Saturday is Christmas to all the Arlington fans- it's Arlington Million Day, afterall. All eyes in the horse racing world pause to watch what happens on Arlington Park's turf course on Arlington Million Day. Between the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes, the Gr. 1 Beverly D., and the jewel- the Gr. 1 Arlington Million, the racing globe will see the first true Breeder's Cup prep races unfold and have a solid indication as to which continent will have the stronger turf horses at the Breeder's Cup- Europe or us.
You will want these: Past Performances for the big 3 races. They are free.
Purse: $400,000, 1 1/4 miles (turf); Grade 1. Post time 3:52 central.
1 Newsdad J. Rosario 10-1 2 Ziyarid C. Lemaire 10-1 3 Treasure Beach C. O’Donoghue 2-1 4 Crimson China R. Maragh 15-1 5 Casino Host R. Dominguez 8-1 6 Suntracer S. Bridgmohan 15-1 7 Banned G. Gomez 3-1 8 Derby Kitten J. Leparoux 15-1 9 Willcox Inn R. Albarado 9-2 10 L’Aiglon F. Geroux 50-1
My first glance at the Secretariat produced only a few ideas.
1. If Treasure Beach runs like he did in June in England and Ireland, he is gonna win.
2. The 10 Horse, L'Aiglon, sadly reminded me of the hook from Nelly's 2005 song, Flap Your Wings, where the hook is "Drop down and get your eagle on, girl.". Everytime I hear the name L'Aiglon I will sing, "Drop down and get L'Aiglon, girl." in my head.
Purse: $750,000, 1 3/16 miles (turf); Grade 1. Post time 4:33 central.
1 Stacelita R. Dominguez 3-1 2 Check the Label J. Leparoux 20-1 3 Fantasia R. Maragh 6-1 4 Upperline J. Graham 20-1 5 Dubawi Heights J. Rosario 10-1 6 River Jetez C. Soumillon 4-1 7 Cheetah G. Gomez 9-2 8 Pachattack F. Geroux 10-1 9 Eclair de Lune J. Alvarado 12-1 10 Romin Robin J. Santana 30-1 11 Never Retreat S. Bridghmohan 10-1
I cannot wait to watch this race. Stacelita looks pretty impressive and I can't wait to watch River Jetez, Fantasia, Cheetah and Pacattack all take their shots at her. Oh, and you can never count out last year's winner, Eclair de Lune- who is owned by the owner of Arlington Park, Richard Duchossois.
3. Stacelita's resume is insane and she looks bossed up. Having raced against the very best European turfers- male or female, of the last 3 years (e.g. Sea the Stars, Midday and Goldikova), she will not see any horse on Saturday who can finish within 5 lengths of any of those monsters.
4. The Jockey-with-Trainer stats (J/T on the bottom right of the Racing Form) for the 5 horse, Dubawi Heights is interesting. Jockey Joel Rosario has raced 25 times for trainer Simon Callaghan in 2010 and 2011 and won 11 of those races (44%!!) for an average ROI of $3.40 per $2 bet. Granted, all 11 wins most likely weren't against Grade 1 company, but 44% is a big number in horse racing.
5. I need to look at this race a lot more as it looks deep and interesting.
Purse: $1 million; 1 1/4 miles (turf); Grade 1. Post time 5:15 central.
1 Rahystrada S. Russell 12-1 2 Tajaaweed J. Graham 12-1 3 Dean’s Kitten J. Leparoux 30-1 4 Zack Hall C. Soumillon 10-1 5 Gio Ponti R. Dominguez 2-1 6 Proceed Bee C. Emigh 50-1 7 Cape Blanco J. Spencer 9-5 8 Mission Approved J. Espinoza 6-1 9 Wigmore Hall H. Turner 8-1 10 General Perfect G. Gomez 50-1
6. This race may be deeper than it appears as the top three morning line favorites, Cape Blanco, Gio Ponti and Mission Approved were top performers l in last month's Man O' War Stakes at Belmont Park- where Cape Blanco defeated Gio Ponti by 2 1/4 lengths after Mission Approved finished 4th, having led most of the way.
Mission Approved figures to be on the lead again and the race must be run through him. With Cape Blanco figuring to stay close to him (again), I think Gio Ponti will take what he learned in the Man O' War and keep Cape Blanco much closer to him. With the big three horses all forwardly placed (with Gio Ponti, perhaps uncomfortably so) I think the first-wave stalkers may tip their hands a bit early, which could mean the winner will be coming from the clouds and charging late.
It's a theory anyway, and I will still be using the big three on nearly all of my tickets. But if that actually were to happen I'd say it would set up well for Wigmore Hall, but I need to dig deeper on this one.
To be continued (before Saturday)......