Friday, August 7, 2009

Arlington Million Day

Perhaps the best day of turf racing in the US happens Saturday at Arlington Park in Illinois with the Arlington Million (gr. I) headlining the card. Three Grade 1 races on the turf are scheduled for Saturday with the Beverly D for fillies and mares, and the Secretariat for 3yos also on the docket. The big races start with race 7 at 3:05 CST, lets take a look.

Secretariat Stakes (gr. I): The first of three straight Grade I turf races starts with 3yos in the Secretariat Stakes at 1 mile and a quarter. The race appears to be fairly wide open with Giant Oak being the 3-1 M/L favorite. #10 Giant Oak won the Arlington Classic two starts back but could only manage 4th in the American Derby (gr. II) with both #8 Reb and #5 Oil Man finishing ahead of him. I like Reb alot as he has won three in a row including a win over the track, and has Julian Leparoux aboard (3-3 on the horse). He absolutely flies and couldn't be any gamer winning his races by a head, a nose, and a head.

The other horse I really like is #9 Black Bear Island by legendary sire Sadler's Wells, and is a full brother to arguably the best turf horse of the 90's, High Chaparall who won the Epsom Derby (gr. I), the Irish Derby (gr. I) and the Breeders Cup Turf (gr. I) twice. He's a Grade II winner in England, but has been knocking heads with the best in Europe this year. First-time Lasix angle, plus top trainer Aiden O'Brien isn't sending him for fun. Love his chances, the class of the field.

#7 Take the Points out of the Todd Pletcher barn will be well bet, and is certainly capable, but I don't like him too much. Ran a decent 3rd in the Va Derby (gr. II), but has still not yet won a turf race yet in his career. Talented, but a likely underlay vs. better.

Hoosier Kingdom has won 4 in a row vs. lesser and has speed but appears overmatched. #3 Proceed Bee may grab a slice coming late.

The Pick: My top pick is the 9 Black Bear Island, just think he has too much class, but I also like Reb's chances and will include him in the exotics.

Beverly D. Stakes (gr. I): Unfortunatley Christophe Clement will not extend his two year win streak for this "win and your in" race as he hasn't a starter, but it should be a well conested battle. When The Aga Khan ships a horse to this race, you better recognize, the #1 Alnadana comes into this race off a grade III win in France 3 weeks ago. The grey Alain Dupre filly by Danehill Dancer is 4-1 on the ML. The other European import with a good shot is #5 Mad About You who was only a head away from the Irish One Thousand Guineas last year and has already captured a Group III win this year.

The top US entries are #2 Pure Clan, a grade I winner in 2008, she's coming off a grade III win over this track last month. Also #4 Black Mamba out of the John Sadler barn looms a major contender. She's coming off a win in the grade II Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park and has a grade I under her belt, but usually runs in So. Cal. #6 Tizaqueena by Tiznow is intriguing, but hasn't won since May and appears slightly overmatched.

While this race could be won by any of these entries, I'm focusing on the Euro class again in #1 Alnadana as the top choice with #2 Pure Clan as the likely place runner, i'll use both in multi-race bets.

Arlington Million (gr. I): A great race with four millionaires entered. To me it comes down to two. Does Presious Passion hold on to his lead, or does Gio Ponti run him down at the end. If you aren't familiar with #2 Presious Passion take a look at this.

If you are worried about him getting into a pace duel, stop, it doesn't matter. He just keeps running faster each race. In the United Nations he goes 1:09 4/5 and still wins by 2. Maybe Gio Ponti, who can absolutely fly in the lane catches him, but if Presious Passion runs his race he wins, I really think its that simple. He's won 4 of his last 5 turf races only finishing 2nd in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita. With 12 career wins and $1.8mln in the bank, PP really seems to be peaking at age 6.
Foreign horses have done well in this race and #7 Gloria De Campeao seems to be the top contender. He took the Grade I Singapore Cup and finished 2nd in the Dubai World Cup (gr. I) in March. The incredibly bred #8 Cima de Triomphe by Galileo out of a stakes winning Danehill mare won the Grade I Italian Derby last year but hasn't quite reached that class this year...still, he looms a threat.

The Bet: The $300k guaranteed pick 3 is an enticing bet. Here's my picks:

Top bet: 7,8,9 / 1,2,4,5,6 / 2 $15 pick 3
8,9/ 1,2 / 2,6,7 $12 pick 3

total bets $27
Click Here to Read More..