Updated on 09/15/2011 12:50PM

Hap, Bienamado far apart in Million


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - While his main rival from New York was assigned the rail, Bienamado, the pride of California and currently the top turf horse in North America, drew post 10 in a stellar field of 12 older horses entered in the Arlington Million, which will be run for the 19th time Saturday at Arlington Park.

Hap, the Bill Mott-trained chestnut who has emerged as one of the East's top turf runners by winning all three of his races this year, will start from post 1 with Jerry Bailey aboard. Last year, Bailey won the Million aboard Chester House for trainer Bobby Frankel and Juddmonte Farms, who this year are represented by Senure, a budding star who drew post 7.

Bienamado, who arrived Wednesday afternoon at Arlington, will be ridden by Chris McCarron in the 1 1/4-mile Million, which since 1981 has been the premier racing event in Chicago. A 5-year-old horse trained by Paco Gonzalez, Bienamado has won 8 of 15 starts and over $1.26 million.

The Million is one of three Grade 1 turf races to be run here Saturday. Fields for the other two events in the International Festival of Racing, the $700,000 Beverly D. and the $400,000 Secretariat, also were drawn Wednesday at the track.

In the Beverly D., Astra is expected to be the strongest favorite of the Festival events. Astra drew post 7 in a field of nine fillies and mares in the 1 3/16-mile Beverly D., which, until the inception of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf in 1999, was widely regarded as the most important race in the division.

The Secretariat, which will be run for the 25th time, clearly is the most competitive of the Festival races. Sharp Performance, a winner in three of four career starts, is expected to vie for lukewarm favoritism with the highly touted European invader, Mizzen Mast, in the 1 1/4-mile Secretariat.

As usual, it is the Million that deserves the day's top billing. Not only has the race drawn such established stars as Bienamado, Hap, and the German standout Silvano, but others on the verge of being considered world class. Senure won the Grade 1 United Nations in his last start; White Heart, trained by Neil Drysdale, won the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve in May; and Redattore won the Grade 1 Eddie Read last month at Del Mar. Longshots include such established runners as Quiet Resolve, Takarian, and Make No Mistake.

The Festival will be simulcast to hundreds of North American outlets while the Million and Beverly D. will be telecast on ESPN's Racing to the World Thoroughbred Championships on a one-hour show beginning at 3 p.m. Central. The Beverly D., carded as the sixth of 12 races, will be shown on tape delay, while the Million (race 8) will be shown live. The Secretariat (race 10) is not part of the broadcast.

A Festival pick three linking the three major races will be available Saturday. Advance wagering on all Festival events will be available Friday at Arlington and at many simulcast outlets.

Arlington Million Field:

Horse Jockey
1 Hap Bailey
2 Silvano Suborics
3 Redattore Solis
4 Takarian Nakatani
5 Muakaad Smullen
6 White Heart Stevens
7 Senure Davis
8 Compton Bolter Fenton
9 Quiet Resolve Kabel
10 Bienamado McCarron
11 Make No Mistake Albarado