Arlington Million Winners

Since its inception in 1981, the Arlington Million has showcased some of the most talented turf runners from around the world.

Rank these past winners of this prestigious race:

To participate, use your cursor to drag the selections on the left (currently arranged in chronological order) to the blank placeholders on the right. Once you have completed ranking all of the horses, submit your entries and compare your results to the rest of the community. A first place ranking will earn 9 points, second place receives 8 points, and so on.


Leave a Comment:

Kathleen Kane

Good Luck!

17 Aug 2010 5:35 PM
Runnin Fool

After reviewing the list (and I've been fortunate to see every Million) I can't beleve that Teleprompter, Dear Doctor, and Paradise Creek weren't on this list.  Gio Ponti's win was solid, but I can't believe he's ahead of Estrapade, with the lawn mower Fernado Toro aboard?  That was one of the best runnings (obviously besides John Henry and The Bart).  

17 Aug 2010 6:31 PM

I love these polls!  My top 5 were the same as the poll, but #3,4,5 were in different order.   I don't think any winner ever could top John Henry.   I also missed Teleprompter on the l;ist.

17 Aug 2010 7:35 PM

John Henry the best by far!! that horse was all heart and guts from the pix and videos Ive seen of him!! I was fortunate enough to meet him and Cigar in '06, aking with Lil E. Tee twice in '04 and '06!!!

17 Aug 2010 8:00 PM

John Henry (1) is like no other

Estrapade (2) - what a mare!

Awad (3) holds the stakes record & is fun to play with at Old Friends

Gio Ponti (4) is one of my favorites running today

17 Aug 2010 8:40 PM

We've only been huge race fans since 2004. Our first Grade 1,was The Arlington Million in 2006 when it was all about THE TIN MAN, he gave us our biggest thrill in live racing!!

17 Aug 2010 8:45 PM
The Rock

Gio Ponti is 3? How? If there was a race this weekend with all 10 horses, how can you see him finishing in the top 5?

17 Aug 2010 9:41 PM

I put John Henry on top, mostly because you kind of feel like you're going to be struck dead on the spot if you don't! LOL!  His win over The Bart in 1981 certainly was dramatic, but I honestly feel that the 1984 victory over Royal Heroine was the more impressive of his two wins.  Also, just a reminder.....if John hadn't been so busy playing around with Nijinsky's Secret and had seen and/or heard Tolomeo slipping up the rail to his inside (1982), he more than likely would have been a 3-time winner of the Arlington Million!

I ranked Perrault a lot higher that most in second.  It seems to be forgotten that he ran the Million in 1:58&4, finished first in the Big Cap on the dirt in 1:59, and won the Hollywood Gold Cup in 2:00&2 that year.  He was a snarling black-hooded beast that looked at times like he would run through a brick wall.  His destruction of the GI San Luis Rey that year was just plain frightening.  John Henry was third in there!  Anyway, I'm ranking him second.

I put Manila third.  He won the United Nations, Turf Classic, and the Breeders Cup Turf as a 3yo, and repeated in the United Nations and won the Arlington Million at 4.  Of all the Arlington Million winners, he is the only other one besides John Henry that is in the Hall Of Fame (goes to show how hard it is for turf horses to get into the HOF).

In 4th, I have Estrapade.  She is still the only female to win the Million, and she proved it wasn't a fluke with her strong win in the Oak Tree Invitational, before finishing a gallant third to Manila and her stable-mate Theatrical in the Breeders Cup Turf.  I believe she deserves at least this ranking.

The rest of the options are kind of a crapshoot for me.  Awad's and Mecke's Millions were when I was hopelessly out of touch.  Chester House won the Million on a brilliant ride by Jerry Bailey.  Gio Ponti was super impressive last year, but I'm uncomfortable with who he beat.  Powerscourt is interesting because he finished first in the Million in one year, was DQ'd, and then won it outright the next.....obviously a wonderful horse, but I have trouble warming up to him.

And then there's Silvano.  There's no way to really evaluate his Million win because the turf course was a SWAMP that day!  He won W2W, likely because he was the only one that could stand up under those conditions.  I believe that German-breds are among the classiest horses in the world, and Silvano might have won the Million that day regardless, but we will never know.  I was kind of surprised that Silvano's Million was even an option in this exercise given the horrible course condition.

Seems to me that The Tin Man should have been thrown in there instead.  But that's just me.

17 Aug 2010 11:48 PM

To this day no one can convince me John Henry won the inaugural running.It reeks just as Leonard over Hagler still does to the trained eye.Both needed wins to validate the race and to make Leonards comeback real.Powerscourt would be rated much higher except for 2 bad rides in the Million and BC Turf.

18 Aug 2010 9:28 AM

(1) John Henry.....two time winner.

(2) Manilla......definitely world class not just a top N/A performer.

(3) Estrapade......Definitely a great mare.

(4) Powerscourt......under rated.

(5) Chesterhouse.....Another under rated.

18 Aug 2010 10:10 AM

I would have to include Golden Phesant too

18 Aug 2010 11:29 AM
Love 'em all!

Uh-oh!  The only one I'm sure of being #1 on the list is John Henry.

Found out once you make a choice, that's it, no changes.  Completed it, but JH rules!  Cheers to JH.

18 Aug 2010 12:01 PM

You forgot my horse-hero: THE TIN MAN! His ability to heal himself and come back and come back - and to always give his best - has to put him right up there! John Henry? How could you not put him No. 1? He did beat The Bart; the camera told the tale - but oh, how close they were! They were both stars on that day!

18 Aug 2010 12:08 PM
Cougar II

No one can  touch the Great John Henry. He had it all-heart, personality and longevity. It will be a long time before we see his like agin.

18 Aug 2010 12:29 PM

You forgot the Tin Man. But if I had to say anyone other than John Henry it would be Paradise Creek. He was one of the best turf horses in the early to mid nineties. What an amazing stretch runner! Never panned out as a sire but still was an amazing athlete.  

18 Aug 2010 12:33 PM
steve from st louis

Biggest pari-mutuel win bet of my life was made a day after talking to the Bald Eagle about Perrault in Arlington Million II. I was just another DRF Chicago-based journalist and Jay Hovdey from our West Coast office told me Charlie Whittingham never said "boo" about his horses. At the Friday night dinner before the Million, Charlie said he liked his horse "a bit". I took that to the bank, put eight  $100 bills right on his nose. I've never seen a horse attack his bit like Perrault, who was just getting "good" when he injured I think a tendon and was retired. I remember how big his head was compared to the rest of his body, kind of like First Dude is now.

18 Aug 2010 12:46 PM
Smoking Baby

 I all but guaranteed The Bart would win the inaugural running by saying to my buddy "The Bart doesn't belong in this race."  How silly did I feel when he ran so big.  I really didn't think John Henry got there.  Here's my top three:

1. John Henry

2. Perrault

3. Powerscourt

(all of the horses ROCK though)

18 Aug 2010 12:47 PM
Smoking Baby

Splits Of 12.  LOVED The Tin Man.  Still do actually.  I got to see him lead most of the way in what is still the best race I've ever seen.  It was the Breeders Cup dead heat between Johar & High Chapparall with Falbrav a head back in third and The Tin Man fourth.  Being by Affirmed made me like him even more.

18 Aug 2010 12:50 PM

Estrapade for sure...geesh, that was a good race and the only filly.♥

18 Aug 2010 12:56 PM

John Henry and Manilla--two of the greatest turf horses ever!

18 Aug 2010 2:33 PM

While I believe John Henry should be #1, I'm still busy rooting for Einstein and Gloria last year.  Almost...almost.  Just haven't gotten over it yet.  Looking foward to seeing Gio do it again.

18 Aug 2010 5:21 PM
christy tate

john henry has to be number one for the simple fact that he was a great race horse who gave his all in every race he was in. his passing was one of the saddest days in horse history.

18 Aug 2010 6:28 PM

Golden Pheasent

18 Aug 2010 9:46 PM
Judy G Loves John Henry ~ California

Hands down without a doubt! JOHN HENRY!! Guts, heart and tenacity!

Chris McCarron takes full responsibility for not getting John to the wire 1st instead of 2nd. I don't think JH ever forgave him either :-)

To ZENYATTA: Wow! You need to retract those claws!! Are you saying they FUDGED the photo? That's the most pathetic and bazaar comment I've ever heard.

19 Aug 2010 12:24 AM
john henry fan

It has to be John Henry for #1!!  He was the best!

19 Aug 2010 2:22 AM

Zenyatta, the eye may be trained but the photo is the fact ;-)

19 Aug 2010 11:56 AM

Come on who put this list together, must be an East Coaster?  The Tin Man is my number one and he's not even on the list!

19 Aug 2010 12:36 PM

Vicki - You do know that John Henry was based in California for most of his career, right?

19 Aug 2010 2:51 PM
Pick Four Bill

 Tight Spot certainly belongs on this list. A true champion, this horse never gets the credit he deserves.

19 Aug 2010 2:57 PM

Totally agree Paseana ,  Perrault was a monster.  Such a shame he bowed a tendon in the Marlboro Cup, where he was the Highweight at 128 pounds.  1982 was a star-crossed year,  so many good horses got hurt.  

19 Aug 2010 4:35 PM

John Henry was wonderful!!  He got to live a long, rich, glorious life, living in retirement where all his fans could see him.  All horses should be so blessed!!

Wish The Tin Man was at the Horse Park!!

19 Aug 2010 8:48 PM

Thank you, ace, for seconding my opinion of Perrault.  I was pretty new in the game in 1982 (got in 2 years before), and I don't remember Perrault's size or conformation.  I was a huge John Henry fan, and so I hated him for the whole '82 Big Cap thing, even though John was put up.  But that San Luis Rey at 12f run 3 or 4 weeks later just blew me away.  I don't remember how many lengths he won by or what the time was.  All I know is that Perrault looked like Darth Vader turning for home, and that race is, after 30 years, one of the most visually awesome performances I've ever seen!

I've always felt that Perrault got overlooked in the HOTY voting in 1982.  He got blind-sided by a 3yo that won the Met Mile and the Belmont Stakes in a 5 day span, and really didn't do anything else.

Perrault was a flop at stud, and maybe that's the reason that nobody remembers him for the racehorse that he was.

He was a pretty good boy!

20 Aug 2010 12:19 AM
steve from st louis

I remember John Henry as a little fart, just over 15 hands, who thought he was 17 hands. Lewis Cenicola was his groom and he warned anyone who would listen to stay clear of his webbing in the Million Barn at Arlington. He epitomized the term "daisy cutter" although his action over the dirt was world-class as well, something no one could ever explain to me.  Perrault punished the ground he ran under and like I wrote before had a head which reminded me of a huge dinosaur fossil.

20 Aug 2010 3:02 PM
Cliff P.

A glaring omission: The Tin Man. Shame on you Bloodhorse...

21 Aug 2010 7:25 PM
tana rae

I also was searching on the list for THE TIN MAN.  I think he is a most deserving candidate.  After all, he convincingly won The Arlington Million at the ripe ole age of 8 after overcoming two serious injuries earlier in his career (bowed tendons at 2 and major soft tissue damage at 5). If my facts are correct, I believe he won the Million following a return from the UAE where he was runner-up in the G1 Dubai Duty Free. Add traveling around the world and still running his race (at 8 years old)to his list of credentials.  At the age of 5, he spent time at River Edge Farm in Buellton, CA healing from his ankle/soft tissue injury.   There, his breeders/owners - the Todds - could visit him regularly.  When he returned to racing some 15 months later, he was better than ever winning the G1 Million at 8 and the G1 Shoemaker Mile at 9. On vacation last year in Solvang, CA we were lucky enough to visit the retired Tin Man at nearby River Edge Farm (owned by leading California breeders/owners Pam and Marty Wygod). Being a new, uninformed racing fan at the time, I had to do my research on The Tin Man's racing record before our visit.  Wow, I had no idea. I could hardly wait to meet this guy.  And I was not dissappointed. He had his very own large, lush pasture surrounded by big shade producing trees.  When we arrived to see him, The Tin Man was relaxing in a connected round pen.  With little urging, he slowly strolled over to accept the mints we offered.  It was such a thrill to see and touch "a real racehorse". I couldn't believe this gentle fine gelding had once competed in and won or placed in the very top thoroughbred races. He is now lame due to complications from his last surgery but he leads a good life.  I was told the Todds still visit their superstar and obviously continue to care for his well-being.  They apparently appreciate it when his fans come to visit him. Upon our departure, we received an 8 by 10 glossy of The Tin Man winning The Shoemaker Mile in 2007...compliments of the Todds.  The Tin Man will always be one of my favorites, thanks to his determination to overcome many obstacles, and to the kindness and generosity of his owners and River Edge Farm.  

13 Sep 2010 12:33 AM
walerczak liz

well guys i was the lady that picked out john henry at the sale. he was a hand full . i liked the way he eld his head high and looked like a big horse he was deep in his cheat and very long. loved him.was very correct in his conformation .but was small. i think the trainer i was with was hard to please on tis horse but i conviencedhim to buy him he got him for 1600 dallors thats all. wish i could of both him for myself .but i was along for the ride to the sale and loved picking out the best.godbless his little sole for all he did.

20 Apr 2011 1:19 AM

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