockey Corey Nakatani is listed to ride.
Slickly, bred in France and campaigned exclusively in that country, appears the strongest of the European contingent. The gray colt, like Manndar in the midst of his four-year-old season, comes into the Million off a winning effort at Longchamp in the Group 3 La Coupe, where he made the pace and drew off late for a two-length tally. A year ago, Slickly was second to Dubai Millennium in the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois. Internationally known reinsman Frankie Dettori is slated for the saddle.
John A. Toffan, Trudy McCaffery & Robert Sangster's Bienamado, hero of Hollywood's Grade 2 Sunset Handicap in his last start July 23, is sure to draw strong support from the fans. The chestnut son of Bien Bien had won the Jim Murray Handicap at that Southern California oval by seven lengths in his previous trip to the post. Kent Desormeaux is named to handle the reins.
Haras de la Pomme's Asidero, an Argentine import and winner of his last seven straight, including his American bow at Hollywood Park July 3, is trained by Hall Of Famer Ron McAnally and will be well regarded in the wagering with Alex Solis up.
Completing the field are: Juddmonte Farms' Chester House, hero of the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard, Jerry Bailey aboard; Steven J. Gula's Mula Gula, second in the Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap, Mark Guidry astride; and Richard J. Cohen's Running Stag, winner of the Grade 2 Massachusetts Handicap, Shane Sellers in the tack.
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|Beverly D.||Arlington Million||Secretariat|