A First Photo Glimpse of Million Week Contenders

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — Tuesday of Arlington Million week saw the first signs of the contenders that will test the northwest suburban turf in Saturday’s Arlington International of Festival of Racing.

First out on the Arlington polytrack at about 7:30 AM were Team Valor’s American St. Leger pre-entrant PANAMA HAT and Damian Lavelle’s Arlington Million pre-entrant ELLEVAL.

Moments after those two took to the main track, a quintet of workers stretched their legs on the Arlington training dirt track on the backside. For all six Europeans present, William Normanton of Horse America reported to Picks & Ponderings that the Million Day runners on the first plane to the States exited their flights and quarantines in good order.  None of the activity from the training track were formally timed by Equibase or any other third-party clocker service (Picks & Ponderings inclusive), and this was by design per Normanton.

Those five were:

  • Beverly D. pre entrant SECRET GESTURE, fifth in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
  • American St. Leger pre-entrant LUCKY SPEED, last seen with a fourth in the G2-CDN Nijinsky II Stakes.
  • Million pre-entrant BOOKRUNNER, a last out third in a Group Three in France.
  • Million pre-entrant MAVERICK WAVE, a Group Three winner last time out in Britain.
  • Million pre-entrant ELLEVAL, second in an Irish Group Three in his most recent effort.
  • Million pre-entrant BELGIAN BILL, second in the Betfred Mile at Goodwood last out.

Lastly, at the tail end of morning training, Marco Botti trainee and defending G1 Beverly D. champion EURO CHARLINE came out for a gallop on the turf course. EURO CHARLINE is pre-entered in the Beverly D. this year.


EURO CHARLINE gets reacquainted with the Arlington grass.

None of today’s activity was timed and recorded on the public Equibase worktab, and Picks & Ponderings did not record times of workers.

Nicolle Neulist contributed to this piece. All photos courtesy of Paul Mazur and Nicolle Neulist. Video courtesy Nicolle Neulist.

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