My Picks For Arlington Million Day, Saturday, August 11, 2018.

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Updated: 16th May 2024

I have made my choices on who I am going to bet At Arlington this weekend on Million Day. The first six races or so, I am simply looking to pick up a little change as the races are mostly filled with runners with limited ability. But I do like several in the better races and will take my shot in those races, though I have to leave a few out because I do not spread on my wagers.

1st Race: Maiden Claiming $15-10,000— 3 YOs And Up Illinois Bred Fillies & Mares— 6 furlongs AWT— Purse $14,000:

This race looks like it will run to form, so I like 3)Rachelgotstephen(5-2) to win. But since I do not bet any horse to WP under 3-1), I will use this horse in exacta and tri boxes only. Her trainer Joe Kirby is the son of Frank Kirby who owns this horse but apparently has turned training duties over to his son. Frank Kirby was a trainer that would always bring a longshot in for me when I needed it the most. She has started twice this year and ran 4th both times. Dropping into maiden claimers for the first time this year, so the class break should help.

1)High Power(2-1) will be the one I use in an exacta box with my top pick. She dropped into this class for the first time in her last and open a clear lead before tiring. However, her trainer, Reavis, wins a lot of races in gate to wire fashion. He is switching jockeys to the lesser known Marquez, Jr but he is known for his ability to rate a horse on the lead. Should be a late factor.

6)Frosty Friend(3-1) has done nothing in his first two starts, but they were at Tampa Bay in races open to all fillies. Given a 4 month break where the trainer spent the time getting her fit to run as her works have improved and she seems to enjoy the all weather track, which her bloodlines says she should. Chris Block has been one of the better trainers in Illinois for almost 20 years. Will not be surprise if she wins this race, though I will use her in my tri box only.

2nd Race: Maiden Special Weight— 2 YOs— 6 Furlongs AWT—Purse $32,000.

I like the 1)Drilliant(8-1) to WP. His sire Drill, is a son of Lawyer Ron and he won the G1 Del Mar Futurity in his 3rd lifetime start on that track's all weather surface. His broodmare sire, Forbidden Apple, was a multiple graded stakes winner on grass in New York. If Drilliant run to his works, He will be tough to beat in here.

7) Hide The Demon(5-1) will be my choice to complete my exacta box. His sire, Run Away And Hide won all three of his starts, including the G2 Saratoga Special, before an injury ended his career. His broodmare sire is Tapit, who needs no introduction as he has been among the leading sires every year since he went to stud. Hide The Demon would be my top pick but I feel Drilliant has been prepared better for his debut.

2)Grit To Glory(8-1) will be my choice to complete my tri box. His sire, Pioneerof The Nile, is sire of 2015 TC winner American Pharoah, but his dam, Live For Now, is a 1/2 sister to Point Given. His works has not been as flashy as my top two picks, but he certainly has the bloodlines to succeed.

Race 3: Maiden Special Weight— 3 YOs & Up— One Mile Turf— Purse $32,000.

I like the 7)Fifth Ace(4-1) to WP. He has made one lifetime start which came on the all weather track at Presque Isle Downs where he tracked the pace, took the lead turning into the stretch and finished 6th, beaten 2 3/4 lengths. Now, he has been entered in a grass race at the same distance and his bloodlines suggests he will like that surface even more. His dam, Model, is a daughter of Giant's Causeway and her dam is a G1 placed daughter of Machiavellian, the sire of Street Cry.

3)Wicked Gem(6-1) has made three lifetime starts, all on dirt, and has shown very little. However, his trainer, Kellyn Gorder. knows how to get a horse to produce and he has a series of works since his last that indicates he has or is ready to take the necessary step forward. His sire, Gemologist, won his first 5 lifetime starts before he was plummeted in the Ky Derby & Haskell Inv in his last two starts. And while he was never tried on grass, his bloodlines suggest that would probably be the surface he preferred. Add in Wicked Gem's broodmare sire, Mr Greeley(son of Gone West), Clever Trick(son of Northern Dancer's 3/4 brother Icecapade), and English TC Winner Nijinsky II(son of Northern Dancer), this horse should explode on grass. He will be my choice to complete my exacta box.

8)Duchossois(3-1) will be my choice for my tri box. His sire, Animal Kingdom, won the 2011 Ky Derby for his only lifetime dirt winner and spent the rest of his career more successful on grass and all weather tracks. However, I do not like that his last 2 works were extremely fast and they are uncovered. These types disappoints me more than their fair share, so I am willing to take a stand against him winning but will include him in my tri box. Roger Brueggemann is a solid trainer though, so this horse is not out of the question.

4th Race: Allowance O/C $18,000— N/W 1 Other Than Or Which Have Never 2 Races Or Claiming $18,000— 3 YO & Up– One Mile Turf— Purse $33,000.

I am going to take the only 3 YO in the field and make 5)Southsider(12-1) my choice to WP. His sire, First Defence, was a G1 winning sprinter but his broodmare sire, Southern Halo, was champion sire whose foals ran well on grass and dirt. Add Northern Dancer twice on his female side and Never Bend and one mile should suit him fine. He tried one mile on grass in his first lifetime start, but got off to a slow start and a good run before flatten out late on a turf listed as firm but by the fractions and final times, was obviously very slow. I believe he makes amends against these.

3)Belfast Cowboy(4-1) will be my choice to complete my exacta box. He has the same sire(Myboycharlie) and broodmare sire(Galileo) as the M/L favorite Sistercharlie in the Beverly D to be ran later on the card. He has 3 lifetime starts on three different all weather tracks and switches to grass for the first time. He crosses 4×4 to Danzig which gives him a ticket to win on any surface, especially up to a mile. However, hos broodmare sire, Galileo, is strictly a grass horse whose foals gets better the further they go.

2)Salvage Battle(15-1) will be my choice to complete my tri box. His sire, War Front, is a son of Danzig whose foals are speedy like he was, but most do their best running on grass. He is now known as a sire of sires as several of his sons were graded stakes winners on grass and are producing foals that are excelling on that surface too. He has two starts this year, one at 5 furlongs on the AWT and the other at 1 1/16 mile grass, where he broke last, then tried to press the pace after a quarter mile before tiring in the stretch. One nice work since and his trainer, Chris Block, is better known for winning with his grass runner. However, I feel he will be even better in his next start, and major improvement is expected today.

5th Race: Maiden Special Weight— 2 YOs Fillies— 5 1/2 Furlongs AWT— Purse $32,000.

I like the 1)Take The Over(9-2) to WP. His sire, Overanalyze, was leading first crop sire of 2 YOs by winners last year and should continue making his presence felt. Her works says she should be ready to show the speed her female family displayed in their careers. Michael Stidham is very good with his first time starters also, so I expect a solid race from this one.

8)Twist And Shout(8-1) will be my choice to complete my exacta box. Her sire, Discreet Cat, broke his maiden in his first start in 109 4/5 at Saratoga and was then purchased privately by Godolphin who bred and owns this filly. Her trainer, Eoin Harty, used to train for Godolphin for a while, they went separate ways for several years and have now joined forces again and are winning with horses that are overlooked, including a couple at Saratoga this year. This filly is working as good as my top choice, if not slightly better. Should make for a thrilling race if both breaks like expected.

11)Kajawa(7-2) will be my choice to complete my tri box and she could play spoiler to my exacta. She finished 2nd in her first start on this track and distance. Her trainer, Mike Reavis, wins his share with runners on the lead and she should improve off her first start. Her sire, Cross Traffic, raced only as a 4 YO and ran 2nd in the G1 Metropolitan Mile, getting caught at the wire before going gate to wire in the G1 Whitney H, beating 2 BC Classic winners and a Santa Anita H winner. Her broodmare sire, Maria's Mon, was 2 YO Champion in his only year of racing and the sire of two Ky Derby winners, Monarchos & Super Saver. Lots to like, a small step forward is all that is needed.

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