Created in 1990, but shelved between 1991-95 and 1998-99; the Arlington Sprint was in the late '90s/early '00s a dirt sprint, almost always at six furlongs. Millionare Midwest sprinter Bet On Sunshine won the race three times while it was on dirt. In 2007, polytrack came to Arlington Park and the race stayed at six furlongs but was now on the synthetic main track. There was a dead heat that year between Piratesonthelake and In Summation; the latter of which had won the G1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar a month prior. After that one renewal on Polytrack, it went to the grass course and shifted to five and one-half furlongs. And it's done quite well in its new home. Winners like Mr. Nightlinger, Havelock, and CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE have annexed bigger prizes after winning the Arlington Sprint.
Another successful winner could lead the $100,000 Arlington Sprint to a G3 ranking down the line.
Morning line odds
were not released at original publish time.
(Update, July 4: Morning Line odds were added. The date of the card was fixed too, with a heads-up to commenter "NBII" who noticed.)
Arlington Park -- Race 8 -- Arlington Sprint -- 5 1/2 furlongs on turf -- post time 4:40 PM CT
The feature on the Saturday July
76 card, in sixty-five seconds or less, brings in three Arlington Sprint winners: YANKEE INJUNITY(2009), CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE (2010), and SAINT LEON (2012). Throw in G3 Hanshin Cup winner HOGY and minor stakes winner BET SEATTLE, too. This Arlington Sprint could be a doozy, but we preface the picks by reminding the selections are turf-only (Chicagoland has gotten into a monsoon-like pattern of pop-up rainstorms).
In his four career turf tries, HOGY has three wins and a sixth. That sixth place finish came two back in the G3 Shakertown at Keeneland, where he endured a sneaky-bad trip and made a good closing rush at the end. Last time out over a mile in the Hanshin Cup on polytrack, he stalked off a pace from Nate's Mineshaft and bested a solid G3 type in Mister Mardi Gras and a next out winner in Minnesota in Hammers Terror. The 45-60 day pattern fits for the trainer/owner team of Becker/Stiritz, and he went from mile on the poly-to-sprint on the turf last year and won on the green. CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE got marooned out in the middle of the course in the G3-quality Governor's Cup at Penn National. Two back he was beaten on the line on Derby Day on a course with give, and he won the 2010 Arlington Sprint on a wet course. He's a closer that's prone to trip trouble, but certainly benefits from breaking in the middle of the field, not on the outside. Defending champion SAINT LEON is the speed of the speed here. If Arlington Heights were under a drought and the turf were firmer I'd be smashing my piggy bank to bet on him. Problem: the course could be wet, but it certainly has played very negatively to front speed. Issues aside, trainer M. Boyce is at her usual 20% strike rate, and he dusted off a quality bunch of locals last time in a zippy clock time.
#8 HOGY (3/1)
#5 CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE (4/1)
#2 SAINT LEON (5/2)
Longshot: The three above are quite logical and figure to take much of the wagering. So take a look at #4 BATITO (20/1) if you're chalk-averse. Last time out on Belmont Stakes Day going six and one-half, he made a sustained closing run to get second and missed in a photo. That could be helpful if someone pushes SAINT LEON (QUE POSSE?) on the front end. Back on Belmont Day, BATITO missed to fellow entrant QUE POSSE. Two back he was on the right side of the photo ahead of SWEET LUCA, and that Block trainee won a $100K Illinois-bred stakes earlier this month. Rider switch to Geroux, who has been collecting wins on the Catalano train, not an issue.
Full card picks will be offered for Arlington Sprint Day at the link given, and doubly posted in a separate post to "Picks and Ponderings".
Be sure to check out Twitter (@heylaserbeam) for all-day on-the-scene updates at Arlington Park. Good luck!