Could There Be A Hollywood Ending in Mr D Stakes At Arlington?
The best card at Arlington Park has always been 'Millions Day'. This year will look a little different with Arlington Park slated to shut down at the end of the meet in September. Also different: The Arlington Million. Named for being the first $1 Million dollar race, this year it has a reduction of prize money to $600,000 and a name change to 'Mr. D Stakes'. Alas, this didn't stop the top turf horses, trainers and jockeys in the world from flying into Arlington Heights Illinois for the big race.
This race has been won by trainer Chad Brown the previous three races in a row. It's only fitting that Chad brings one of the most dominant horses in Domestic Spending to secure the final 'Millions' and give him four in a row. It won't be easy. European shippers, such as Armory, bring their impressive resume to vie for the win. There are also local success stories that would be a perfect Hollywood ending to this historic track.
I don't have much of an opinion on this horse. The facts are this horse has only showed in a Grade 3 race. Struggled in a Grade 2 and now is hopeful to make some noise in a Grade 1? I cant buy that. This horse will merely be a pace horse to wear down others that like to run out in front early. Toss
Piggybacking off my thoughts on Strong Tide, Glynn County is not nearly classy enough to compete here. In both of his graded stakes tries, he was a complete non factor. If I am really trying to stretch the reasons for backing Glynn County, I have to point to this horse having Julien Leparoux on top. I think so highly of JLP getting crap horses to outperform their odds when running on the grass. Leparoux has rode Glynn County once before, in an allowance race, and found the winners circle. I can't say that I like this horse, but there is some pace to run at and JLP may get this horse into minor awards.
Domestic Spending is very easily a deserving morning line favorite. This horse is coming off 3 straight Grade 1 wins. DS won those races against very formidable foes in New York, Kentucky and California. As the clear and away top turf horse, Chad Brown is hoping to secure his fourth in a row and I don't have any reason to doubt that's what we will see. The Pick
I don't really dislike this horse, but I just prefer a different horse over this one. Two Emmys last two tries has finished second to another horse in this race which automatically shows me that without having the correct pace setup, this horse will likely finish behind #8 Bizzee Channel. If by some miracle Bizzee gets involved in a pace duel with the only speed horse in this race (#10 Big Dreaming), then MAYBE I could see Two Emmys doing slightly better... but I wouldn't pencil this one in any better than third.
Zulu Alpha gets one of my favorite jockeys on top in Luis Saez. This horse was kept on the shelf for 10 months prior to his start in July of last month. He certainly needed that refresher. Zulu has multiple graded stakes wins, including a win over this track. Having the same run style as Domestic Spending, it will really take Zulu Alpha to be at his best to get the win. I do think we can get some value underneath, assuming the public doesn't mess with the price too much. Use underneath
As a true longshot that should have growing odds, I cannot find any angles that I like to back this horse. He did come third in the Arlington prep for this race, but as many of the horses were using it as a needed comeback race, I don't put a lot of stock into the finish. This horse is considered a closer, and I much prefer Domestic Spending and Zulu Alpha if you think there could be a pace breakdown up front. Toss
The first of our Euro invaders, Space Traveller is actually making his second US start after losing by 5 lengths in the BC Turf Mile in 2019. This horse has definitely been against some good horses and I would venture to say he is a little classy. The issue is that this horse has never ran longer than a mile and a mile is already almost too much for him to handle. Whenever a horse ships to the USA for a race, you have to really ask yourself, "What am I overlooking that would make someone ship around the world?" I can't see the horse enjoying the distance so I will, unfortunately, toss this horse.
Enter: The local favorite. This horse is what I was referring to a Hollywood story. Wouldn't it just be everything if the Illinois bred horse, with Illinois famed trainer Larry Rivelli won the last edition of the Arlington 'Millions'? It's fitting that Larry brings one of his top horses to compete in this race. Having won 4 of 5 on this track and winning the Arlington prep race last month, this horse is primed to disrupt the tote board. I am inclined to play against him, but MAYBE this horse can give Arlington the send-off it deserves. Use underneath
Aiden O'brien sends this Irish horse to attempt to play spoils against the Americans. Not only does the horse ship in, but we also get to see Euro superstar Ryan Moore make a rare appearance. I take this horse way more seriously than I do the other Euro shippers. Having never finished worse than 4th place, you should consider this horse a Win Contender.
Big Dreaming looks extremely outclassed and out matched here. There is only one play I see for this horse to win, and that's catch me if you can. Being the only true speed horse, this horse will work over from the outside and try to get the lead. A mile+ is nothing new for this horse, but graded stakes are. Unless speed is carrying very well, I expect this horse to get swallowed alive turning for home. Toss
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