The Weather in Arlington Heights looks like it will be a bit dicey between two and five PM. You'll find the complete Arlington Card Comments at their website, and you are going to want to see what the turf condition is listed as at racetime. That fake stuff is always listed as fast.
Last year, the Turk and many others were shocked by the 12-1 French Invader Spirit One. I, as many other handicappers, struggle to make apples to apples comparisons of horses from Europe that are intermixed in the PPs with our North American runners. I purchased a copy of Alan Shuback's Global Racing and started to educate myself on the tracks, the races, the level of quality between a Grade I here and a Grade I in Singapore for example. I understand Mr. Shuback is at Arlington today signing books, seek him out and meet a true racing heavy hitter.
I love to handicap the races with the Euro invaders, and that is one of the big draws of the Breeders Cup for me, but my friends, handicapping and betting are two very different and mutually separate activities. If you want your ROI to stay positive and phat, handicap but don't bet on races where you don't feel you have enough information. You can track down everything you'd like on Stotsfold (GB), but it's a time consuming process and not something I do except for the Breeders Cup.
10 cent Super's are in fashion, so in full disclosure, that's going to be my focus.
Arlington Park Race 9 Post Time 5:42 ET; The Arlington Millions Grade I; 1 1/4 miles on immaculate Illinois Turf for 3 YOs and Up.
I like Gio Ponti, especially from gate 6. The 4 YO Tale of the Cat son exploded this year and looks to be a dominant older horse for a few years to come. He has a 1 1/4 mile Turf win on yielding turf in June and a 1 3/8 win on Turf in July on firm turf. He has 6 wins in his last 10 starts and 80% in the money in his last 10 races. He's a staggering 82% in the money on Turf and 7 wins in 11 starts. Smokin'. He'll make a late move off the pace, and their appears to be plenty of pace coming from Presious Passion and Gloria de Campeao.
The Turk is a big Einstein fan, but this isn't a popularity contest. Trainer Pitts has had this horse all over the condition book, but I like him the most on Turf. His last turf win was on turf listed as good and he put up a 106 BSF at 1 1/8. Amazing, he's only gone 1 1/4 once before, a miserable Arlington Millions last year. I may even have him too high, but its not unjustified. 11 of 17 in the money on Turf, 6 wins in last 13 starts, the races lifetime top money winner by a smidge. The 7 YO has been training since mid June. most of my tickets will have him dropping to place, show or also ran.
I like Gloria de Campeao (BRZ) to hit the superfecta ticket. Coming off a big win in the Grade 1 Singapore International Cup a 1 1/4 miles and a well beaten second to Well Armed in Dubai before that. Three wins and a place in last three races. I expect the 6 YO to prompt the pace and the last several hops will set his final position.
My biggest struggle was where to slot Presious Passion. The 6 YO gelding has announced himself as a Turf force. The veteran runner has 39 career starts, 36 on Turf and 12 wins. 50% in the money on Turf, 5 of 5 in 2009. His last few efforts on turf listed as yielding were not so good, so he's a runner I hedged down but will hedge up as the condition of the turf course becomes apparent.
For live and long, I like Mr. Sidney, coming off a yielding turf win a 1 mile in the July 4th Firecracker GII at Churchill Downs.
Little Turk and Mrs. Turk are backing Just as Well today.
This should be a fun a ticket and between Arlington, Saratoga, and a Turk family gathering, my next 12 hours are accounted for.
I want to end with my heartfelt sympathy for the good folks of Louisville who suffered under Mother Nature's fury this week. The Turk is an Honorary Kentucky Colonel and a longtime sailor on the USS Louisville SSN-724. When I visited the Kentucky Derby Museum last October I was treated like royalty and given a wonderful 3 hour tour of every inch of Churchill Downs. I wish them the best as they rebuild.