07/14/2005 11:00PM

Overseas cast filing in early

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Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTOS
For All We Know (right), 3 for 3 in her career, runs next in the Coaching Club American Oaks.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - For 11 years, Arlington Park was called Arlington International, and this is the time of year when racing fans are reminded why. There are always overseas horses shipping in for Arlington Million Day, but this season the international travelers are coming earlier, with one horse already here for Arlington's so-called Million Preview Day on July 23.

His name is Merger, and he deserves close attention, since trainer Dermot Weld sent him. Merger is bound for Saturday's American Derby, a race Weld has won the last two years and three of the last five seasons. Six of Merger's seven starts came in Ireland, the other in England, and while his form suggests some class, Merger has struggled to win races, with just one victory so far. Originally intended for the Virginia Derby, Merger had been training in Maryland before shipping to Arlington earlier this week.

Scheduled to arrive here Sunday is Dayano, who is the latest Arlington Million hopeful from the German barn of Andreas Wohler, who won the 2001 Million with Silvano and sent Paolini out to a third-place finish in 2003 and a sixth in 2002. Whereas Wohler's previous Million starters came directly for the race, the 4-year-old Dayano, twice Group 1 placed last season, is scheduled to run in the Arlington Handicap on Saturday as a prep for the Million.

The Arlington Handicap, in fact, is shaping up as a surprisingly strong race, with Artiste Royal, a French Group 3 winner in his last start, Cool Conductor, and Vangelis among the possible starters.

Another French horse, Billy Allen, is expected to ship here next weekend for a start on dirt in the Washington Park Handicap. Billy Allen already has won dirt races in France, Germany, and Italy this season.

For All We Know has sharp workout

For All We Know worked a fast six furlongs Thursday and is on target for Saturday's Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont.

Breezing in company with stablemate Miss Matched, For All We Know was timed in 1:11.20 for six furlongs, outworking Miss Matched by three lengths while not being seriously asked by jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.

"They hooked some unexpected company around the turn, so they finished up a little faster, but I guess you can't complain when they're doing it easily," said Sally Schu, trainer John Ward's Arlington assistant.

Unbeaten in three starts, For All We Know is scheduled to ship by plane on Monday.

Schu said no plans have yet been made for Miss Matched's next start.

Culinary, the filly Miss Matched beat in the Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs, will make her next start either in the Arlington Oaks or the Monmouth Oaks. Trainer Mike Stidham said Culinary would go to one of those races and Iowa Oaks winner Whimsy to the other.

* Home of Stars, one of the top Illinois-breds in training, missed Sunday's Dr. Fager Stakes with a touch of colic, trainer Bobby Springer said.

"He got a stomachache, and if you try to run them like that, it can get real serious," Springer said. "It was just unfortunate timing."

* Trainers Wayne Catalano and Mike Reavis have been assessed $1,000 fines for "transferring the horse Primm within 30 days after said horse was claimed," according to a stewards ruling dated July 13.