Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:03 PM
At the Gate - Saturday
We have three Grade 1 races art Arlington Park today and two are Breeders’ Cup Challenge races—the $1 million Arlington Million (G1) and the $600,000 Beverly D. (G1), but the other might be the most intriguing.
The $400,000 Secretariat (G1) is for three-year-olds going 1 ¼ miles on turf and this year’s edition drew a field of 13 including five Euro invaders. Trainer Aiden O’ Brien has shipped over four winners of the race including with Highland Reef in 2015.
O’Brien sends over a pair this year, Lucius Tiberius (12-1) and Hunting Horn (7-2), who they did not do well at the draw as they will break from the 12 and 13 posts.
What makes this race intriguing is the appearance of Analyze It from the Chad Brown barn. The colt is the 2-1 morning line favorite and will break from the nine post with Jose Ortiz coming in to ride.
The colt won his first three starts including a very impressive victory in the Transylvania (G3) at Keeneland in April over yielding footing.
He then went to the Pennine Ridge (G3) where he chased the early pace, got by Catholic Boy and opened up heading for home, only to see that foe come back and nip him by a neck at the wire.
Nest up was a rematch with Catholic Boy in the Belmont Derby (G1) and I thought his 5-2 odds were more than fair. When he passed Catholic Boy on his way to victory I started counting my money.
But once again, Catholic Boy fought back and won by a head.
So now what?
He is one talented colt and if anyone can figure out how to get him to the wire first it is Brown. But his 2-1 morning line looks short so despite the outside post I’ll be going with the Euro invader Hunting Horn.
Saratoga has a great card this afternoon, 11 races including three stakes. The highlight is the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at a mile on turf. Six go to the post and an argument could be made for anyone in the field.
Yoshida makes his first start since his fifth at Royal Ascot in the Queen Anne (G1) and will be tough. However, I am sticking with Heart to Heart who does his best running when on a clear lead which he will not get today with Voodoo Song in the field. But I think he can track the pace and get the jump on the rest of the field.
Saturday’s Best Plays Report includes my nine strongest plays from Arlington Park and Saratoga including the graded stakes action.
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Here is the opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 1 Clm $40,000N2L (1:00 ET)
#8 Gosilently 3-1
#7 Four Knights 8-1
#6 Prognostication 5-2
#1 Lemonist 3-1
Analysis: Gosilently returns from SoCal where he finally broke his maiden in start #13 going nine furlongs on turf at Santa Anita and then put in a good effort in a third against $50,000 starter allowance foes in his first go against winners. The top pair in that race came back to win next out as did the fourth-place finisher, the winner Ya Gotta Wanna coming back to beat Alw-1 optional claimers in his next start on May 12. The Falcone barn has been very live all year and hits at a 36% clip (with a ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff.
Four Knights took the field gate to wire to break his maiden for a $40,000 tag here over yielding turf in his first start off the claim by the Sharp barn. The trainer has been hot at the meeting, winning with 6 of his first 15 starters at the meet. He catches a field her with more early zip, but he looks headed in the right direction for a hot barn and Saez sticks.
WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 7,8 / 1,6,7,8
TRI: 7,8 / 1,6,7,8 / 1,3,6,7,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 8 The Fourstardave Hcp G1 (5:02 ET)
#5 Heart to Heart 2-1
#7 Yoshida 3-1
#4 Made You Look 4-1
#2 Delta Prince 4-1
Analysis: Heart to Heart gets the call in a very competitive edition of this race. The seven-year-old tracked the early pace and battled on gamely in the stretch to just miss winning the Shoemaker Mile (G1) by a neck in his last outing. He won the Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) and Makers 46 Mile (G1) in his two previous starts, both gate to wire. The question mark is whether he can win when he does not get the lead and he likely will not today as Voodoo Song figures to be sent. He has handled ground with some give to it, winning e Bernard Baruch 'Cap (G2) here last summer over yielding ground. He rarely runs a bad one and his last three speed figs make him tough in this spot.
Yoshida was only beaten 1 1/4 lengths when fifth in the Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot behind longshot winner Accidental Agent. The third-place finisher Lighting Spear came back to win the Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood in his next start while fourth place finisher Century Dream is my top pick in today's Arlington Million (G1). The Mott trainee ran really well here last summer in runner up finish in the Hall of Fame (G2) and Saranac (G3). He won the Old Forrester Turf Classic (G1) two back at Churchill Downs over yielding footing going nine furlongs.
Made You Look stalked the early pace and made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out in the Poker (G3) at Belmont Park. The winner Oscar Performance is the likely favorite for today's Arlington Million (G1). He earned a career top speed fig in his second start after going from Pletcher to Brown. He is going to get a good pace set up here and looks capable of moving forward off his last effort as he makes his third start off the bench here for the meet's leading barn.
WIN: #5 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 2,4,5,7
TRI: 5,7 / 2,4,5,7 / 2,4,5,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Arlington Park:
AP Race 11 The Arlington Million G1 (6:08 CT)
#5 Century Dream 12-1
#10 Robert Bruce 9-2
#11 Oscar Performance 3-1
#8 Money Multiplier 6-1
Analysis: Century Dream is one of three Euro invaders in the field this guy sent out by the Simon Crisford barn and is reunited with William Buick who was aboard him for his last two wins and a good fourth at Royal Ascot. Last out the colt tracked the early pace, took over the lead and did not have enough left late weakening to finish fourth at Ascot in the Summer Mile Stakes (G2). His fourth two back in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) was solid. He had the lead late at 20-1 and could not sustain his bid but was only beaten ¾ of a length. He acts better on ground with some give to it which he likely will not get today but this turf course is more honest than most in the U.S. The distance is a question mark. He has a win at 1 ¼ miles but was against weaker at Newbury back in the fall of ’17. Like the fact Buick makes the trip and the 12-1 morning line looks fair enough.
Robert Bruce was perfect in his six starts in his native Chile including four Group 1 races and after landing in the Chad Brown barn he won the Ft. Marcy (G3) at nine furlongs in his U.S. debut off a six-month layoff. The colt stepped up into Grade 1 company in the Manhattan where he came for home and was bumped around in the stretch, checking in sixth but beaten just a length for the top spot. He is proven at the distance and a cleaner trip makes him a major threat here for the Brown barn that won this race last year with Beach Patrol.
Oscar Performance is coming off a career top speed figure winning the one-mile Poker (G3) at Belmont Park in his first start off a seven-month layoff. The Brian Lynch trainee is seeking to become the first runner to complete the Secretariat-Million Double. The win here last year was his third win in a row and now he comes into this race in the sharpest form of his career. He is perfect in his two starts at 1 ¼ miles and the main knock here is the outside post and possibility of a light price.
WIN: #5 to win at 8-1 or better.
EX: 5,10 / 5,8,10,11
TRI: 5,10 / 5,8,10,11 / 5,8,9,10,11
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R1: #7 Four Knights 8-1
R2: #2 Laughing Fox 12-1
R4: #11 Medina Ridge 8-1
R6: #9 Americano 8-1
R7: #8 Sister Sophia 10-1
R7: #3 Designing 15-1
R9: #7 Spikes Shirl 8-1
R10: #2 Blacktype 8-1
R11: #3 Adorable Song 12-1
R11: #9 Crater Rim 8-1
Good luck today!