Thursday, July 9, 2009

Million Preview Day

Four stakes, three graded. Silver Foot, Giant Oak, Fort Prado, Cosmonaut, Pure Clan, Dynaformer. Big day of turf racing on Saturday. Arlington has long taken pride in its sod; the former caretaker has recently moved on to Dubai. His success here paved the way for the big desert bucks. The angle is international racing, and it's a smart one. I love gate-to-wire American racing, but I'm liking the influence of Euroturf; it's a lot safer. If we can meet somewhere in the middle, then racing casts itself well for a promising future. Now let's talk turf.

The Modesty GII

Why do they have to outfit Pure Clan in a white hood? Can't blame the filly for her fraught sobriquet and headwear. I don't think anyone will stand in her way in the final furlong where she will be rocketing home under the frenchman. She made a huge move in her last race only to be outnodded by ultra classy Acoma. I've liked this dangerous filly for a while. She's adept if some rain falls, as it may on Friday. The frenchman had some traffic issues in the American Oak last week, and that's the only danger, but this is a small field and has some good speed in it.

In the battle for second there's the obvious Dynaforce, who could need a race to round back into form. The Mott mare gets Albarado in the irons after a disappointing 5th at Pimlico on Preakness day. I think she's gonna put that behind her, but won't be able to hold off Pure Clan. In a less obvious vye for bridesmaid I like the Brazilian wonder Colina Verde. She likes 4th place, but so much has not gone her way since shipping here. She's in third from layoff and gets a nice weight of 115 to tote, 7 under top pick. She could surprise here, she may like AP's course.

Tizqueena will set the pace, and Stidham has ascended nicely at AP. I think he's asking this daughter of Tiznow for too much at this distance, but it's clear this horse is a fighter who seems to get over every bit of trouble in her path. It's a tough race to choose, but I think the final furlong she may grdugingly yield.

Pure Clan
Colina Verde

American Derby
Giant Oak. He needs to pull off the Arlington triple to make ducking the triple crown worth it. With Pioneerof the Nile's recent career-ending injury, it seems the Oak is one of the only left standing. He ran well in last and now faces Oil Man and Reb. Both are big threats and Proceed Bee could make a run, although inconsistent, this colt has shown some turn of foot on the sod.

Giant Oak
Oil Man

Chamberlain Bridge has long been Calhoun's other turf sprinter. With Mr. Nightlinger at Calder in the Summit of Speed, Chamberlain is left in the midwest to sweep the heartland chips off the table. I don't see anything getting in the way. St. Joe has been running well, winning last two at Churchill under the frenchman. Leparoux rides again and could threaten top choice, but likely will have one cross before him. Yankee Iniquity would need a nice rail trip and trouble for the others to sack this field.

Chamberlain Bridge
St. Joe
Yankee Iniquity

Arlington Handicap -- The Lovable Geezers
Emigh cut a nice move to the inside on Silverfoot to hit the wire. He had a nice pace to work, which won't be around this time. The owner one-upped Emigh's move by donating the entire purse Silverfoot brought home to the Rene Douglas relief fund. While my heart remains in this roan's corner, my handicappin mind casts a light elsewhere. I like the yougin in the field. Thambazini draws far outside but should be able to dictate the pace. You should demand a price though with the big field and draw. Cosmonaut always does well at Arlington and I expect another big effort from him. Finally look for Silverfoot to hit the board, and saves his best effort for the Million.


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