|Kasaqui: Four Footed Fotos|
Today is my second favorite day of the year at arguably my favorite turf track in the United States, Arlington. What used to be called Million Preview Day is now called Road to the Million, and my primary focus is on two 1 3/16 routes over grass. By the way, Little Turk and I will be traveling to Arlington for the Million, our second straight year, and would love to meet any readers, you know yourselves, while we are there.
Race six is the Grade 3 Modesty, for Fillies and Mares, three and up while race 9 is the grade 3 Arlington Handicap. Don't worry about the weather.
Let's get after it!
In the Modesty, Dona Bruja is a five year old Argentinian beast. 9 of 9 in the money over turf and a solid first start in the US in the G3 Mint Julep in early June.
Time and Motion is a Grade 1 winner as a three year old who hasn't quite found her groove as a four year old, with two starts and one Show finish. Trainer James Toner started a freshening over Belmont turf for past six weeks. 8 of 12 in the money over turf, the Tapit daughter looks to get going in advance of Million day. Hard not to like the gutty and game Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup effort from last October.
Darling Duchess cuts back from 1 1/2 miles today where she won last time out in late May. 2 wins in six starts at this distance. Speed is an issue.
Prado's Sweet Ride tracked along evenly in the AP Matt Spellman at 1 1/16 miles over yielding turf a month ago. As the chalk he finished in Show. The 5 YO goes for Trainer Chris Block, winless in past 12 stake races.
Storming Elle and One Liz round out my potential exotics. I tossed La Piba and Bonita Cat.
Darling Duchess will be on the lead and should bring the speed. I would expect only Dona Bruja and Time and Motion to make serious late runs. The bet can be as simple as 1 and 3 Over the 1 and 3 Over some combination of horses, or maybe even the 1 Over 3 Over Field. I'll stew on it and you do too!
The Arlington Handicap is a very nice field of fairly even quality with a few class standouts. I could go into a major rant about why Arlington can't have more racing days like this, with more fields like this, but I'll sound like a broken record. Industry insider Ray Paulick has done a better job than I could possibly explaining the situation.
From a Paulick Report in May, "...The racing industry has been trying to get some type of legislative relief since 1991, when riverboat casinos were first approved. It's been stymied repeatedly, and the damage done to the breeding and racing industry is immense. Revenue to the tracks and purses for horse owners has cratered. Horsemen are getting out of the business or moving their stables and breeding stock to neighboring states, all of which offer more substantial purses. Illinois racing has become a shell of its former self.