Foreign horses prominent on Million Day
BY PATRICK FINLEY For Sun-Times Media August 16, 2013 9:54PM
Updated: September 18, 2013 6:14AM
Barn 28 sits on the southwest edge of Arlington Park, as far as one can trot without leaving the racetrack complex.
Overseas horses flew to the United States about a week ago, spent two days in quarantine and moved into Barn 28, apart from their American foes in the Arlington Million.
It feels like home.
“You see the staff and the trainers from back in England,” Jane Chapple-Hyam, Mull of Killough’s trainer, said Friday. “Everyone mucks in, and helps each other.”
The odds are good a foreign horse will clip-clop back to Barn 28 on Saturday with the Million prize.
A record seven of the 13 participants in the 11/4-mile headliner on the turf were born abroad.
Six more are spread through the major undercard stakes, the $400,000 American St. Leger, the $500,000 Grade I Secretariat Stakes and the $750,000 Beverly D.
Grandeur, the morning-line favorite at 7-2, is one of the Million’s four Irish-born horses that train in Newmarket, England.
Indy Point, the second choice at 9-2, was born in Argentina, but hasn’t raced there since December. Side Glance (12-1) is from Great Britain; The Apache (6-1) was born in South Africa and is owned by a Dubai sheik.
“Everyone knows Arlington Park provides beautiful international races — with great prize money,” said Lucie Botti, who trains 15-1 Guest of Honour with her husband, Marco, back in Newmarket.
Traveling is “much more easy than it used to be,” she said; her horses took 22 hours, door-to-door, to ship via cargo plane.
Dehydration from the trip is always an issue, said Chapple-Hyam, another Newmarket trainer. She limited 12-1 Mull of Killough to gentle canters this week.
“The flight for me is a race in itself,” she said.