08/14/2001 11:00PM

Harris giving it another shot


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Before you decide Fan Club's Mister is a hopeless longshot in the Secretariat Stakes, take a look at the chart of the 1985 Secretariat. There's Day Shift in third, a 23-1 shot who, like Fan Club's Mister, was trained by Rickey Harris.

Day Shift ended up second in that Secretariat when the place horse, Racing Star, was disqualified for interference. "I think he was going to win," Harris said. "They were three across the track, and Day Shift got bounced, literally, right off the rail.

Now, and improbably, Harris is back in the race, despite the fact her stable has dwindled from 60 horses to three. Fan Club's Mister won the American Derby here in his last race, Harris's first Grade 2 win, but the colt still will be a long price in the deeply contentious Secretariat. His trainer is not well known nationally, he will be ridden by local jockey Randy Meier, and many will note his American Derby win came over a soft course where he was allowed to control a slow pace.

Whatever his price, Harris believes Fan Club's Mister fits in the race. "I don't know if he's going to win, but I do think he's that kind of horse," Harris said. "Physically, he's an incredible specimen. I'd never seen such a big hind end on a yearling. He looked like a Quarter Horse."

Where Day Shift would lag far behind the early pace and make a big run, Fan Club's Mister is a front-runner. Harris hopes to see him stalking the pace, but is concerned that the colt is too sharp right now.

"He's not quite as relaxed now as he was last time," she said. "Unfortunately, he can get in these duels. That's what I'm worried about."

Solvig's form deceptive

After starting her career with six wins from nine starts, Solvig has lost her last seven races. Not exactly the right way to come into the Beverly D., right?

Not necessarily, said Ian Wilkes, assistant to trainer Carl Nafzger.

"She's not really off form," said Wilkes, who works daily with Solvig at the stable's main Churchill Downs base. "She needs to move at the right time. The distance of the Beverly D. should be to her liking."

In two starts over the Arlington turf, Solvig won the Pucker Up Stakes last year and finished a fast-closing third in her last start, the July 28 Modesty Handicap.

Solvig is the third Beverly D. starter for Nafzger, following River Mystery (eighth in 1987) and Coolawin (seventh in 1990). Nafzger ran the 1-2 finishers in the 1990 Secretariat in Super Abound and Unbridled.

Silvano, Takarian get in light work

Two Million starters, Silvano and Takarian, worked Wednesday at Arlington. Silvano, who shipped here from Germany last weekend, worked five furlongs on dirt in 1:02.80, while Takarian, second in the Arlington Handicap, went three furlongs on turf in 37 seconds.

Silvano was ridden by Andreas Suborics, his regular jockey, and was never seriously asked to run. Silvano had his major work for the Million the Tuesday before he shipped here, and Wednesday's work was merely a blowout. Silvano warmed up for close to a half-hour on the Arlington training track before walking to the main track. Instead of breaking off for his work at a run, Silvano stopped just before the five-furlong pole and began working from a standstill.

Trainer Beau Greely deemed Takarian a fit horse, and was not looking for much in his breeze Wednesday. Takarian has been stabled at Arlington since last month, when he arrived with six other Greely-trained horses, including Secretariat starter Sligo Bay.

Worldwide audience a potential 750 million

As the third leg in the 12-race Emirates World Series, the Arlington Million will receive far more worldwide exposure than it would have otherwise.

The Million will be televised into over 200 countries via what is known as The World Feed, a network coordinated through Sunset and Vine, a British production and distribution company. The potential reach, according to Sunset and Vine, is 750 million people. The host of the 45-minute broadcast is Chris Lincoln, who is very familiar to U.S. racing fans.

The Emirates series, sponsored by Emirates Airlines of Dubai, is in its third year, having originated in 1999.

Horses in the series accumulate points, with the leading owner being awarded a $1 million bonus. Daylami won the series in 1999 and Fantastic Light won last year. Both horses ran for the Godolphin stable, which is owned by the ruling family of Dubai.

This year, Captain Steve and Galileo are tied with 12 points each off respective victories in the Dubai World Cup and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

Extra Million million redistributed

Last year, when Arlington hosted the Festival of Racing for the first time in three years, the purse of the Million was doubled to $2 million. But partly because the increase did not perceptibly affect the quality of the race, the purse has been returned to its original level.

"We thought the money could be better spent in other areas of our stakes program," said Frank Gabriel Jr., Arlington's vice president of racing and operations, alluding to hikes for races such as the $700,000 Beverly D. and $400,000 Washington Park Handicap.

The Million's return to its original value was welcomed in at least one respect: Many people had a hard time explaining the oxymoron of how a $2 million race was still known as "the Arlington Million."

* Proud Man, winner of the Grade 3 Hill Prince at Belmont in his last start June 16, was not entered in the Secretariat. "He got sick a few weeks ago and we just don't have him where we want," said trainer Harry Benson. "We really wanted to come but it wasn't the right thing to do."

- additional reporting by Marty McGee