Eleven horses – four of whom have travelled from England, Ireland, France and Germany – will take their chance in the Grade One Arlington Million on Saturday.
Aidan O’Brien has sent Ace to Arlington Park in Chicago as Ballydoyle seek to emulate Powerscourt’s victory in the race last year.
Ace has not won since August 2004 but his second-placed effort behind Shirocco in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Belmont Park remains etched in the memory of the American public.
After the Illinois Racing Board refused to grant Kieren Fallon his licence, the five-year-old will now be ridden by Garrett Gomez.
The Andrew Balding-trained Phoenix Reach, who has not run since finishing 10th in the 2005 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, caught the eye with a gallop on the turf course on Thursday morning.
Balding said: “He is in great form and is a little bit fresh, as he has not been on the track for a while.
“But I expect him to run a big race on Saturday.”
Like Ace, Phoenix Reach has been drawn towards the inside – usually considered a big advantage in the Arlington Million.
The pace is likely to be set by The Tin Man – drawn in gate two – who is trained by Richard Mandella and is the only visitor from the west coast.
French raider Touch of Land, having his third crack at the Arlington Million, is also drawn on the inside.
His trainer Henri-Alex Pantall said: “He finished fifth behind Powerscourt last year and I hope to go a few better this time.
“He is drawn well, the ground is perfect and he looks well.”
German raider Soldier Hollow will be aimed at following in the hoofprints of his compatriot Silvano, who won the Arlington Million in 2001.
However, the Todd Pletcher-trained English Channel, a winner on three of his four starts this season, is likely to be sent off favourite for the Chicago feature.
Meanwhile, 11 fillies and mares line up for the Grade One Beverly D Stakes.
Martin Dwyer takes the ride on the only British contender, the John Best-trained Rising Cross.
The Gary Tanaka-owned three-year-old will have to take on the older generation here and finds strong opposition in the shape of Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf third Film Maker and Gorella.
Gorella finished third behind Artie Shiller in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last year and her trainer Patrick Biancone said: “Obviously there is doubt about her stamina, but I think she can do it.
“I am very confident in this filly.”
Only six three-year-olds will go to post in the Grade One Secretariat Stakes on the same card.
John Velazquez will take the ride on the Aidan O’Brien-trained Ivan Denisovich, who has so far failed to replicate his two-year-old form.
William Haggas’ Group Three winner Primary is also among the declared runners in the 10-furlong contest.