At the Gate – Saturday

There is plenty of outstanding stakes action between Arlington Park and Saratoga this afternoon including a trio of Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races.
There are three Grade 1 races at Arlington Park today and trainer Chad Brown has a good shot at a sweep.
He sends out the 8-5 morning line favorite Sistercharlie in the $600,000 Beverly D. (G1) seeking to saddle the winner of this race for the fifth consecutive year. The mare won the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) last fall and came off the bench to win the Diana (G1) at Saratoga on July 13.
Brown also sends out Competitionofideas (6-1) and Thais (20-1) in the Beverly D with the winner earning a starting berth in the field for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
In the $500,000 Secretariat (G1) Brown will saddle Manila runner up Fog of War (3-1) and Valid Point (5-1), who makes his stakes debut after winning his first two career starts.
In the Arlington Million (G1) Brown will saddle the 8-5 morning line favorite Bricks and Mortar, who has won five races in a row. The five-year-old won the Manhattan (G1) in his last start.
If for some reason he does not fire his best Brown has a pretty good backup in the race in Robert Bruce (7-2), the defending champ.
The winner of the Arlington Million stamps a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
At Saratoga the feature is the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (G1), with the winner earning a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
Again, Brown will be well represented. He sends out the mare Uni (5-2) to face the boys. She won the Perfect Sting in her last start.
Brown will also saddle Raging Bull (3-1) who was third in the Manhattan and Made You Look (10-1), who was fourth in the Forbidden Apple (G3).
The co-feature at the Spa today is the $200,000 Saratoga Special (G2) for two-year-olds that drew a field of eight with none having any stakes experience.
My Best Plays for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Saratoga and Arlington Park.
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Here is the opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 1 Clm $25,000 (1:00 ET)
#7 Cloontia   9-2
#2 Startup Nation   9-5
#5 Wicked Freud   3-1
#4 Tiz a Chance   8-1
Analysis: Cloontia was off poorly and not much of a threat in a ninth-place finish last out on yielding ground on the cut back to 5 1/2 furlongs against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers. The gelding tracked the early pace and battled on gamely until late two back at today's distance in a third-place finish. He drops into an easier spot here facing $25,000 foes for the Klesaris barn. In his last go for a straight tag he was a decent fourth and that was against open $25,000 foes and these are state breds and not a very imposing looking group.
Startup Nation makes his first start since Nov. of '17 for the Brown barn that is 28% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He was last seen running a game second against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers. Decent looking works on the morning tab and this guy won a Grade 2 way back in '14. Not a real tough spot for his return.
WIN: #7 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,7 / 2,4,5,7
TRI: 2,7 / 2,4,5,7 / 2,4,5,7,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 9 The Fourstardave Hcp G1 (5:46 ET)
#4 Raging Bull   3-1
#8 Hembree   8-1
#3 Uni   5-2
#1 March in the Arch   10-1
Analysis: Raging Bull stalked a moderate early pace and made a mild late run to finish third last out in the Manhattan (G1) last out at Belmont Park and earned a career top speed fig. He was beaten 2 1/4 lengths by the very tough Bricks and Mortar who will go of as the favorite in today's Arlington Million (G1). His last go at a mile came in the Makers 46 Mile (G1) at Keeneland three back and he rallied to finish a decent fourth against a solid group, the race won by Delta Prince. The Brown trainee's last win came in the Hollywood Derby (G1) last December.  This guy won twice here last summer, taking the Hall of Fame (G2) and Saranac (G3). He can run over any ground and should get firm footing today. He picks up a new rider in Jose Ortiz.
Hembree exits the Forbidden Apple (G3) on yielding ground here on July 12. He was toward the back of the pack early behind moderate early fractions and came a good late rally while wide to finish in the runner up spot, beaten a half-length for the top spot. The Maker trainee has now landed in the bottom half of the exacta in each of his last three starts. He comes in here off the two best speed figures in his career and should get an honest pace to run at.
Uni takes on the boys here and she fits and gets five pounds from our top pick. She has reeled off five wins in a row, taking the Perfect Sting last out at Belmont Park off a 6 1/2-month layoff. She capped off a perfect '18 last year by winning the Matriarc (G1) at Del Mar, coming from more than 14 lengths back to get up late for the win. The Brown barn is 26% winners with runners making their second start off a +180-day layoff.
WIN: #4 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 4,8 / 1,3,4,8
TRI: 4,8 / 1,3,4,8 / 1,3,4,5,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Arlington Park:
AP Race 11 The Arlington Million G1 (6:12 CT)
#1 Robert Bruce   7-2
#3 Bricks and Mortar   8-5
#2 Magic Wand   5-1
#9 Intellogent   12-1
Analysis: Robert Bruce is looking to turn the tables on his stablemate after making a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in the Manhattan (G1), beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Bricks and Mortar. This guy is the defending champ making a good late rally here last summer to win by a half-length and earning a career top speed fig. He is 0 for 4 since that win but is coming off a solid effort and is making just his third start of the year. I like Castellano picking up the call here and he has worked sharply since his last start.
Bricks and Mortar is perfect in five starts since returning off a 14-month layoff. He owns three Grade 1 wins during that span including the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) to kick off his year. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and has won both of his trips at today's distance. We can't really find any knocks on this five-year-old except for the light price.
WIN: #1 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,2,3,9
TRI: 1,3 / 1,2,3,9 / 1,2,3,6,9
Live Longshots:
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: #4 Tiz a Chance   8-1
R2: 32 Luna’s in Charge   8-1
R5: #9 Ghost of the Mambo   12-1
R7: #6 Moonshine Now   8-1
R9: #8 Hembree   8-1
R9: #1 March in the Arch   10-1
R10: #8 Stonesinthestreet   8-1
R11: #4 I’m Elmer J Fudd   8-1
Good luck today!