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Blog - RACING

Little Mike, above, won the 2012 Arlington Million before a victory in the Breeders' Cup Turf. He will try for a reapeat win in the Arlington Million on Saturday at Arlington Park. (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire)

Last year’s $1 million Arlington Million Stakes victor Little Mike will return to Arlington Park on Saturday in search of a repeat win in this year’s edition of the race. Little Mike also will be searching for his first win of the year when he takes on 12 opponents in Arlington Park’s signature race.

After last year’s Million victory, Little Mike went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf and was a finalist for the Eclipse Award as champion turf male, a title he lost out on to Wise Dan. This year, Little Mike had two unsuccessful trips in Dubai before finishing fourth in the United Nations Stakes in his last outing.

While Little Mike is the defending winner of the race, European invader Grandeur is the 7-2 morning-line favorite for the race. In three American starts, the 4-year-old gelding has never been worse than second with a record that includes two graded stakes victories in America. He is coming off a second-place finish in the Sky Bet York Stakes in England and will be paired with fellow European William Buick for the Arlington Million.

GRANDEUR WINNING HOLLYWOOD TURF CUP

Grandeur

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Indy Point, who made an impressive American debut with Gary Stevens on board nearly a month ago, will again be teaming up with the jockey for the Million. The 9-2 second choice was a multiple Grade 1 winner in Argentina and is looking to pick up his first graded stakes victory in this country. If he runs to the form he showed at Del Mar last month in the Wickerr Stakes, he could be a big threat to win the Arlington Million for a Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Rahystrada is looking to be the hometown hero in the race at morning-line odds of 20-1 after winning last month’s Arlington Handicap, a prep race for the Million. The 9-year-old gelding will become the first horse to contest the Arlington Million four times and looks to better his third-place finish in last year’s edition of the race. Rahystrada will have jockey Rosie Napravnik aboard for the third time in his 44-race career. Napravnik has never finished worse than second on the chestnut gelding.

RAHYSTRADA AFTER WINNING ARLINGTON HANDICAP

Rahystrada

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Nates Mineshaft will also be trying to bring the trophy home for the home team after winning an optional claiming race at Arlington Park last month. He will have regular jockey E.T. Baird aboard for his attempt at winning the fourth graded stakes race of his career.

Several other European invaders also will be making the race an interesting affair if all goes according to plan.

Hunter’s Light dominated in Dubai during their Spring Festival, winning two group stakes races at Meydan, but he finished a disappointing seventh in the Dubai World Cup. He will be looking for his first win since March in the Arlington Million, his first race on American soil. If Hunter’s Light pulls off a victory, he will have won a race on three different continents and in four different countries in the past year. Multiple Breeders’ Cup winning jockey Ryan Moore will be paired with the 5-year-old horse for his attempt at the feat.

Mull of Killough shipped in from Europe for the race after finishing second in a Group 2 race last out, one spot ahead of fellow Million entrant Guest of Honour. Mull of Killough has only been off the board twice since July 2012 and won three consecutive races from October 2012 to April of this year. He will be ridden by Joseph O’Brien for the first time since last October. The two have been no worse than second in two previous runs.

Other notable contenders in the race include 2011 South Africa Champions Cup winner The Apache, who impressed with a second-place finish in the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan during the 2013 Dubai World Cup card, and stakes winners Guest of Honour, Side Glance, and Real Solution. Graded 1-placed Finnegans Wake and Arlington Handicap runner-up Temeraine round out the 13-horse field for the feature race of Arlington’s International Festival card.

$1 million Arlington Million

Saturday, Arlington Park, Race 10, 5:44 p.m. CT

3-year-olds and older, 1 1/2 miles (turf)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

Odds

1

Real Solution (PA)

Alan Garcia

Chad Brown

10-1

2

Finnegans Wake (KY)

Robby Albarado

Dale Romans

30-1

3

Hunter's Light (IRE)

Ryan Moore

Saeed Bin Suroor

8-1

4

Nates Mineshaft (KY)

E.T. Baird

Anne Smith

30-1

5

Temeraine (KY)

Eddie Castro

Tom Proctor

30-1

6

Side Glance (GB)

Jamie Spencer

Andrew Balding

12-1

7

Indy Point (ARG)

Gary Stevens

Richard Mandella

9-2

8

Mull of Killough (IRE)

Joseph O'Brien

Jane Chapple-Hyam

12-1

9

Guest of Honour (IRE)

Martin Haley

Marco Botti

15-1

10

The Apache (SAF)

Christophe Soumillion

Mike de Kock

15-1

11

Little Mike (FL)

Joel Rosario

Dale Romans

5-1

12

Rahystrada (KY)

Rosie Napravnik

Byron Hughes

20-1

13

Grandeur (IRE)

William Buick

Jeremy Noseda

7-2

 

Image Description

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Melissa Bauer-Herzog was born and raised in Vancouver, Wash. where she grew up riding horses in all-around events. After graduating from West Texas A&M with a B.S. in Mass Communication she spent the summer of 2012 interning at the United States Equestrian Federation and working at the Paulick Report. Melissa joined America’s Best Racing in December 2012 while interning with Three Chimneys Farm in their marketing communications division.

Image Description

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Melissa Bauer-Herzog was born and raised in Vancouver, Wash. where she grew up riding horses in all-around events. After graduating from West Texas A&M with a B.S. in Mass Communication she spent the summer of 2012 interning at the United States Equestrian Federation and working at the Paulick Report. Melissa joined America’s Best Racing in December 2012 while interning with Three Chimneys Farm in their marketing communications division.

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