08/08/2003 11:00PM

Eight Euros among 13 pre-entries for Million


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The pre-entry fees have been submitted, and, barring injury or last-minute changes in plan, a field of 13 will start Saturday in the Grade 1 Arlington Million.

There were no surprises here, with the expected blockbuster field to be the largest since 14 started in 1994. There is high foreign intrigue, with Sulamani heading an eight-horse European contingent, the largest ever for the Million. The four Amercians also pack punch: Honor in War, Perfect Drift, Storming Home, and The Tin Man all have won a Grade 1 race either this year or last. And from Canada comes Perfect Soul, Grade 1-placed last season and perhaps Canada's top turf runner this year.

Sulamani's participation, which was revealed just days ago, gives the 1 1/4-mile Million a huge boost. Second as a 3-year-old last fall in the Arc d'Triomphe, Sulamani brings better credentials than any horse ever to ship overseas for the Million. Trained by Saeed bin Suroor for Godolphin Racing, Sulamani was to arrive Sunday at midnight on a private chartered plane.

Two Million runners from Europe came in Friday: Kaieteur and Paolini, who was a close sixth in last year's race. Also on their flight was Joe Bear, one of several Europeans expected to run in the Grade 1, $400,000 Secretariat. Walzerkoenigin, the lone European in the Grade 1, $700,000 Beverly D. was the first Euro on the grounds.

The Beverly D. continued to take shape this weekend, with trainer Donnie Von Hemel saying he was leaning toward running Bien Nicole in the Beverly D. rather than the $75,000 Estrapade here Friday.

"With Ipi Tombe and Golden Apples out, it makes you take another look," he said.

Indeed, the list of Beverly D. possibles swelled with news that the race's top two horses were out with injuries. Voodoo Dancer and Dublino head that field, with six to nine horses expected to make the gate. Zenda will not run for trainer Bobby Frankel, since she was not supplemented to the race by Friday's supplementary entry deadline.

The prospective Million field, with riders, is: Honor in War (Jose Valdivia), Perfect Drift (Pat Day), Perfect Soul (undecided), Storming Home (Gary Stevens), The Tin Man (Mike Smith), Beauchamp Pilot (Eddie Ahern), Kaieteur (Rene Douglas), Paolini (Eduardo Pedroza), Touch of Land (undecided), Vangelis (Cristophe Soumillon), Olden Times (Kent Desormeaux), Sulamani (David Flores), and Tripat (undecided).