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Three foreign challengers in lineup
By John Leusch | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/6/2009 9:02 PM

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Can the foreign invasion do it again?

One year after the only three international challengers ran 1-2-3 (Spirit One, Archipenko and Mount Nelson) in the Arlington Million, there are three more hoping to land the top prize again Saturday.

According to the morning line, the top runner among the visiting trio is French-bred Cima de Triomphe at odds of 9-2.

He is the third choice behind the USA-based favorites Gio Ponti (5-2) and Einstein (4-1).

Also making their first starts in America are Brazilian-bred Gloria de Campeao (5-1) and English-bred Stotsfold (12-1).

Cima de Triomphe put in a 7-furlong canter over the Arlington lawn Wednesday morning. Owned by Teruya Yoshida, Cima de Triomphe ran fourth in the Group I Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Great Britain's Sandown Park at last asking July 4 but won the Group III Brigadier Gerard Stakes at that same oval May 28.

Cima de Triomphe is handled by internationally renowned trainer Luca Cumani, who was born in Italy 60 years ago.

He saddled Tolomeo to be the first European-based horse to win the Arlington Million 26 years ago.

Set your clock: Saturday's Arlington Million and Beverly D. will be telecast live on ESPN from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Million is slated for a 4:42 post while the Beverly D is scheduled for a 3:52 start.

Status quo: Einstein and his trainer, Helen Pitts-Blasi, emerged unscathed from the torrential downpour that pelted the Louisville, Ky., area Tuesday morning and caused massive flooding.

"It was a mess there," Pitts-Blasi said of Churchill Downs, "but my barn was OK."

High praise: Internationally renowned trainer Dermot Weld, in town to saddle Mad About You in Saturday's Beverly D, handed out a big endorsement to Arlington Park on Thursday morning.

"Arlington has one of the best turf courses in the world," Weld said "I love to run my horses here. We've been fortunate in the past.

"Our horses tend to adapt to the American style very well. What we need is some rain before the race. My filly likes to run over ground with some give to it. She doesn't run her best when the ground is too hard for her."

Solo act: Arlington Park bugler Jean Laurenz will be on her own for this year's call to post for Arlington Million.

The 22-year-old Arlington Heights native, who graduated from Prospect High School, shared the duties last summer with Bonnie Brown, Arlington's first female bugler. Brown left her post in the middle of the last racing season.

Laurenz, in her second year as the local bugler, had been visiting Arlington Park most of her life.