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HRN Original Blog:
Handicapper's Corner

Arlington Million Full Card Picks

Alterite wins 2013 Garden City.
Photo: NYRA

 

Race 1-7 furlongs, $5,000 claiming, 3 & up 

In a grab bag of an opener, #1 Mystic looks like 7 furlongs might be the ideal distance. It appears that 5 furlongs is too short and 1 mile is now out of reach for the 7-year-old gelding. He had a nice, easy work last week, retains jockey Emigh and it looks like there should be enough early pace to set up his late kick. #4 Space Traveler was second at this level last out after dropping from a $25,000. He’s an obvious contender and should be favored. #11 Sea of Change was 3rd behind Space Traveler, and should also be used in all exotics.

 

Race 2-5 furlongs turf, NW1X allowance, 3 & up 

#1 Mac West is making his turf debut, but his late running win into a moderate pace over the poly last out suggest he can handle the lawn. There’s plenty of early speed to set up his late run for trainer Wayne Catalano and son-in-law, Channing Hill. #4 Laythatpistoldown hails from the solid Chris Block barn. He’s cutting back from a route & missed the board in his only try at this distance, but the speed figure earned in that effort makes him a contender here. #7 Voodoo Spell is a hard-knocking claimer that is in good form now. He’s an obvious contender, but might be over bet while trying claimers for the first time.

 

Race 3-1 mile turf, $125,000 optional claimer, 3 & up

#7 Live in Joy return from a 2-month break for the powerful Ramsey/Maker team. He’s been working every 7 days in preparation for this and retains the services of top jockey Castellano. The winner of the 2013 G2 Strub, #10 Guilt Trip, is making his turf debut. His dam has already thrown 1 grass winner and he looks to sit a nice stalking trip from his outside post. #9 All Stormy has also been working forwardly for his first run in 2-months, and should be included in exotics at a price.

 

Race 4-1 mile turf, Md Sp Wt, 2 year old 

#3 Kinsmanor showed some zip in his first 2 works at 3 furlongs. Following those works, the son of Munnings has put in a handful of long slow works in preparation for this. He’s bred for turf and trainer Block is 17% with first time starter and 14% with debut grass runners. #5 Safe At Sea is bred up and down for grass and has been working every 7 days for his debut. Trainer Scherer is solid with debut and grass runners. #9 Luck of the Kitten was 2nd on debut at Saratoga at 6/5. He should improve off that initial try, but will be over bet coming from the Wesley Ward barn.

 

Race 5-1 1/16 turf, Hatoof Stakes, 3yo fillies 

#9 Mizzen Miss has been on the front end in turf sprint, so she should be on the again today. There appears to be no other early foot, so look for her to set a dawdling pace and wire the field. #10 Zubi Zubi Zu should be close to the slow projected pace and get a piece of the purse. #4 Share the Sugar has been working well for this off a 2-month rest. The slow pace should dull her late kick, but she’s very consistent in producing that late rally.


Race 6-1 mile, Straight Line Stakes, 3 year old 

#5 Bourbonize has yet to try the poly, but has the most back class of the field as he was on the KY Derby trail earlier this year. #3 Puppy Manners makes his Midwest debut after spending his career in California. A multiple race winner on the synthetic and 1-for-1 at the distance, Puppy Manners should be included in all exotics at a price. #1 Stormy Pacific is a consistent runner that is 1-for-1 at the distance and should sit a nice stalking trip behind the early front runners. 

 

Race 7-1 11/16 miles, American St. Leger Stakes, 3 & up 

#5 Moment in Time is a long-winded Irish mare that can run all day. There appears to be some early foot in this marathon, so at 20/1 why not take a shot with a runner that will be coming late and can easily handle the distance. #11 Suntracer was 2nd in this spot last year and is in good form for this spot. Though he hasn’t won in over a year and a half, Suntracer is very consistent and always in the exotics. #2 Dandino won here last year, but his 2014 form has been lacking. Maybe a trip to North America is just what he needs as he sports a record of 2-1-1-0 on this side of the pond.

 

Race 8-1 ¼ miles, Secretariat Stakes (G1), 3 year old 

#6 Adelaide was nailed in the final strides of the G1 Belmont Derby last out. The Aidan O’Brien runner is receiving a jockey upgrade to Ryan Moore and should get first run of closers as he has the most tactical speed of those not needing the lead. #1 Global View has been caught behind slow paces in his last few starts. The son of Galileo has been in Chicago since June in preparation for this. The 1 ¼ is well within his scope and he should get an honest pace to run at. #9 Tourist is undefeated in 3 starts since being switched to the grass for trainer Bill Mott. He appears to be the early leader, but whether he can carry his speed this far is a big question.

 

Race 9-1 3/16 miles, Beverly D Stakes (G1), F/M 3 & up 

#9 Alterite is a closer who was very rank last out when making her first start in over 8 months. She should improve leaps & bounds off that effort. There is plenty of early speed in here, so expect Alterite to sit off the pace and make her patented late run. #1 Just The Judge is a Group 1 winning import making her first start in nearly 2 months. She runs well off the bench and is Group 1 placed at 1 ¼ miles, so the distance should not be a problem for this late runner. #5 Stephanie’s Kitten got off to a slow start in 2014, but she is starting to build some momentum going towards the Breeders’ Cup with her neck defeat in the Grade 1 Diana Stakes last out. There will plenty of pace to set up her late kick, but the question is the distance as she’s never ran this far and has struggled against top class competition at 1 1/8 miles.

 

Race 10-1 ¼ miles, Arlington Million (G1), 3 & up 

In a race with little early pace, it looks like #7 Side Glance will set the pace, or sit just off #1 Hardest Core. Side Glance was a troubled 3rd in the here last year, and is returning to Chicago in good form. #2 Smoking Sun has been knocking heads with one of Europe’s best, Cirrus Des Aigles, the last year. Last out, he was a solid 2nd in the Singapore Air Int’l Cup (G1). He’s a specialist at the distance (8-2-2-2), so expect him to be in the thick of it turning for home. #3 Magician is the 2013 BC Turf winner, but has only 1 win in 5 starts on the season. Last out, he was a disappointing 6th in the Group 1 King George at Royal Ascot. Some of that performance can be forgiven by that fact that he likes firmer turf better, and Ascot does not seem to be his preferred track.

 

Race 11-1 1/16 turf, Hatoof Stakes, 3yo fillies 

#1 La Mejor Fiesta returns to the grass after testing graded company in her last 3. She won her debut on turf and should get plenty of pace as there is many front runners entered. #4 Maria Maria is a little light on overall speed figures, but owns some of the best late pace figures and should be going forward as many of these are backing up. #9 Battlefield Angel is undefeated in 2 starts on grass. In those efforts, she was close to slow paces, so there is a chance she could be taken out of her game plan today with all the early speed.

 

Race 12-6 furlongs, $7,500 Md. Clm., F/M 3 & up 

#5 Mathaayil just missed at this level last out and should be respected against many of these that appear overmatched. #7 Hubbala Hubbala was slightly behind the top pick last out, and is a obvious contender. She could find herself alone on the lead as there doesn’t look like there is much pace in there, which would only help her chance. #10 Little Bit ‘o Soup owns the fastest figures in the field, but has never sprinted or ran on the Polytrack. She gets first time Lasix, but approach with caution. She was claimed last time out for $25K and is now entered for $7,500 after firing a bullet workout on 8/5.

 

Best of luck to all & please be sure to chat live with me today throughout the Arlington card!


 

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Meet Jasen Mangrum

My interest in the Sport of Kings goes back over 25 years with my father taking me with his friends to the old Ak-Sar-Ben Race Course in Omaha, NE.  From those early experiences I was able to read the Daily Racing Form before the age of 10.  Once The Woodlands opened in Kansas City in 1988, I became totally hooked on the sport studying racing charts after homework and tennis practice.  In recent years, with the explosion of handicapping tournaments, my love for handicapping the races has risen to a new level.  Primarily focused on New York, Chicago and Louisiana racing, I have now been forced to study races far and wide in attempt to find “cap horses” in the tournaments I play.  I have also dabbled in horse ownership within syndicates and on my own.

 

My fondest memories in racing include Silver Charm’s 1997 Kentucky Derby victory.  Both my father and I selected him, which made for a memorable day.  The best race I’ve seen was Tiznow’s first Breeders Cup Classic win in 2000 when he outdueled Giant’s Causeway down the length of the Churchill Downs stretch.   My biggest windfall as a gambler was a pool-scooping pick-4 win, paying over $6,600 at The Woodlands in 2005.

 

The point of this blog is to get everyone out there a few winners, but also to go in depth at how I come to the conclusions that I do.  From week to week, I’ll explain angles I think are important to locate winners.  I encourage others to post picks they like too, but please explain how you come to your conclusions.  That way everyone can learn a little more about this great game, and add another weapon to their handicapping arsenal.-Best of luck, Jasen Mangrum