Race 1-Straight Line Stakes $65,000, 1 Mile, 3 Year Olds
In a race loaded with front runners, #7 Afford (5/1) cuts back in distance and removes blinkers to insure an off the pace, late running trip. Afford also shows a victory off a 2-month layoff, similar to the layoff he returns from today. The only question mark is whether he’ll handle the Polytrack, as he’s never run on it, but has trained forwardly on it since May. #2 Sweet Luca (6/1) made a bold move into a fast pace when going a mile two back, only to be run down in the late stages. Though jockey Shaun Bridgmohan gets off in favor of Afford, look for Sweet Luca to be a factor while moving late once again. #8 Hammers Terror (9/5) fits with these, but will be over bet off his successes. He seems to run his best when on the lead, which may not happen with all the front runners entered.
Race 2-O/C $40,000N2X, 1 1/16 Miles, 3 & Up
#9 Cool C Note (7/2) looks to get into the winner’s circle for the first time in 2012, while switching back to a turf course in which he’s 12-3-2-2 on. He’s a very good candidate to get an easy early lead and go wire to wire. #8 Sound Effect (10/1) and #2 McLard (10/1) also look to be close to the projected moderate early pace, and could easily be in the fray at long odds.
Race 3-$7,500 NW2L Claiming, 6 Furlongs, F/M 3 & Up
#3 Blarney d’Or (7/2) owns the best speed figures of the group, has Arlington’s best trainer/jockey and is a late runner who should get plenty of early pace to set up her late kick. 7/2 on her looks to be a stretch, but we can dream, right? #7 Reba’s Fancy (12/1) has turned in nice efforts at this level in her last 2 tries. A repeat performance makes her a factor and is a must include in all exotics at a price. #11 Successful Bid (30/1) was extremely wide on the turn at this level in her first race back from a 9-month layoff. The speed figure she ran in her last makes her a fringe player, but look for improvement off the trouble in her last which could really boost exotic payoffs.
Race 4-Md. Sp. Wt., 1 Mile Turf, 2 Year Olds
#1 Beyond Compare (9/2) was sent off at 7/5 in her debut, but broke slowly, raced wide and flattened out when running 4 ½ furlongs. Since her race on 7/1, she has worked every 7 days since 7/9 including a 1-mile breeze and a 3-furlong bullet. Robby Albarado retains the mount for trainer Proctor, who is highly successful with 2nd time starters and grass runners. #4 Aud Eddie (10/1) is out of Grade 3 grass winner Aud and great 2-year-old trainer, Wesley Ward. Odd that breeder Willmott Stables campaigned both sire/dam, but decided to let this one go at auction. #8 Lifes Reward (5/2) is another from successful 2-year-old trainer, Wayne Catalano. Dam Pearly Beach has already produced a grass winner, and Lifes Reward is working regularly to deliver a good performance today.
Race 5-Hatoof Stakes $65,000, 1 1/16 Miles Turf, 3 Year Old Fillies
In a wide open race, Regally bred Zapper Belle’s (10/1) speed figures have improved dramatically since moving to the grass. She made a middle move in her last off a short layoff and still closed the final 5/16 in 30 2/5 seconds. Look for her to improve 2nd off the layoff. #9 Nayarra (9/5) is a Group 1 winner in Italy, but got trounced when running in England. Today’s spot looks very logical for trainer Graham Motion, and the addition of Lasix should help as well. #2 Ann of the Dance (12/1) will be running late for Wayne Catalano, and could pick up some of the pieces at a price.
Race 6-IL Bred NW1X Allow. $44,000, 1 Mile, 3 & Up
#7 Transplendent (5/2) was plucked out of a maiden claimer at Belmont Park last out. There looks to be enough early speed to help set up his late run. The only question he needs to answer is whether or not he can handle Polytrack, as he’s only had 1 workout over the track since coming to town. #1 Brim (8/1) will also be trying the Polytrack for the first time. Hoping he transfer his turf form to the main track, as he’s flopped both times on conventional dirt. #2 Powersfield’s (8/1) 2 best lifetime efforts were at today’s track/distance. The 1 for 15 lifetime record is nothing to brag about, but he’s 8 for 15 in the money, so definitely include in exotics.
Race 7-American St. Leger $400,000, 1 11/16 Miles Turf, 3 & up
#8 Jakkalberry (9/5) has been competitive against much tougher and the distance should be no problem. His 3rd place finish in the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic behind 2011 European HOY, Cirrus Des Aigles, makes Jakkalberry a stand out against this group. #10 Zuider Zee (5/1) is actually cutting back in distance off his last (2 11/16 miles) at Ascot. His last win was off a similar layoff and picks up Lasix for the first time-a major contender. #12 Bridge Of Gold (15/1) is also receiving Lasix and cutting back in distance after competing in the 2 ½ mile Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup. Bridge Of Gold likes to run near the front, which should be beneficial as there’s not much early speed signed on for this.
Race 8-Secretariat Stakes $500,000 Gd. I, 1 1/4 Miles Turf, 3 Year Olds
French Group 2 winner #7 Bayrir (6/1) already owns a win at today’s distance and retains regular rider Lemaire. He should be very tough, especially if someone can apply some early pressure to #8 Silver Max. Undoubtedly the most accomplished horse in the field, Silver Max only runs on the front, but it looks like #1 Handsome Mike could press Silver Max early with a return to grass and a rail draw. #4 Finnegans Wake (6/1) and #2 Summer Front (5/2) will benefit should a speed dual develop.
Race 9-Hatoof Stakes $65,000, 1 1/16 Miles Turf, 3 Year Old Fillies
#2 Leading Astray (4/1) made 2 middle moves against state-bred competition last out. Steps way up in class today, but her speed figures fit and there should be enough early speed to complement her late kick. #7 Silver Hustler (6/1) didn’t take to the Indiana Downs turf course last out, but her 2 prior efforts at Churchill Downs make her a major player today. #1 Imposing Grace (12/1) was impressive in her maiden win last out, but is trying routing/grass for the first time. She is out of Empire Maker so the extra ground should be within her scope.
Race 10-Beverly D. Stakes $750,000 Gd. I, 1 3/16 Miles Turf, F/M 3 & Up
#1 Kapitale (12/1) comes in for trainer, Andreas Wohler, who always has his runners primed for Arlington’s big day. Though away for 10 months, Kapitale has been pointing for this spot and picks up Lasix for the first time. The distance should not be a problem, since she is a Group 3 winner at 1 3/8 miles. #10 Jovaility (9/2) picks up Lasix for the first time and should sit a stalking trip behind #3 Romacaca, enabling her to get first run on the other contenders. #8 Marketing Mix (3/1) has won her only start on the course and has been working locally for today’s race. She is ultra-consistent and should get a nice stalking trip as well.
Race 11-Arlington Million $1,000,000 Gd. I, 1 1/4 Miles, 3 Year Olds & Up
#6 Treasure Beach (6/1) is a runner with some excuses in his last few and ships over for Aiden O’Brien on only 9 days rest, so look at his last as a prep for today. 2 back in the Man O’ War Stakes, he was too far off a dawdling pace and never runs well off a layoff. Today he is 3rd off the layoff and seems better suited to 1 ¼ miles rather than 1 ½ miles. #3 Afsare (6/1) gets Lasix for the first time, retains jockey Kieren Fallon and excels at today’s distance (5-2-1-0). He’s a must use in all exotics. #9 Crackerjack King (5/1) defeated Afsare 2 back and is also a major contender.
Race 12-$7,500 Clm. NW2L, 7 furlongs, 3 Year Olds & Up
In a grab bag of a race, #13 Roar Of Thunder (8/1) won at this distance last out from the rail. Inosencio Diego keeps the mount and is a major player in here, where many of these runners have had too many shots at this level. #5 Backdoc (6/1) & #6 Buttercups Baby (8/1) should both enjoy 7 furlongs while running on late in a race with plenty of front runners.
Please be sure to follow me on Twitter-@Cappercorner and/or friend me on facebook.com to continue the horse racing conversation!