Updated on 08/13/2014 9:52AM

Magician, Real Solution lead Arlington Million pre-entries

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Barbara D. Livingston
Magician was pre-entered for the Arlington Million on Aug. 16 at Arlington Park.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Magician and defending race winner Real Solution head a short list of pre-entered horses for the Aug. 16 Arlington Million.

Pre-entries, including $15,000 worth of entry and starting fees, were due Friday, and just seven horses were pre-entered in the Million. If all start, it will equal the smallest number of Million runners in the race’s 32-year history, and seven is no certainty. Hardest Core was pre-entered in the Million and the American St. Leger and still could start instead in the Sword Dancer at Saratoga. Finnegan’s Wake, Side Glance, Smoking Sun, and Up With the Birds were pre-entered along with Hardest Core, Magician, and Real Solution.

If all seven start, it will equal the smallest number of Million runners in the race’s 32-year history, and seven is no certainty. Hardest Core was pre-entered in the Million and the American St. Leger, and still could start instead in the Sword Dancer at Saratoga. Finnegans Wake, Side Glance, Smoking Sun, and Up With the Birds were pre-entered along with Hardest Core, Magician, and Real Solution. Trading Leather, the 2013 Irish Derby winner and a leading Million hopeful, was withdrawn from consideration Friday with what officials from the International Racing Bureau described as a minor setback.

Magician’s presence is a coup for Arlington, as the Million does not often attract the previous season’s Breeders’ Cup Turf winner. Magician could become the first horse since Manila in 1987 to win the Million the summer after capturing the Breeders’ Cup Turf. His trainer, Aidan O’Brien, has twice won the Million and saw Powerscourt disqualified in 2004 from what would have been a third Million score for the trainer. Jockey Joseph O’Brien, Aidan’s son, has been named to ride. Magician most recently finished sixth in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, his worst showing among five 2014 starts.

Real Solution was placed first via the disqualification of The Apache in the 2013 Million, and crossed the finish line first for the first time in eight North American starts winning the June 7 Manhattan Stakes.

Smoking Sun and Side Glance are the other overseas shippers. Smoking Sun, a Group 2 winner based in France, most recently finished second in the International Cup in Singapore on May 18. Side Glance finished third in the 2013 Million and in his most recent start was third in the United Nations at Monmouth.

Up With the Birds looked like Canada’s best turf horse winning the July 19 Nijinsky at Woodbine by four lengths. Finnegans Wake was victorious last month in a muddled running of the Arlington Handicap. Hardest Core never has contested a graded stakes, but he was a sharp winner of the Cape Henlopen over 1 1/2 miles last month at Delaware Park.

Final entries will be taken and post positions assigned on Tuesday for the 1 1/4-mile Million as well as the other three major stakes on the Aug. 16 card.

Eleven pre-entered for Beverly D.

Somali Lemonade and Stephanie’s Kitten, the one-two finishers in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga, head 11 pre-entrants in the $750,000 Beverly D. for fillies and mares.

The other pre-entered horses are Alterite, Euro Charline, Emollient, I’m Already Sexy, Just the Judge, La Tia, Sparking Beam, Street of Gold, and Tannery.

Martin Schwartz, Alterite’s owner, has won the Beverly D. three of the last eight years, with Stacelita, Gorella, and Angara. Alterite finished eighth in the Diana making her first start in 2014 for trainer Chad Brown, who also sends out Stephanie’s Kitten.

The three Europeans – Euro Charline, Just The Judge, and Sparkling Beam – are decent but will have no obvious edge on the best North American-based horses.

Other undercard pre-entries

O’Brien also will have the $500,000 Secretariat favorite in Adelaide, who finished a close second in the $1.25 million Belmont Derby in a previous overseas journey this summer. Ryan Moore has been named to ride Adelaide, and O’Brien also intends to start a less-accomplished horse named Belisarius.

The other pre-entrants in a deep, interesting field are Can’thelpbelieving, Divine Oath, General Jack, Global View, Highball, Sheldon, and Tourist. Flamboyant and Aventador still were possible pre-entrants mid-afternoon Friday.

The $400,000 American St. Leger should have the best field in its three-year history, headed by the 2013 winner Dandino. The other pre-entered horses are Admiral Kitten, Big Kick, Eye of the Storm, Havana Beat, Hardest Core, Infinite Magic, Moment in Time, Moro Tap, Suntracer, and The Pizza Man.