CHICAGO, SEPT. 2 -- Golden Pheasant, giving a good imitation of co-owner Wayne Gretzky on a breakaway, charged between horses in the deep stretch today and won the Arlington Million at Arlington International Racecourse.
Jockey Gary Stevens "rode like a wild man," Golden Pheasant's trainer, Charlie Whittingham, who won his third Million, said after joining owners Gretzky, the star hockey player, and Bruce McNall, who owns the Los Angeles Kings for whom Gretzky plays, in the winner's circle.
Stevens got Golden Pheasant away safely from Post 1, then drove him through the stretch and past With Approval with about a sixteenth of a mile to go for the victory.
Golden Pheasant finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of With Approval. His time of 1:59 3/5 for the 1 1/4 miles over a firm turf course was the second-fastest in the Million's 10 runnings.
Steinlen, who won the Million last year, was third, 5 1/4 lengths back. Classic Fame was fourth in the 11-horse field, another head back. Then came Maryland-based Ten Keys, Double Booked, Pleasant Variety, Saratoga Passage, El Senor, Prized and Alwuhush.
Golden Pheasant returned $15.20 and earned $600,000 for his third victory in five starts in the United States this year. He raced in England and France last year.