07/31/2001 11:00PM

Top European horses will be absent on Million Day


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - It appears that none of the top European horses in any of the pertinent divisions are coming for Arlington's three Grade 1 races on Arlington Million Day - the Million, the Beverly D. for fillies and mares, and the Secretariat for 3-year-olds.

Instead, U.S.-based horses probably will be favored in all three races: Bienamado in the Million, Astra in the Beverly D., and any one of several East Coast-based 3-year-olds in the Secretariat, which is shaping up as a great race.

Two shipments of Europeans will leave for Arlington during the week before the Aug. 18 Million, one on Aug. 11 and one on Aug. 14. Horses bound for races on Million Day have been granted permission to bypass federal quarantine centers that have been required stops for European imports since the outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease in England. Instead, Europeans will undergo normal quarantine procedures here, such as being stabled and trained away from the company of other horses.

Two of the more highly regarded Europeans all but dropped out of contention for the Million when Hightori and Bach finished unplaced in the Sussex Stakes last weekend. Endless Hall, who has not run well in Group 1 company, is considered a possible starter. Four horses, - Caitano, Silvano, Muakaad, and Kappa King - are definite for the race. None of them has won a Group 1 race. The lightly raced Muakaad, trained by Dermot Weld, won the Group 3 Meld Stakes in his last start.

Two Europeans are definitely coming for the Beverly D., Baldwina and Di Moi Oui, with two others possible, Boismorand and Tarshi. Meanwhile, Mizzen Mast, perhaps Europe's best chance in any of the races, heads a list of five probables for the Secretariat. Trained in France by Criquette Head-Maarek, the lightly raced Mizzen Mast is Group 1-placed at the Secretariat distance of 10 furlongs.

Besides Bienamado, the leading turf horse in this country, Hap and Quiet Resolve are the other two probable North American-based Million starters. The connections of Guided Tour are considering the race.

Amoss well stocked for stakes

This could turn into a big weekend for the Tom Amoss stable. Amoss has entered two fillies, Hattiesburg and Boggs Eyes, in Friday's overnight stakes race, and has the probable favorite in overnight stakes to be run Saturday and Sunday.

Both weekend stakes, though minor in national scale, are shaping up as strong races. The Amoss-trained La Recherche figures to be favored in Saturday's $60,000-added Misty Isle, a turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

La Recherche, with three wins on turf, took the $100,000 Lone Star Oaks in her most recent race. She's likely to face a full field that will include Twilight Tryst, who is unbeaten in three starts since switching to turf.

Sunday, Amoss has Robin De Nest for the $55,000-added Dr. Fager Handicap, a six-furlong race for older sprinters. Robin De Nest found the competition too stiff in the Grade 3 Aristides Handicap in his most recent race, but won the Barry Shipp Handicap here on opening day. Robin De Nest has won five of his nine starts since Amoss claimed him over the winter, and ran hard through the spring and early summer.

"He just got a little break," Amoss said Wednesday. "Believe me, he needed it."

A good field that includes Chindi and perhaps Bet Me Best is expected for the Dr. Fager.

Lanerie joins jockey colony

Wednesday, jockey Corey Lanerie, fresh from winning the Lone Star Park riding title, rode for the first time this summer at Arlington. Lanerie plans to ride regularly here for the rest of the meet, then focus on his fall and winter business at Fair Grounds.

Lanerie rode first call for trainer Steve Asmussen at Lone Star. Asmussen won the training title and considerably boosted Lanerie's standing in the jockey colony. "Steve was instrumental in the success we had there," said Rick Mocklin, Lanerie's agent.

Lanerie, who finished second in the Arlington jockey standings lastsummer, will continue riding for Asmussen here, and Mocklin also said he expected to pick up business from trainer Mike Stidham, for whom he used to ride first call, and Wayne Catalano.

* Jockey Frank Alvarado, whose agent left to take Brice Blanc's book at Del Mar, is no longer riding at Arlington.