Friday, June 7, 2013

Smattering of Stakes at Arlington

I love the Chicago rivalries that heat up on a Stakes days at Arlington. There's a mix of state and open stakes this Saturday starting with the Addison Cammack named in homage of a Chicago Railbird who was revered by about everyone that dealt with him at Arlington and Hawthorne. Some nice horses are shipping in including Turralure, Corporate Jungle, Great Attack and Drama Drama among others. And I love cheering for Hoo Why who continues her back from retirement rampage. Finally, the win percentage for trainer Chris Block is way too low for this very talented horseman; it will begin its correction northward this weekend.  

Addison Cammack 
Work All Week is not class-tested but he is the fastest in this race that kicks off the card with races spaced out for the Belmont Stakes simulcast. Midwest Thoroughbreds have staked out both the front end with WAW and the back with Sacred Gift. I don't see a grueling speed duel developing with the other speed Nagys Piggy Bank. I think NPB will sit off it because that's the way he wins his races. If he gets too close to the flame he burns out. With only 5 runners (the Midwesterners are not paired) there aren't many opportunities here; however, there is one horse that really likes polytrack that could be overlooked and his name is Four Left Feet. Moving out of the Janks barn isn't necessarily a good thing and he's been up the track in his last handful, but I think this guy wants to smell that burning rubber of the Arlington track. So I'm gonna put him under Work All Week.

Work All Week
Four Left Feet
Sweet Lica

Swoon's Son
An homage to the speedy Swoon's Son who set track records at sprint distances at Keeneland and Arlington. This race drew in some pretty big talent with Corporate Jungle who switches to Proctor and Turallure who was a hair shy of being the Turf Champ a couple years back. These two will take a lot of money as will local hero Workin for Hops. I'm gonna get a little sneaky and take Keep Up who was red hot ending a Kentucky campaign with a 30-1 victory in the River City Handicap. He's had trouble with a marred race and stumbling start after that but could be ready to make amends at a price. Corporate Jungle will be pounded by bettors and rightfully so, he's getting some much-needed class relief after running into Wise Dan on his ascent up the class ladder last year. Finally Turallure has been off form but has the class to make the frame.

Keep Up
Corporate Jungle 

Gaily Gaily
This is a tough one. I want to cheer for Hoo Why and this seems like a great spot for her, but Heavenly Landing has the class edge. I'll cheer for a dead heat. Closing Range also looks nice in this spot. Drama Drama is also desperate for some class relief. These are usually the races where I go with a horse on the upswing and let the classy ones drain everyone else's wallets, but I can't find a good candidate besides maybe Grandma's Rules, so I'm gonna stick with some boring, more intuitive picks here.

Heavenly Landing 
Hoo Why
Closing Range

Isaac Murphy
For backstory, it's hard to top Isaac Murphy. I simply can't do it justice like the amazing journalist Frank Borries who spent years searching for the Murphy's unmarked grave. Isaac Murphy was an African-American jockey who won the Kentucky Derby three times and had probably the best win percentage of any jockey.

And here's that Chicago rivalry I was looking for. Kip Berries has always been headstrong and has found a nice place in the turf dashes that Arlington loves to fill cards with. Here he's asked to go back to 6 furlongs on the main track, and I want him to get there. But it's probably not gonna happen. Algonquin Posse who comes with a name almost as good as Kip Berries will be tough to beat in this spot. Smiling Gambler could get up there too and Royal Posh makes a lot of sense here.

Algonquin Posse
Royal Posh
Smiling Gambler

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