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Well-traveled Archipenko draws rail for Million
By John Leusch | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/7/2008 12:06 AM

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According to his South African trainer Michael F. de Kock, the morningline favorite for Saturday's 26th Arlington Million is a very intelligent horse.

That horse, Archipenko, drew the rail at Wednesday's post position draw and was listed as the 2-1 favorite for the 1¼-mile turf classic at Arlington Park.

"He's very smart," de Kock said. "It's almost like he wants to talk to you."

If he could speak, the 4-year-colt might be multi-lingual.

In this year alone, he has already won turf races in England, Hong Kong and Dubai.

Should Archipenko be the favorite in the eight-horse field?

"I think so," said de Kock, whose Irridescence finished second in the Beverly D. a year ago. "He's a horse that travels well. He is versatile, has a lot of speed and he's in good form."

Completing the field for the Million are No. 2 Stream Cat (8-1). No. 3 Spirit One (3), No. 4 Sudan (8-1), No. 5 Cloudy's Knight (20-1), No. 6 Einstein (7-2), No. 7 Mount Nelson (5-2) and No. 8 Silverfoot (20-1).

de Kock was hardly complaining about drawing the rail with Archipenko, who has earned nearly $2 million with 5 wins in 13 career starts.

"I couldn't be happier," he said. "It's the shortest way home."

The top candidate from the United States, Einstein, will try to get home from the No. 6 post as the third morningline choice.

"I'm tickled to death with that post," said trainer Helen Pitts, whose Brazilian-bred 6-year old son of Spend A Buck has earned $1.3 million with 8 wins in 20 starts. "If I could have hand-picked it, that's the post I would have taken.

"I think Archipenko is the one to beat. He is a very nice horse."

Also gaining plenty of respect in the compact field is Ireland-based Mount Nelson, who drew the No. 7 post as the second morningline choice.

The 4-year-old colt has won a pair of Group I races in France and England and has won 3 of 8 starts for earnings of $801,704.

Mount Nelson's No. 7 post has won the most Millions (5), followed by No. 1 and 2 with four apiece.

"He's a two-time Group I winner," de Kock said of Mount Nelson. "You better respect that form. And you also have to have respect for the Brazilian horse (Einstein)."