Updated on 09/17/2011 12:13PM

Million stars may meet again

Gary Stevens starts losing his seat atop Storming Home near the finish of the Arlington Million.

CHICAGO - Storming Home, who crossed the finish first Saturday in the Arlington Million, and Sulamani, placed first by disqualification, both may make their next start at Belmont Park, but not necessarily against each other. Barring a change in plans, the two will have a rematch this fall in the Breeders' Cup Turf.

The Man o' War on Sept. 5 is the next stop for Sulamani, who is going to New York this week instead of returning to his home base in England. Plans for Storming Home haven't been finalized, though his trainer, Neil Drysdale, listed the Sept. 27 Turf Classic Invitational as a possibility. That race could also be part of Sulamani's schedule, depending on whether his connections point him for a return run in the Group 1 Arc d'Triomphe in October.

Meanwhile, in a suburban Chicago hospital, jockey Gary Stevens continued his recuperation Monday from a scary fall at the finish of the Million. Storming Home ducked sharply outward just yards before the finish and tossed Stevens to the turf after crossing the wire. A trailing horse, probably Kaieteur, stepped on Stevens, who was taken from the course on a stretcher.

Stevens suffered a collapsed lung, and X-rays also revealed a fracture to a cervical vertebra. Stevens, who was expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday, will be out for about a month.

To a cascade of boos from a crowd of more than 28,000, Storming Home was disqualified and placed fourth. Sulamani, who might not have been better than a close fourth had Storming Home not impeded Kaieteur and Paolini, was elevated to first, while Kaieteur and Paolini, who dead-heated, were placed second.

What spooked Storming Home may never be definitively known. Replays of the race showed him staring down and to the left, perhaps at the photo-finish mirror rising a few feet off the ground at the finish line, before swerving sharply to the right.

"That's him, he's quirky," trainer Neil Drysdale said. "He will buck and spook, but he's never done anything like that on a turf course, never during a work, and never during a race."

An hour after the race, Storming Home was comfortably eating hay in his Arlington stall, oblivious to the furor he had caused. "The horse is fine," Drysdale said. "The main thing is that Gary Stevens was not injured badly. Second, that the horse isn't injured. And third, that the horse ran a lovely race. He proved he was best on the day."

Storming Home was to fly back to California on Monday, while Sulamani is headed in the opposite direction, to Godolphin Racing's New York string, where Tom Albertrani will oversee his training.

"He'll stay in America for the time being," said Godolphin's Simon Crisford. "He can be here for 90 days, as long as he stays in isolation. The Arc is still a possibility. The closer we get, the more we'll talk about it."

Sulamani missed training Thursday with a bruised hoof, but Crisford said the problem was a non-issue on race day. "The foot was something we told people about, but it had no bearing on the race," he said. "The horse put in a great run."

Sulamani is basically a 12-furlong horse, and Crisford said the 1 1/4 miles of the Million probably was too short. Breaking from the rail, Sulamani eventually was angled to the far outside by David Flores, and made a good sustained stretch run to reach contention. But he was not going to catch Storming Home, who followed an effortless move around the far turn with a powerful stretch punch. His race was perfect, until he lost his head.

"I've seen similar things happen in races, but never when we were involved," Crisford said.

The Europeans Paolini and Kaieteur both ran well in defeat, but they are headed back overseas. Perfect Soul, who loomed boldly at the top of the stretch before fading late to finish fifth, took a van back to trainer Roger Attfield's base at Woodbine early Sunday morning.

Arlington had forecast a crowd of 25,000, and was pleased to surpass that figure. But the fans voiced their displeasure after the Million. Stunned by Stevens's spectacular fall right in front of the stands, the crowd waited quietly for a stewards' ruling, rising to cheer as Stevens was loaded onto a stretcher and taken from the track by ambulance. Their feeling for his condition may have influenced the response to the disqualification of the 2-1 favorite Storming Home, which was greeted with vociferous booing. Sulamani and his connections also were jeered during the winner's circle ceremony.

Displeased as they were at the Million's bizarre outcome, the fans bet well Saturday. Handle on the 12-race program was $15,257,859, the state's third-highest figure ever behind last year's Breeders' Cup and last year's Million Day.