The first non Arlington-based starter
for Arlington Million XXIX arrived on the grounds Friday afternoon at 1 p.m.
when Naipaul & Terikchand Chatterpaul’s Mission Approved was bedded down in
Barn 18 on the local backstretch following a 16-hour van ride from Belmont Park.
“He usually travels very well,” said trainer Naipaul
Chatterpaul. “I’ll have to see how he recovers from this travel.”
Claimed for $35,000 a little more than a year ago, the son
of With Approval paid immediate dividends for his new connections when he
finished second beaten only a neck by 2009 Arlington Million winner and 2011
Million contender Gio Ponti in the Grade I Man o’War at Belmont
Park barely 30 days later.
“After the Man o’War I was getting him ready for the (Grade
I) Sword Dancer and he grabbed a quarter,” Chatterpaul explained. “I let
it heal on its own. By the time it healed up it was the end of the grass
season in New York
and I don’t race anywhere else for the winter. So I sent him to the farm
and brought him back this year.”
In his first start of the year, the 7-year-old horse upset
his rivals including Gio Ponti in the Grade I Manhattan Handicap on Belmont
Stakes Day June 11. Last out, he ran fourth after making the pace in the
Man o’War which was won by fellow Million hopeful Cape
Chatterpaul was undecided if Mission Approved would have a
workout over the Arlington turf before the Million but was planning at minimum
to get him a gallop over the course prior to race day.
“A work would be great,” the trainer said, “but if that’s
too much then we’ll just gallop him.”
Jose Espinoza is expected to ride
Mission Approved in the Million. Pre-entries for the mile and a quarter
turf race close today with post positions to be drawn Tuesday afternoon.