Arlington Million Day fields starting to take shape
Thanks to the Arlington barn notes, we're getting a firmer idea of the prospective fields for the August 15 Million Day extravaganza.
Here are the contenders named in the latest dispatches. The American-based runners are listed first, followed by the likely European contingent:
ARLINGTON MILLION (G1)
American-based: Grade/Group 2 winner Triple Threat, victorious in his U.S. debut for Bill Mott in the Monmouth (G2); comeback player of the year candidate Gabriel Charles, fresh off a career-best romp in the Eddie Read (G1); Chad Brown's duo of Slumber and Big Blue Kitten, who've traded decisions in the Manhattan (G1) and United Nations (G1) of late; Grade 3 scorer Legendary, most recently third to Slumber and Big Blue Kitten in the Manhattan; Illinois-bred star The Pizza Man, exiting a repeat victory in the Stars and Stripes (G3); Quiet Force, winner of the local prep in the Arlington H. (G3); former Canadian Horse of the Year Up With the Birds, third in the Arlington 'Cap; and class climber Pumpkin Rumble, who just earned his first stakes win in the Mystic Lake Mile. Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) hero Finnegans Wake, third to Gabriel Charles in the Eddie Read, is labeled as "on the fence."
European shippers: Goodwood stakes winner The Corsican, a troubled second in the Glorious (G3) for David Simcock; John Gosden's Maverick Wave, unraced since battling to victory in the May 7 Huxley (G3) at Chester; French Group 3-placed Bookrunner from the Mikel Delzangles yard; the Andreas Wohler-trained Wake Forest, a Group 3 winner at Hamburg in his latest; and globetrotting handicapper Belgian Bill and Group 2-placed Elleval, both veterans of the Dubai Carnival.
BEVERLY D. (G1)
American-based: Multiple Grade 1 star Stephanie's Kitten, an inconvenienced second here last year, and a belated fifth in the Diana (G1) last out; her stablemate from the Chad Brown barn, multiple Grade 3 victress Watsdachances, who would have won the Dance Smartly (G2) but for a misjudged ride; and Irish Group 2 winner Mango Diva, a fine second in the Modesty (G3) second time out for Michael Matz. Modesty queen Walk Close has been termed "unlikely," while Royal Heroine (G2) winner Fanticola, New York (G2) runner-up Eastern Belle, and Modesty fifth Overheard (a past Canadian Grade 2 winner) are all "on the fence." Eastern Belle is probable for Saturday's Waya at Saratoga, according to NYRA.
European shippers: Defending champion Euro Charline, a strong second in the Falmouth (G1) to the streaking Amazing Maria (who just came back to capture Sunday's Prix Rothschild [G1]); Ralph Beckett's Middleton (G2) queen Secret Gesture, fourth in the Pretty Polly (G1); Aidan O'Brien's sophomore duo of Together Forever, winner of the Fillies Mile (G1) at two and most recently fourth in the Irish Oaks (G1), and Outstanding, third to Lady Eli in the Belmont Oaks (G1); Carla Bianca, victorious over Million candidate Elleval in the Meld (G3) for Dermot Weld; and Waldemar Hickst's Lacy, a German Group 3 veteran and Italian Group 1-placed performer who hasn't run since trailing in the April 27 Prix Allez France (G3).
American-based: Belmont Derby (G1) conqueror Force the Pass; American Turf (G2) hero Divisidero, who's much better than his seventh behind Force the Pass at Belmont; Closing Bell and Granny's Kitten, the respective fourth and eighth from the Belmont Derby; Brown's progressive Money Multiplier, a fast-finishing second in the Kent (G3); and Crittenden, the near-miss second to World Approval in the local prep, the American Derby (G3). World Approval is entered in Friday's National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) at Saratoga, so his Secretariat status is questionable now.
European shippers: O'Brien's blueblood Highland Reel, the French Derby (G1) runner-up who just garnered the Gordon (G3) at Glorious Goodwood; War Dispatch, the French Derby third who has since checked in second in the Prix Eugene Adam (G2) for Jean-Claude Rouget; the Delzangles-trained Canndal, Group 2-placed in France to the classy Ampere and best of the rest behind Force the Pass at Belmont; Mr. Owen, third in the French 2000 Guineas (G1) but a subpar sixth next time in the Prix Jean Prat (G1); and unbeaten Italian Derby (G2) victor Goldstream, who was subsequently sold and transferred to Wohler. Listed as possible is Sir Michael Stoute's Disegno, a lackluster third to Highland Reel at Goodwood.
AMERICAN ST LEGER (G3)
American-based: Grade 2 veteran Hyper, exiting a third in the Singspiel (G3) for Brown; the Keith Desormeaux-trained Crucero, who surprised the San Juan Capistrano (G3) at 23-1; the respective second through fourth to The Pizza Man in the Stars and Stripes, Roman Approval, the very unlucky Calvados, and Xtra Luck (winner of the Louisville H. [G3] in his prior start); and Golden Soul, whose participation may be uncertain after a sixth in the August 1 Bowling Green H. (G2).
Europeans: Peter Schiergen's Lucky Speed, the 2013 German Derby (G1) hero who resurfaced with a highly encouraging fourth in the Nijinsky (G2) at Woodbine; easy-to-root-for 10-year-old Forgotten Voice, a terrific second going 1 3/4 miles at Glorious Goodwood last week; and upwardly mobile Panama Hat, a prolific Irish handicapper last term who just scored a stakes breakthrough in the Lenebane.
Arlington Park photo by Harold Roth/Horsephotos.com.