Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/1/14
In this weekend’s Horse Racing Race(s) of the Week, we will be taking closer looks at both the 2013 Arlington Million at Arlington Park in Illinois where 13 runners, from both here and abroad, will go post-ward in what looks to be a wide open race with Grandeur (from Ireland) being listed as a tepid 7/2 morning line favorite, and the 2013 Alabama Stakes for three year old fillies at Saratoga Racetrack in Saratoga Springs, New York where Princess of Sylmar, already a four time stakes winner this year, will take on just five others and could possibly lock up the three year old filly championship with a win in the prestigious 10 furlongs event. Both races will be run on Saturday. I have a lot to go over so I promise I won’t go on any long winded introductions but I just wanted to point out several other key races being run this weekend. Actually, the three other key races I wanted to point out are on the under-cards of the both the Arlington Million and the Alabama. I’ll start with the ArlingtonPark card where as the Arlington Million is the 10th race on the card, you should pay attention to the 8th race on the same card. The 8th is the Grade: 1, $500,000 Secretariat Stakes on the turf at 10 furlongs. 13 runners are entered all told with the Todd Pletcher trained Jack Milton installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite. I’ll go ahead and tell you, I think Gary Contessa’s Rydilluc is an overlay gift at 9-2. Albeit, he gave way down the stretch in his last race, this horse has talent (especially on the grass) and should merit serious betting consideration. The 9th race at Arlington on Saturday is the $750,000 Beverly D. for three year old and up fillies and mares going a mile and three sixteenths also on the turf. 2013 leading turf mare Marketing Mix, who is unbeaten this year (2-2) and is a winner of 10 of 18 overall in her career, will be the likely post-time favorite….and rightfully so. The other race to watch this weekend is the 9th race at Saratoga (one race before the Alabama), which is the $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational at one and a half miles on the turf. The race drew a full field of 13 with Boisterous, winner of the Man o’ War Stakes last time out at Belmont Park, United Nations winner Big Blue Kitten and runner-up Teaks North, track record-holder Twilight Eclipse, who was second in the Man o’ War, and Man o’ War third-place finisher Exclusive Strike all scheduled to run.     Saratoga- Saturday, August 17, 2013 Race 10 – 5:45 PM     Alabama Stakes (Grade: 1) Purse $600,000 For Fillies Three Years Old One and One Quarter Miles   P# PP Horse A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1 Tell a Great Story 3/F L J Lezcano 121 I Correas, IV 12/1 2 2 Montana Native 3/F L J Alvarado 121 K G McPeek 10/1 3 3 Galloping Giraffe 3/F L R Maragh 121 T A Pletcher 20/1 4 4 Princess of Sylmar 3/F L J Castellano 121 T A Pletcher 3/5 5 5 Carnival Court 3/F L1 I Ortiz, Jr. 121 K P McLaughlin 15/1 6 6 Fiftyshadesofhay 3/F L J R Velazquez 121 B Baffert 2/1   Analysis: 1) Princess of Sylmar- proved her 38-1, late running upset in the Kentucky Oaks in May was no fluke when she followed up that race with an annihilation of her opponents (won by 6) in the Grade:1 Coaching Club American Oaks over this very track (Saratoga) in July in her last race. This chestnut filly by Majestic Warrior, trained by Todd Pletcher, is four for five this year and six for eight overall in her career. She possesses a strong late run but it does concern me slightly with a short (5 others) field and this distance (10 furlongs) that her explosiveness might be neutralized slightly if someone (say the #1 or #2 horse) gets out on an easy early lead and winds up “stealing” the race, but I just don’t think that will happen. Lastly, this is a big race for her because she probably wraps up the three year old filly championship (yes…in August) with a win on Saturday afternoon.   2) Fiftyshadesofhay- has gotten good…real good…in her last two races. She won the May 17 Black Eyed Susan at Pimlico when, like the top pick likes to run, she came from well out it to get up by a neck for the win. Filly by Pulpit came back about six weeks later (June 29) in the Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows and, with a slight change in tactics (she assumed a stalking position early on), she opened up down the stretch to win by 3 ½ lengths. She is obviously coming into this race in peak form and that last work (August 8- 6F- 1:12.4) signals that form is holding well….Far and away Princess of Sylmar’s main rival.   3) Montana Native- is another filly who has gotten good recently and comes into this race in peak form. She showed much improved early speed to wire optional claimers at Churchill Downs on June 29, then shipped here (to Saratoga) and went wire to wire in the $100,000 Broom Dance Stakes…..she won both by daylight. With her new found early speed, in a race with not much other early speed in it, she could prove difficult to catch even with the enormous step up in class. Honorable Mention: Galloping Giraffe is yet another who is improving quickly and shows huge late runs in her last two. She, too, could be dangerous despite a serious class hike also.     ArlingtonPark – Saturday, August 17, 2013 Race 10 – 5:44 PM     Arlington Million Stakes (Grade: 1) Purse $1,000,000. For Three-Year-Olds and Upward One and One Quarter Miles (Turf)   P# PP Horse A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1 Real Solution 4/C L A Garcia 126 C C Brown 10/1 2 2 Finnegans Wake 4/C L R Albarado 126 D L Romans 30/1 3 3 Hunter’s Light 5/H L1 R L Moore 126 S bin Suroor 8/1 4 4 Nates Mineshaft 6/R L E T Baird 126 A P Smith 30/1 5 5 Temeraine 4/G L E Castro 126 T F Proctor 30/1 6 6 Side Glance 6/G L1 J P Spencer 126 A Balding 12/1 7 7 Indy Point 4/C L G L Stevens 126 R E Mandella 9/2 8 8 Mull of Killough 7/G   J P O’Brien 126 J Chapple-Hyam 12/1 9 9 Guest of Honour 4/C L1 M Harley 126 M Botti 15/1 10 10 The Apache 6/H   C Soumillon 126 M F de **** 6/1 11 11 Little Mike 6/G L J Rosario 126 D L Romans 5/1 12 12 Rahystrada 9/G L R Napravnik 126 B G Hughes 20/1 13 13 Grandeur 4/G   W T Buick 126 J Noseda 7/2   Analysis:   1) Indy Point- is an Argentinean champion who has never been off the board in now 13 career starts (13-6-4-3). His lone start in the country, which just so happens to be his last start, he took a stalking position early, assumed command of the race in deep stretch and wound up winning by 1 ¼ lengths (going away), while getting a mile in an eye popping 1:32.4. I’m not real concerned about the extra quarter mile he’ll have to run on Saturday afternoon because a look back at his only other try at this distance shows a “much the best” win. I’m not exactly in love with the two (slow) works he’s had since his last race but that’s about the only negative I can find on him…..slight edge in nothing short of a extremely wide open race.   2) Grandeur- is the morning line favorite, and rightly so, for a couple of reasons. First off, take a look at how he fared in his three US races (two wins and a monster second all in California) and second, his last race (The York Stakes in England) where he was a solid second (if your not familiar with overseas racing, the York Stakes is a pretty prestigious race). All four races were very good… I’m going to try to beat him (but that could prove futile) in this spot based on the fact that in the York, he did blow a clear lead late in what was only his second start all year. (His other race he hung in mid-stretch and came home fourth.). Again, I’m going to try to beat him in this spot but he is a “must use” in any exotics betting situation.     3) Little Mike- had a tremendous year last year while winning three Grade:1 races (Turf Classic, this race and The Breeders Cup Turf) and now has an impressive 12 wins in 19 career starts record on the turf. So far this year he is 0 for 3 including two awful races over seas (in Dubai) and a tiring fourth in the United Nations Handicap at MonmouthPark. But this speedy gelding from the Dale Romans barn is always a threat, especially if he bounces back to his 2012 form….which is a distinct possibility here.   Honorable Mentions: Side Glance has been running against top notch competition overseas since June of last year and, albeit winless since, he hasn’t been embarrassed in any of those races either. If he takes to American soil (or grass I should say) it could be bombs away. Real Solution finished just 1 ½ lengths behind turf monster Point of Entry in his last and his prior race was a close up fourth in the very quick run (Grade:3) Fort Marcy Handicap, big threat if he runs back to either of those two races. The now nine year old Rahystrada won his prep race for this by half a length in a solid time. As I looked thru his past performances I only found one bad race out of his last 12….minor chance for a minor award.   Record: 15-40 = 38% To receive an email each time a new Horse Racing article is published, fill out the Email Notification Form   Little Bets N’ Pieces **** 2013 Belmont and Jim Dandy Stakes’ winnerPalace Malice and blow-out Haskell winner Verrazano both had easy half mile works in preparation for next weekend’s Travers Stakes last week. Both horses went in :49 flat, but Verrazano galloped out a fifth furlong in 1:01.1 “Both horses went great,” Todd Pletcher said who trains both colts. “Palace Malice worked alone with Jake Nelson aboard, and Verrazano, with John Velazquez aboard, went in company with Jack Milton.” Pletcher also said both are scheduled to have their final Travers work on Sunday.   Verrazano **** In other Travers news, 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb arrived at Saratoga last Sunday after cruising five furlongs in :59.1 the day before at Fair Hil lTraining Center in Maryland. Others pointing for the Travers at this writing include: Will Take Charge, runner-up in the Jim Dandy; the speedy Moreno who was third in the Jim Dandy; a pair of Darley horses in Romansh and Transparent, Java’s War, winner of the 2013 Blue Grass Stakes, War Dancer, winner of the Virginia Derby (on the turf) and Golden Soul, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby, but has disappointed since. *Java’s War drilled three “leg stretching” furlongs in :37 seconds this past week, while War Dancer went five furlongs in 1:03.1. *Moreno worked six-furlongs in 1:12 last weekend at Saratoga for trainer Eric Guillot.   **** Freedom Child, a 13 ¼ length winner of the Peter Pan Stakes but  most recently last in the field of nine in the Jim Dandy Stakes, has been retired to stud at Country Life Farm in Maryland according to Terry Finley, president of owner West Point Thoroughbreds, and Mike Pons of Country Life Farm.   He will stand alongside stallions Cal Nation and the good looking Friesan Fire, Pons said last weekend. “He’s a beautiful horse” Pons said “and I think he’ll be very well-received in the Mid-Atlantic. He’s the third new stallion we’ve added in three years, we think it’s the right time and the right horse, so we’re excited about him.”   **** Dullahan worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs in :59 flat last Sunday morning in preparation for his title defense in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del-Mar on Aug. 25. Jerry Crawford, head of Donegal Racing ownership group, said that Dullahan would have one more work next Sunday at Churchill and then ship to California on either Aug. 20 or 21.   Dullahan is working towards a Pacific Classic repeat  **** In yet another giant step towards total resurgence, Hialeah Park opened a casino this past Wednesday. It was the tracks biggest step yet in the redevelopment process since 2009 when it reopened its doors with Quarter Horse racing. The casino has 882 slot machines, 20 poker tables and three domino tables. The casino is in the renovated north side of Hialeah’s grandstand building. Unlike some other racetrack casinos, it is built so that patrons can look out at the track.  John Brunetti, Hialeah Park president and owner, said: “Hialeah Park has served South Florida for over 80 years and with the addition of this beautiful casino we envision that the “Grand Dame” will serve the community for another 80. The Brunetti family is thankful to all supporters and look forward to Hialeah Park Race Track and Casino to once again become the go-to destination in South Florida.” Hialeah will hold its fifth Quarter Horse race meet from Nov. 29 through Feb. 23.    Under its current Quarter Horse license, it can have mixed meets with up to half its races for Thoroughbreds…But Brunetti  has stated several times that he would  seek to bring back Thoroughbred races only if Hialeah does not have to run head-to-head against  either Calder or Gulfstream.   Hialeah Park, with the famed Citation statue in it’s backyard, takes another step in a remarkable comeback    

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