August 15, 2020

Gio Ponti headlines Arlington Million pre-entries

Last updated: 8/14/10 4:33 PM

Pre-entries for the Arlington’s one-day International Festival of Racing —
comprising the Arlington Million (G1), Beverly D. S. (G1) and Secretariat S.
(G1) — closed at midnight (CDT) Friday with 10 older horses named to the 28th
running of the Arlington Million, 11 fillies and mares available for the
$750,000 Beverly D. and seven sophomores slated as probable for the $400,000
Secretariat. Post positions for all three races will be drawn Tuesday in
Arlington’s racing office at 9:30 a.m.

North American-based Million pre-entries are dominated by the star power of
Castleton Lyon’s GIO PONTI (Tale of the Cat), defending champion from the 2009
Arlington Million, who is now in a position to become the first horse in history
to win back-to-back renewals of the centerpiece race of the Chicago Thoroughbred
racing season.

European invaders for Arlington Million XXVIII, in alphabetical order, are
HRH Princess Haya of Jordan’s DEBUSSY (Ire) (Diesis [GB]), a French Group 2
victor who finished fourth in the York S. (Eng-G2) on July 24 after the rider
lost his whip; William Bellew’s SUMMIT SURGE (Ire) (Noverre), who won the York;
and Shadwell Stable’s English Group 3 winner TAZEEZ (Silver Hawk), who was
beaten only 1 1/4 lengths when third in the Prince of Wales’s S. (Eng-G1) during
the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting in mid-June.

Also pre-entered for the main event are Robert Courtney Jr.’s RAHYSTRADA (Rahy),
Jonathan Sheppard’s JUST AS WELL (A.P. Indy), Shadwell Stable’s TAJAAWEED (Dynaformer)
and Robert Evans’ MARSH SIDE (Gone West) — first, second, third and fourth
respectively in the Arlington H. (G3), the designed local prep for the Arlington
Million on July 17. Marsh Side was just scratched from Saturday’s Sword Dancer
Invitational S. (G1) at Saratoga.

Tom McCarthy’s GENERAL QUARTERS (Sky Mesa), winner of Churchill’s Woodford
Reserve Turf Classic (G1) on Kentucky Derby Day May 1 and Keeneland’s Blue Grass
S. (G1) last year, is also pre-entered for the Arlington Million, as is Jean and
Ted Barlas and Michael Porcaro’s QUITE A HANDFUL (Mutakddim), an improving
veteran of last year’s Secretariat who won his last start by two lengths at
Indiana Downs in July after back-to-back runner-up finishes at Arlington in

Eleven fillies and mares, including two European-based members of the distaff
set, have been pre-entered for the 20th renewal of the Beverly D., the Arlington
Million’s sister race.

The North American-based group includes Helen Alexander’s Grade 2 winner
ACOMA (Empire Maker), narrowly beaten in her two outings at Churchill this
season; Three Chimneys Racing’s AVE (GB) (Danehill Dancer), runner-up by a nose
in Woodbine’s Dance Smartly S. (Can-G2) July 18; Richard Duchossois’ ECLAIR DE
LUNE (Ger) (Marchand de Sable), second by three-quarters of a length in
Arlington’s Modesty H. (G3) July 17; Team Valor’s GYPSY’S WARNING (SAf) (Mogok)
winner of Monmouth’s Eatontown S. (G3) May 31; and Nelson McMakin’s Grade 1
queen HOT CHA CHA (Cactus Ridge), winner of Churchill’s Mint Julep H. (G3) June
5 and third in the Modesty.

Also pre-entered in the Beverly D. and now based in North America are
Augustin Stable’s champion RAINBOW VIEW (Dynaformer), winner of Pimlico’s
Gallorette H. (G3) May 15 and fourth in the Modesty; Frank Calabrese’s ROMACACA
(Running Stag) winner of Mountaineer’s Firecracker S. July 3; Juddmonte Farms’
Grade/Group 2 victress TREAT GENTLY (GB) (Cape Cross [Ire]), winner of the
Robert G. Dick Memorial S. (G3) July 17; and Michael Tabor’s TURNING TOP (Ire)
(Pivotal), heroine of the Beverly Hills H. (G3) June 26. Turning Top was
cross-entered to Sunday’s John C. Mabee S. (G2) at Del Mar.

The two Europeans pre-entered for the Beverly D. are Michael Deegan’s
PACHATTACK (Pulpit), winner of the Chalice S. on August 1 at Newbury, and
Marquesa de Mortalla’s BIASED (GB) (Haafhd), third in France’s listed Prix de la
Pepiniere July 25 at Maisons-Laffitte.

Donegal Racing’s PADDY O’PRADO (El Prado [Ire]), considered one of the top
turf horses of any age currently in training, and Estrorace LLC’s WORKIN FOR
HOPS (City Zip), trying to become the fourth horse in history to sweep
Arlington’s Mid-America Triple, head a group of seven sophomores pre-entered for
the Secretariat as the final leg of Arlington’s Triple.

Mark Hawtin’s multiple stakes-placed WIGMORE HALL (Ire) (High Chaparral
[Ire]), the winner of a lucrative handicap over older horses at York, is the
lone European Secretariat invader.

The remaining quartet, in alphabetical order, are Millard Seldin Revocable
Trust and the Estate of Hoss Inman’s stakes-placed CHEROKEE LORD (Sir Cherokee),
a runner-up over Arlington’s grass July 29; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Lane’s
End S. (G2) winner DEAN’S KITTEN (Kitten’s Joy), third but demoted to fourth in
Arlington’s American Derby (G2) July 17; Lothenbach Stables’ MISTER MARTI GRAS
(Belong to Me) second to Workin for Hops in the American Derby; and James
Hackman and Glenn Thompson’s stakes scorer TWO NOTCH ROAD (Partner’s Hero),
fourth in Monmouth’s Jersey Derby August 1.