Updated on 09/16/2011 8:32AM

John Henry: Mott brings in Megantic

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If this were an ordinary Friday in October, chances are slim that a horse such as Megantic would be anywhere near Chicago.

But this is Breeders' Cup eve, and Arlington Park not only is where owners and trainers have brought their Breeders' Cup horses, but other stakes-class horses capable of wowing appreciative race fans.

Accordingly, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has shipped in Megantic from New York for the John Henry Handicap, along with his Breeders' Cup Mile hopeful Del Mar Show. Megantic comes off a third-place finish in a Sept. 20 overnight stakes at The Meadowlands, a $50,000 race known, believe it or not, as the John Henry.

This John Henry could result in an even better finish for Megantic, a 4-year-old colt owned by Brushwood Stable. Having raced twice in shorter races since he won a February allowance at Gulfstream, Megantic will stretch back out Friday to 1 3/16 miles, a distance that should suit him well.

The top challengers in this turf race are Chicago-based horses, because the connections of two other shippers that Arlington racing officials hoped to lure into the race, Finality and La Reine's Terms, declined to enter. Al's Dearly Bred, a 5-year-old with eight wins from 20 career grass starts, could be the best of the locals, having finished a sharp third in his latest race, the Sept. 29 Sea O' Erin.

Other threats are Riddlesdown, a speedy 5-year-old trained by Niall O'Callaghan, and Tap the Admiral, a recent allowance winner at Belmont for Del Carroll II.

The John Henry is named for the legendary gelding who remains the only two-time winner of the Arlington Million (1981 and 1984).

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