07/20/2010 10:43AM

European preps key to Arlington Million


Three races in Ireland, England, and Germany this week will determine the European contingent for the Arlington Million on Aug. 21. Famous Name will test the waters in the Meld Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday. On Saturday, intended Million runner Stotsfold goes in the York Stakes at York along with Million possible Debussy. And on Sunday, Querari runs in the Bayerisches Zuchtrennen at Munich.

Famous Name may be the best horse in the world you never heard of. Trained by Dermot Weld for Khalid Abdullah, the 5-year-old son of Dansili was second to Vision d’Etat in the 2008 French Derby and has won 6 of 12 starts since then, among them three Group 3’s and three listed races between eight and nine furlongs. In the money in his last 15 outings, his best effort of late may have been when second in the one-mile, Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp in September. He is 2 for 2 this year, with victories in the listed Heritage Stakes and the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes, both at a mile at Leopardstown.

At 1 1/4 miles, the Group 3, $78,000 Meld Stakes is a perfectly timed prep for the Million. Weld has been planning his latest Chicago assault since early spring, and Famous Name comes into the race off a 10-week freshening. His main foe looks like the Kevin Prendergast-trained Recharge. A distant second to Fame and Glory in both the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes and the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, the Cape Cross 4-year-old has since won a one-mile listed race at Leopardstown.

Walter Swinburn has had Stotsfold penciled in for a return trip to the Million since the 7-year-old son of Barathea won the 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes on May 27 at Sandown Park. Third in last year’s Million, Stotsfold has since won the listed 1 1/4-mile Gala Stakes at Sandown Park. In the Group 2, $160,000 York Stakes at 1 1/4 miles and 88 yards, he will be joined by Debussy, a 4-year-old son of Diesis trained by John Gosden whose best recent effort was a May 6 victory in the 1 1/4-mile, 75-yard, Group 3 Huxley Stakes at Chester. Debussy also was the winner of the 1 1/4-mile, Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Laffitte last July.

Tazeez, who was a neck second to Stotsfold in the Brigadier Gerard and a sharp third behind Byword and Twice Over in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, also is being considered for the Million by Gosden and owner Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Andreas Wohler brought Silvano over from Germany to win the Million in 2001. In Querari, he has the winner of the Premio Presidente della Repubblica, a 1 1/4-mile Group 1 run at the Capannelle in Rome on May 16. The 4-year-old son of Oasis Dream has been freshened since then for Sunday’s Group 1, $201,000 Bayerisches Zuchtrennen, which rates as Germany’s premier 10-furlong contest.

A sixth Million possible, Stimulation, disappointed when seventh in the listed 1 1/4-mile Steventon Stakes at Newbury on Saturday, but trainer Hughie Morrison is still planning on traveling to Chicago, hoping that his 5-year-old son of Choisir can reproduce the form that had him fourth in the Prince of Wales.