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Florida-bred Little Mike Among Arlington Million Entrants

little mike
Boisterous, owned by Phipps Stable, and Irish-bred invader Crackerjack King were set as the top two choices Wednesday when a field of 11 was entered for Saturday’s Arlington Million.

Saturday’s 30th anniversary edition of the Arlington Million – as always the centerpiece event of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season—will feature an international cast.

Boisterous, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, was pegged as the 4-1 slight choice in the Arlington Million morning line with jockey Jose Lezcano aboard, while the Irish-bred Crackerjack King, trained by Italian-born Marco Botti, was installed as the 5-1 second choice in the Million with Irish reinsman Colm O’Donoghue slated for the saddle.

Boisterous finished second by a neck in his most recent start in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap July 14 after losing ground by racing six-wide, and before that was third in Belmont’s Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day June 9.

Crackerjack King disappointed in his last start in Great Britain’s Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown July 7 but before that he captured Italy’s Group 1 Premio Presidente della Repubblica at Capannelle on May 13.

Behind Boisterous, the choice among the half-dozen North American-based Million runners at 6-1 is Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Florida-bred Little Mike, who won Churchill’s Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day May 5 and most recently finished third in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park June 30.  Eclipse Award-winning rider Ramon Dominguez is named in the irons.

Also pegged at 6-1 are Darley Stud Management’s British-bred Afsare and Mrs. Fitriani Hay, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s British-bred Treasure Beach.  The latter won last year’s Secretariat Stakes but most recently disappointed when fourth in Ireland’s Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown on Aug. 9.

Last year’s Arlington Million winning rider Jamie Spencer gets the mount on Treasure Beach and Afsare has jockey Kieran Fallon listed.

Robert Courtney Jr.’s Rahystrada, who won this year’s Arlington Handicap as well as its 2010 renewal, was fifth in last summer’s Million and fourth in the 2010 Million, is 8-1 on the morning line, as is Darley Stud Management’s Irish-bred Colombian, eighth in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes in his last start during Great Britain’s prestigious Royal Ascot meeting June 20.

Riding assignments have Julien Leparoux aboard Rahystrada and William Buick astride Colombian.

–Arlington Park Publicity contributed to this report.

Little Mike/Reed Palmer photo

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