Trainer Chad Brown learned his trade under the tutelage of the late Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel.
Arlington Park fans became quite familiar with Frankel as he saddled a record 17 Arlington Million starters from 1981 to 2006.
Looks like Brown, only 38, is trying to emulate his former boss when it comes to participating in Illinois' richest turf race. He has three of the 13 starters for Saturday's 33rd running of the Arlington Million, which is scheduled for a 5:48 p.m. post and to be televised live on WGN.
And they aren't just three longshots.
In what may be a Million first, Brown will send out the top two favorites in Joe Kristufek's morningline for the Million.
Big Blue Kitten and Slumber, both closers, head a field of 13, which is second in size only to five 14-horse fields, the last in 1994.
Brown's stablemates also are quite familiar with each other outside the barn. They've gone head to head in their last two races.
Big Blue Kitten, a Kentucky bred owned by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, topped English-bred Slumber by 1½ lengths in the Grade I United Nations on July 5 at Monmouth. In the race before, it was Slumber scoring a 2¾-length victory over Big Blue Kitten in the Grade I Manhattan at Belmont.
"Both horses deserve the chance to run in the Million," Brown said Friday in New York. "I hate to run them against each other. On the other hand, it gives you more chances to win the race.
"Both have similar running styles and should have an equal chance of winning. And they both have good posts."
Brown is no stranger to the Million, winning the race in 2013 with Ramsey's Real Solution, who came back to finish second last summer.
"We've had some experience at Arlington," Brown said. "Fortunately, we've been lucky enough to win a Million and a Beverly D. (Stacelita in 2011). It's always a great place to take your horse. It's a marquee track, and whenever we have a horse good enough we look forward to participating at Arlington."
His third participant in the Million is 30-1 morningline longshot Shining Copper, who almost always goes for the lead. He was fourth in the July 15 United Nations at Monmouth, leading by as many as 8 lengths before finishing behind Big Blue Kitten, Slumber and Twilight Eclipse.
Alastair Donald, chief executive for the International Racing Bureau, is impressed by Brown's runners.
"I think Chad Brown will probably win this Million because he has a very strong hand," Donald said. "But if I had to pick from the five European horses in the race I'd give the strongest chance to Maverick Wave.
"He is progressing, and I think (trainer) John Gosden has been eyeing this race since May when Maverick Wave won at Chester (racecourse), which is one of the tighter-turned tracks in the United Kingdom. It's not quite as level at Arlington, but you're always on a turn, so a horse that can handle Chester should be able to handle Arlington."
Owned by Goldophin Racing, Maverick Wave won the Group III Huxley on May 7 at Chester for his third win in four tries this year.
Brown's third horse is 30-1 morningline longshot Shining Copper, who almost always goes for the lead.
He was fourth in the July 15 United Nations at Monmouth, leading by as many as 8 lengths before finishing behind Big Blue Kitten, Slumber and Twilight Eclipse.