08/18/2002 11:00PM

Bailey the difference again


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - It was an Arlington Million and a half.

The first Million, in 1981, was pure melodrama, with John Henry getting up in the final stride to score by a nose over The Bart after his cause had appeared hopeless. There have been numerous thrilling renewals in the interim, but none had the impact of Saturday's 20th running, when Prince Khalid Abdullah's Beat Hollow, the 7-10 favorite, prevailed by a head over an old rival, Sarafan.

The aspect that distinguished this Million was its unusually competitive flavor. Forbidden Apple, who was third after an outstanding effort on the lead, was beaten a nose for second money.

Ulundi, who was fourth, was beaten a head for third. It was a nose back to Falcon Flight, who was fifth, while Paolini, who finished sixth, was only a neck behind Falcon Flight.

The first six, then, were very much in the hunt to the end and the difference once again was Jerry Bailey, whose performance aboard Beat Hollow was brilliant. Circumstances provided a powerful challenge. Bailey had to ride Beat Hollow in a way that would not permit the leader to open too much of a margin. He also was obliged to save something for the drive, when the fast-closing Sarafan would surely come calling.

Bailey played it with a rare touch, stalking Forbidden Apple through a first mile in 1:38.77. He waited with exquisite patience before producing Beat Hollow a half-step before Sarafan launched the drive that missed by an inch. The 27,431 on hand in pleasant weather showed their appreciation for the quality displayed with a sustained ovation.

Despite Beat Hollow's well-deserved victory at 1 1/4 miles in the Arlington Million, he will now be pointed for the Breeders' Cup Mile, rather than the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' Cup Turf.

John Chandler, who manages the racing and breeding interests of Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms in North America, and trainer Bobby Frankel, who prepares the horses so skillfully, said later they believe Beat Hollow can be most effective at a mile.

Juddmonte had another good winner on the Million program when Chiselling (by Woodman) came from last under Kent Desormeaux to capture the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds on the grass at 1 1/4 miles. Chiselling won by a nose from the Irish horse Jazz Beat, who was second here last month in the American Derby. Jazz Beat stalked the pace, went to the front in the upper stretch, and appeared to have the Secretariat won when Chiselling came flying.

Golden Apples, who was second in the Ramona Handicap at Del Mar last month, finished strongly under Pat Valenzuela to win the $700,000 Beverly D. for fillies and mares at 1 3/16 miles on the turf.

The Beverly D. is another feature of Arlington's international turf festival, with the Million and the Secretariat. England's Legend, who won the Beverly D. on the lead last summer, once again made the pace. Golden Apples, who rallied on the turn, went to the front leaving the furlong pole and held off a late bid by Astra to win by three-quarters of a length. Trained by Ben Cecil, Golden Apples is scheduled for the Yellow Ribbon at Oak Tree this fall and for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

o Farda Amiga is the real McCoy. Confirming her form of the Kentucky Oaks, the Broad Brush filly came from far back to beat the pacesetting Allamerican Bertie by three-quarters of a length in Saturday's $750,000 Alabama Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Allamerican Bertie, the Delaware Oaks winner, ran the best race of her career in the Alabama but Farda Amiga, making her first start since early May, was too strong. You, the 8-5 favorite, showed her distance limitations in finishing third.