When a stakes race has "Oaks" in its name, it's typically for three-year-old fillies. The Kentucky Oaks, American Oaks, Delaware Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, and so on fall under this category. So too does the Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington Oaks, our local feature race of the week on the July 20 card. This race for the girls has had some different names in the past, such as the Arlington Heights Oaks (for the municipality that hosts Arlington Park) and the Singapore Plate. Shelved in 2011, past winners include Mariah's Storm (who won stakes at Arlington at ages two through four), Upperline (won Arlington Oaks and G3 Arlington Matron), and La Tia, who was third in last week's G3 Modesty.
(Update: Morning line odds
were not available at publish time. were added on Thurs. July 18.)
Arlington Park - - Race 7 -- G3 Arlington Oaks -- 1 1/8 miles on polytrack - - Post time 3:53pm CT
Seven sophomore fillies will take a full lap around the local polytrack. Last time out in the Purple Violet Stakes going a one turn mile, MY OPTION chased hot fractions on the front end, battling off the pacesetter from an outside position and losing by a half length to BOLD KITTEN. The inside was better than the outside that afternoon, and MY OPTION get a solid forward ride (perhaps Perez sensed you needed to be close) from a horse that normally comes from mid pack. She lost by only a half a length in the Purple Violet with those demerits (inside speed, out of comfort zone), giving confidence that she can maintain the solid form she showed last year at Hawthorne in the Whitworth and again going six panels two back. SKY GIRL comes into this race riding a two race win streak. Two back at Churchill she won and beat a next out winner going seven furlongs. Last time out at Churchill going a one-turn mile on the dirt, she won a first-level allowance (technically, an allowance optional claimer). Like MY OPTION, she's going two sprints to route. LIKE MY OPTION, she's probably best from mid pack. But MY OPTION gets the trump card over the Kentucky shipper due to the Block trainee setting quick internal fractions two back in the Pretty Jenny and again last out. SEANEEN GIRL hasn't won since the G2 Golden Rod last fall at Churchill, but appeared to get back on the beam last time in the G3 Iowa Oaks. She appears to have yo-yo form (up in a N2X against older, down in the Regret, up last out). However, her synthetic form two is okay and we can forgive her run on grass in the Regret. Trainer is two-for-eleven in the win column going dirt to synthetic.
#3 MY OPTION (7/2)
#6 SKY GIRL (5/1)
#1 SEANEEN GIRL (5/2)
Longshot: The selector above is such a Blockhead. Why did he take a trainer that's six for ninety four at Arlington? Tried to get him to change his mind, but that's just #2 FRIVOLOUS (6/1). And speaking of FRIVOLOUS, she comes in off a turf win last time at Churchill going two turns. That was a three-and-up maiden special weight she won, so you could make an argument that she's dropping in class because she's in against exclusively her age group. And she did it on grass, meaning the local polytrack is within her scope. More importantly: only four horses in the field have a win at two turns: SEANEEN GIRL, MY OPTION, MARY BERNICE, and FRIVOLOUS. The Block-head discussed the first two, the Presque shipper MARY BERNICE appears overmatched, and that leaves FRIVOLOUS among the capable routers.
We're just one month away from the biggest day of the Arlington Park meet, Arlington Million Day. Picks and Ponderings will take you along for the ride leading to that big mid-August day and its three Grade 1 races.