William Bellew’s Summit Surge,
one of three European invaders for Saturday’s Grade I Arlington Million,
stepped onto Arlington’s main track at 7:10 Wednesday morning, backed up to the
seven-eighths pole and cantered once around under exercise rider Marcel Koran.
On his way back to Arlington’s International
Barn, the 6-year-old Irish-bred gelding stopped off in the paddock for a brief
schooling session conducted by Charlie Henson, European trainer Luca Cumani’s
head travelling lad.
Also observing the schooling
and available to chat briefly a short time later was Bill Bellew, whose wife
and two daughters are with him on this trip to Chicago. Younger daughter
Niamh will observe her 16th birthday Saturday on Arlington Million Day, and the
Irish owner is hoping the day turns into a double celebration.
“The family often travels with
me to see Summit Surge run,” said Bellew. “We are enjoying all this
together. They were with me at York (July 24) to watch him win the (Group
II) Sky Bet York Stakes and they also went to Italy with me for his race before
that (San Siro’s Group II Premio Carlo Vittadini at one mile May 30).
“However, the York Stakes was
the first time we asked him to go over 10 furlongs,” Bellew said. “We
threw him in the deep end for that race, but he responded for us. He’s a
well-seasoned traveler and he traveled well here.
“Luca (trainer Cumani) is very
keen on running in the Arlington Million, so we’re going to have a go at it and
look forward to another great ride from Kieren Fallon,” Bellew said.
Also galloping on the main
track in advance of Saturday’s Arlington Million was Jean and Ted Barlas and
Michael Porcaro’s Quite a Handful, a locally-based 4-year-old trained by Andy
Hansen who finished sixth in last year’s Secretariat Stakes. That colt
appeared on the track at 6 a.m., backed up to the quarter pole and turned and
galloped a mile and a half.