Grandeur (IRE), second in the Group 2 York Stakes in his most recent start, and defending champion Little Mike lead a filled-to-the-brim field of 13 horses in Saturday's Grade 1 Arlington Million at Arlington Park outside of Chicago (Post time 6:22 p.m. Eastern; TV: WGN & HRTV). Preceeding the Million on the card are four stakes races on the turf course: Hatoof Stakes, American St. Leger, G1-Secretariat and G1-Beverly D.
Defending Million champion Little Mike, and the defending Breeders' Cup Turf champion, is still looking for his first victory since the calendar turned over to "2013". He made the long trip over to Dubai this spring and did little to nothing in his two starts at Meydan. Back in North America, Little Mike looked for an opportunity to "get right" in the G1-United Nations at Monmouth in early July but he struggled in the latter stages and finished fourth, 3 1/4 lengths behind winner Big Blue Kitten.
As for Grandeur, he returns to North America for the second time after he swooped in last fall for three graded stakes races over the lawn at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita; he won the G1-Twilight Derby and the G2-Hollywood Turf Cup, and finished second in the G1-Hollywood Derby. William Buick makes the trip across the Atlantic to ride Grandeur on Saturday.
Besides Grandeur, seven other horses in this year's Million field have raced outside North America for the majority of their careers:
1-Real Solution (10/1): A Ken & Sarah Ramsey colt that ran the first five races of his career in Italy before shipping to Belmont for a pair of graded stakes tries. He's still looking for his first group/graded stakes victory.
3-Hunter's Light (IRE) (8/1): A Goldolphin trainee coming off a third place effort in a Group 1 race in Germany in his most recent start. Hunter's Light won the Group 1 Premio Roma in Italy back in early November.
6-Side Glance (GB) (12/1): Won the Group 3 Diomed Stakes back in June of 2012 and hasn't visited the winner's enclosure in any of his eight subsequent starts.
7-Indy Point (ARG) (9/2): Winner of the ungraded Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar in his North American debut, this Argentinian colt is a three-time top level winner in his homeland. Just like his last race, Indy Point will have Gary Stevens in the irons.
8-Mull of Killough (IRE) (12/1): Winner of the Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket last fall, Mull of Killough finished second in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot in his most recent start. This seven-year-old gelding has run quite well over softer ground but struggled over firmer surfaces in Europe so keep an eye on the going at Arlington on Saturday.
9-Guest of Honour (IRE) (15/1): Third in the aforementioned Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot in his last start, Guest of Honor has the distinction of winning a race over the unique figure-eight layout at Royal Windsor. He's run well over firmer ground, including standard surfaces, and could love the harder courses here in America and the addition of Lasix.
10-The Apache (SAF) (6/1): Tough to really know what to make of this runner; he finished fourth in the Group 2 York Stakes in late July but his best success efforts occurred either at Meydan or in his native South Africa.
Below are the entries, post positions and morning line odds for the Arlington Million, along with the American St. Leger, Secretariat Stakes and Beverly D.
American St. Leger
Post time: 4:52 p.m. Eastern
|2||Ojos de Hielo||J. Sanchez||L. Rivelli||30/1|
|3||Code of Conduct||F. Geroux||W. Catalano||20/1|
|4||Dandino (GB)||R. Moore||M. Botti||9/5|
|5||Suntracer||E. Castro||C. Block||8/1|
|6||Ioya Bigtime||F. Torres||C. Block||8/1|
|7||Najjaar||J. Graham||D. Peitz||6/1|
|8||Wigmore Hall (IRE)||J. Spencer||M. Bell||7/2|
Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes
Post time: 5:23 p.m. Eastern
|1||Golden Jason||J. Felix||G. Dorchenko||30/1|
|2||Visiyani (FR)||C. Lemare||A. De Royer-Dupre||12/1|
|3||Rydilluc||E. Prado||G. Contessa||9/2|
|4||Firsst Cornerstone (IRE)||C. Hayes||A. Oliver||8/1|
|5||Admiral Kitten||R. Napravnik||M. Maker||5/1|
|6||Bethel||F. Geroux||G. Dorchenko||30/1|
|7||Yeager||R. Moore||J. Noseda||12/1|
|8||Balthazar||R. Albarado||D. Romans||30/1|
|9||Jack Milton||J. Rosario||T. Pletcher||3/1|
|10||Stormy Len||A. Solis||D. Donk||15/1|
|11||Amen Kitten||E. Baird||W. Ward||30/1|
|12||Draw Two||G. Stevens||M, Nihei||6/1|
|13||Tattenham||K. Desormeaux||W. Mott||10/1|
Grade 1 Beverly D.
Post time: 6:02 p.m. Eastern
|1||La Tia||K. Desormeaux||A. De la cerda||20/1|
|2||Duntle (IRE)||W. Lordan||D. Wachman||3/1|
|3||Solid Appeal||J. Rosario||R. Baker||10/1|
|4||Dank (GB)||R. Moore||S. Stoute||7/2|
|5||Gifted Girl (IRE)||T. Queally||P. Cole||12/1|
|6||Marketing Mix||G. Stevens||T. Proctor||2/1|
|7||Starformer||E. Prado||W. Mott||8/1|
|8||Artemus Kitten||R. Napravnik||M. Maker||30/1|
|9||Ausus||J. Graham||D. Peitz||10/1|
Grade 1 Arlington Million
Post time: 6:44 p.m. Eastern
|1||Real Solution||A. Garcia||C. Brown||10/1|
|2||Finnegans Wake||R. Albarado||D. Romans||30/1|
|3||Hunter's Light (IRE)||R. Moore||S. bin Suroor||8/1|
|4||Nates Mineshaft||E. Baird||A. Smith||30/1|
|5||Temeraine||E. Castro||T. Proctor||30/1|
|6||Side Glance (GB)||J. Spencer||A. Balding||12/1|
|7||Indy Point (ARG)||G. Stevens||R. Mandella||9/2|
|8||Mull of Killough (IRE)||J. O'Brien||J. Chapple-Hyam||12/1|
|9||Guest of Honour (IRE)||M. Hartley||M. Botti||15/1|
|10||The Apache (SAF)||C. Soumillon||M. de Kock||6/1|
|11||Little Mike||J. Rosario||D. Romans||5/1|
|12||Rahystrada||R. Napravnik||B. Hughes||20/1|
|13||Grandeur (IRE)||W. Buick||J. Noseda||7/2|