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Defending Champ Little Mike Tops Arlington Million Pre-Entries

Defending Grade I Arlington Million champion Little Mike (trained by Dale Romans) was pre-entered along with thirteen others for the 31st Arlington Million on Aug. 17.  If the son of Spanish Steps proves victorious again for owner Priscilla Vaccarezza, he will have to defeat up to seven foreign interests, including three Group I winners – GusMay-Fer’s Indy Point (Richard Mandella) from Argentina via California, Godolphin Racing’s Hunter’s Light (Saeed bin Suroor) from the UAE and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum’s The Apache (Mike De Kock).

Also pre-entered from across the pond were Yvonne Jacques’ multiple Grade II-winning Grandeur (Jeremy Noseda), Giuliano Manfredini’s lightly raced Guest of Honour (Marco Botti), Pearl Bloodstock’s battle-tested gelding Side Glance (Andrew Balding) and Invictus’ improving Mull of Killough (Jane Chapple-Hyam). 

The American contingent to challenge Little Mike is talented and deep.  Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Real Solution (Chad Brown) exits a strong third-place finish behind the brilliant Point of Entry in the Grade I Manhattan Handicap, while Robert E. Courtney, Jr.’s Rahystrada (Byron Hughes) and Windy Hill Farm’s Nates Mineshaft (Anne Smith) exit strong victories over the local course. 

While Nates Mineshaft won a classy turf allowance, Rahystrada took down the course and distance prep – the Grade III Arlington Handicap.  Second in that race was Niall Racing’s fellow Million pre-entry Temeraine (Tom Proctor), an improving horse who outran his long odds.  Dale Romans also pre-entered Donegal Racing’s Finnegans Wake, whose closing style would compliment his stablemate if both run.

 

 

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