Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Arlingtion Million Day and Alabama Picks

Silver Max Arlington Classic

I expect the newly minted $400,000 one mile and eleven sixteenths turf race to not only be a welcome addition to a fantastic Million Day card, but also to begin the European dominance over the Americans on the Arlington Park turf course. The well-traveled six-year-old horse, Jakkalberry needs only to run similarly to any of his races the past few years to be a smashing winner in today’s American St. Leger. He has kept company with superior foes in Europe, Dubai, and Hong Kong in distances up to 1 ¾ miles and consistently performed well. His race two back in the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classice in which he finished third to Cirrus des Aigles and St Nicholas Abbey highlights his class advantage over this bunch. Jakkalberry is a good choice to single in the multi-race wagers, but if he doesn’t fire in his initial try in the States, look for the German bred, English trained, and distance loving Zuider Zee to be the most likely upsetter.

This is the one race where I suspect the home team has a great chance to defend their home turf. Silver Max is on a roll, and despite facing his toughest test to date, he is my pick to win the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes in wire-to-wire fashion. While there are other horses who like to be near the lead in Handsome Mike and Daddy Long Legs, I don’t suspect anyone will want to give Silver Max the kind of pressure that will weaken him down the lane. That leaves it up to the classy duo of America’s Summer Front and France’s Bayrir to try to do what no one else has been able to do in any of his seven turf races this year… run down Silver Max. I don’t think they will be able to stop the Silver Max Express today.

If you are taking a shot at the all-stakes Pick 5 today, and you know I will be, the Beverly D. could prove to be the most difficult selection in the sequence. Very few of the ten fillies would be much of a surprise if they made it to the winner’s circle this afternoon. The North American contingent is strong led by Aruna, Mystical Star, and Marketing Mix, but in the end, I think it might be a Euro who gets the job done. Joviality, trained by John Gosden, has performed well in top company in England this year and you can likely discount her last race due to getting a turf course much too softer for her liking. If she is the one to beat, it might be one of two other Euros with better odds that do the beating. The German filly, Kapitale, was getting very good late last year and is reported to be in fine fettle for her 2012 debut. Likely ignored by the bettors today, she could be the one to create big payoffs in all the multi-race wagers. Meanwhile, I’m A Dreamer just missed in last fall’s E.P. Taylor at Woodbine, and has been solid against top notch competition in each of her three races this year, and might be on the verge of her breakout victory today.

If you thought I liked the European invaders too much in the American St. Leger and Beverly D., you really will not like what I have to say in the Million. My top four selections in the marquee event of the day all hail from across the pond. If you use the quartet of Afsare, Colombian, Treasure Beach, and Crackerjack King, I feel pretty confident that you will have the winner. Crackerjack King has the best European form and appreciates the ten furlong trip, so should be considered the one to beat, but the other three have a lot to like. Afsare seems to be in career form now at the age of five for trainer, Luca Camani, Columbian looked like a world beater a few starts back, albeit on heavy turf, and the classy globetrotter, Treasure Beach, has already demonstrated his ability at Arlington, with a big win in last year’s Secretariat.

I would be remiss in only mentioning the Arlington races in this handicapping bonanza when the historic Alabama Stakes is also on tap today at Saratoga, especially when you consider that my top pick is listed at 12-1 on the morning line. Sea Island is just the type of late developing horse that master trainer Shug McGaughey specializes in. Getting better with every start, Sea Island announced her class with an impressive victory over a couple of very good older fillies in St. John’s River and Acting Happy in her last. Better yet, the win came over the Saratoga main track, and best yet she is the one filly in the race that I fully expect to relish the ten furlongs of the Alabama. So, while I foresee the favored fillies, Grace Hall and Questing, struggling down the tiring Saratoga stretch, Sea Island should be striding out to her first big win.



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Older Comments about Arlingtion Million Day and Alabama Picks...

I was told Silver Max had been scrathed so now I'll have to do my pick five over again and even though I've never placed a bet and would't even know how, It's exciting to play My pick five Little Mike, Silver Max, Treasure Beach,Cracker Jack' and Afsare
Good luck to all of my HRN family on Arlington Million Day.
I like your picks, Brian. I have a sneaky suspicion that Handsome Mike will press Silver Max with his return to grass and the inside post.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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