Breaking down the Arlington Million

Arlinton Million, Race 11, Saturday, August 18

$1-million, 1 1/4 miles on Turf


1 Rahystrada (8-1) finished finished 5th, beaten 3 3/4 lengths, in last year's Million, which had a better field than this year with the likes of multiple Group 1 winners Cape Blanco and U.S. champion grass horse Gio Ponti. An eight-year-old gelding, Rahystrada won the local prep the Arlington Handicap (G3) here on July 14. He was cleverly sent to the front that day by jockey Joel Rosario and set slow fractions. He came home in 23-4 to hold off Boisterous by a neck. The rail post, the presence of real speed (Little Mike), plus the rider switch to Julien Leparoux probably means Rahystrada will be coming from a bit off the pace on Saturday. I don't envision him landing anything more than a minor award.

2 Boisterous (4-1) probably was best in the local prep but he did not get a very urgent ride from Alan Garcia, who was too far back of a slow pace, moved too late and got caught wide. Garcia gets replaced here by Jose Lezcano (upgrade). I like the local prep, eventhough that race does not historically produce Million winners. His final quarter in 22-4 is the type of late run it takes to win this race, but his lack of positional speed does not make things easy for him. Contender, but has to prove himself at this level.

3 Afsare (6-1) is consistent with 4 wins and 4 seconds in 13 starts in Europe, where he is a multiple stakes winner and multiple group placed. He shows a good combination of tracking speed and a steady late move. In the SkyBet Yorke Stakes (Eng-G2), run on a left-handed course going slightly longer than the Million distance, Afsare ran a very good one. First covered up, he then burst to the lead and was taken to the near side of the course to head off rivals, then back to the middle of the course to match strides with Sri Putra (G2/G3 type), who outfinished him by a neck out in the middle of the track.

Afsare met today's rival Crackerjack King on that one's home turf in Italy back on May 13. Afsare got first run and hit the lead a tad early that day (about 3f out). Crackerjack ran him down, showing an extra gear late. Regular rider K. Fallon knows this horse well and rides him confidently. Could get a nice stalking trip from this post. Contender.

4 Little Mike (6-1) could be lone speed in here, depending on what the runner to his outside does. Speed always has to be respected on this course. He is a Grade 1 winner courtesy of the lone front-runner trip going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs in the Turf Classic on May 5, where he ran his final 3/8 in 36 flat. That won't cut it against this group, and he is trying 1 1/4 miles for the first time. Looks up against it despite possible favorable pace outlook.

5 Colombian (Ire) (8-1) bears some resemblance to 2010 Arlington Million winner Debussy, who sported the same owner (Her Highness Princess Haya of Jordan) and trainer (John Gosden). Following the Debussy formula, Gosden is taking a shot with a sharp horse with some early speed, who could find American racing more to his liking. Colombian most recently finished 8th in the Prince of Wales (Eng-G1), a race in which he stalked the pace setters and got swallowed up by the later runners. Debussy finished 7th in the Prince of Wales in 2010, but he was a bit sharper than this one. He should be double digit odds.

6 Treasure Beach (6-1) was a very good three-year-old. He was second in the Epsom Derby (Eng-G1), won the Irish Derby (Ire-G1), and won the Secretariat Stakes (G1) here at Arlington. Despite those credentials, it looked like he was used as a pacsetter in the Arc. Nothing wrong with subsequent 3rd in the Canadian International or his 4th in Dubai Sheeme Classic (UAE-G1), but his travel schedule did not let up, and his form seems to be slipping. Bet to even money, he couldn't close into a slow early/fast late race-shape and finished 5th in the Man O War Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. He curiously prepped in a Group 3 going 1 1/2 miles in Ireland just nine days ago, finishing fourth. His best fits, but it sure looks like he is headed the wrong direction. He shouldn't get bet too hard in here, so watch the board for additional clues. 

7 Willcox Inn (12-1) finished 4th behind Treasure Beach in the Secretariat last year and hasn't improved on that form. He likes Arlington and should improve second off the layoff, but he is a big longshot in here.

8 Wigmore Hall (12-1) also has run well on this course. He finished second to Paddy O'Prado in the 2010 Secretariat Stakes (G1) and a troubled 4th in the Million last year, when he got shuffled badly and came with a nice run to finish as highly as he did. After last year's Million he won a Group 1 at Woodbine, but his form has been slipping since. Fits on his best, but he deserves to be a longshot to win.

9 Crackerjack King (Ire) (5-1) has won seven of nine lifetime starts, with both of his losses coming away from his home base in Italy. He was 15th over soft ground in the French Derby (Fr-G1) last year and 5th in his most recent start on good-soft in the Coral Eclipse Stakes (Eng-G1) at Sandown Park. Crackerjack is undefeated on good ground, and that streak includes a win in the Italian Derby (G1), where he defeated Danedream, the excellent German filly who went on to win last year's Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1). He also has a 2 1/2-length win over Afsare, one of today's main rivals, in a Group 1 in Italy. Crackerjack made a mid-race advance and showed off a nice late gear to run away late from Afsare that day.

Note he was bet to 5.50-to-1 in his last race in England, and although he faded late to finish fifth, he was prominent matching strides with some very good ones, including top-class Nathaniel, on ground that was softer than he is accustomed. Two questions: he has never raced left-handed, and Italian form generally does not travel that well. But watching his races, he looks like a legitimate Group 1 horse to me. He would have been the morning line favorite had I set the line.

10 Cherokee Lord (30-1) looks like the local no-hoper. Pace presence at best.

11 Vertiformer (20-1) broke slowly and was too far back of a slow pace in the Arlington Handicap. He rallied well up the inside to finish fourth. There could be a little more upside here, but he hasn't quite shown the punch he will need to win this race. Note he is cross-entered in the American St. Leger. Longshot to hit the board.

Please post your picks and comments, and join Tom LaMarra and me tomorrow at noon for a live chat, when we'll give out our picks and break down the Saturday action at Arlington:  


Leave a Comment:


I'm going with Treasure Beach, potent Spencer/O'Brien combo.  I'm not sold on this Boisterous horse but after reading this article, I'm intrigued by Afsare.  Of course I have to throw in a longshot and hopefully Wilcox Inn gets me the trifecta.  Had to play one local horse...

16 Aug 2012 11:11 PM
lunar spook

I like afsare over crackerjack king & treasure beach

17 Aug 2012 8:40 AM
Pedigree Ann

Not counting out Wigmore Hall - two back, he was up against real G1 horses and was outclassed. In his last out, according to the Racing Post chart "Held up in touch, headway 3f out, tracked leaders and chance when **** badly hampered well over 1f out ***, not recover (tchd 9-2)" He had been 5/1 third choice in the race.

Ran well on the tight, left-handed course at Chester in May in soft turf, which has never been his preferred ground.

Not saying he's a lock, just that he's not without a chance.

17 Aug 2012 8:40 AM

Quick question for the live blog at noon. Colombian relishes soft ground, will the track suit him tomorrow ?


17 Aug 2012 9:28 AM

the comment that treasure beach couldn't handle the slow early fast late race shape is ridiculous i made alot of money betting that he wouldn't hit the board.  how anyone could have bet him at even money is beyond me.  in the post parade he was sweating like a turkey on thanksgiving and fighting his jockey, handler and everyone else. in horseracing its how are you going to perform TODAY. not what you have done in the past.

17 Aug 2012 9:34 AM
Bill Two

Beware of anything Gosden sends over here.  He takes home the money frequently.

17 Aug 2012 10:40 AM

Pete, we are in total agreement on Carckerjack King. His form and back class look great vs this group. Plus, this race sets up great for me betting my daughters birthday, 2,3,9 and the 1,4,5. I will take my chance with a big bet on Crackerjack, as long as he is 4-1 or higher. I also like the other Mike in the Secretariat to come in the bottom of the exotics.

17 Aug 2012 11:08 AM
Lammtarra's Arc

Huge fan of wigmore Hall in here.  He won the Northern Dancer last year at Woodbine against a good field, and he seems to go under the radar in Europe.  He always shows up when he ships to North America.   I also hope Treasure beach can regain his 3yr old form.  BUT People tend to forget how much travel Treasure Beac has had to endure over the last 9 months alone.  He went to France, Canada, back to france, then to Japan, and then Dubai.....No kidding he hasn't fired this year.  Going with a Treasure Beach/Wigmore Hall Exactor.

17 Aug 2012 4:06 PM
Mary Zinke

I'll give Little Mike a shot at budgeting his speed under Ramon Dominguez.  Little Mike, Rahystrada, Boisterous, Afsare. Yielding moves Boisterous up.

17 Aug 2012 4:45 PM
Pete Denk


The turf is yielding today at Arlington, and nothing but sun and upper 70s is in the forecast. I expect the upgrade to good tomorrow, which will be a very fair surface for all.

17 Aug 2012 6:25 PM
Pete Denk

Today on the chat, when asked about Summer Front getting 1 1/4 miles, I mentioned his sire War Front does not appear to be a classic influence.

Having just re-watched all of Summer Front's races, I think he could be the rare War Front to get this distance. Like many horses trained by Christophe Clement, Summer Front is a very mentally sound horse.

I rate Summer Front on top in the Secretariat, narrowly. 2-7-8-4

17 Aug 2012 8:51 PM
Mary Zinke

Pete, I also like Summer Front in the Secretariat. His last two races, his Saratoga work, best jockey--all positives. 2,8,4,5

17 Aug 2012 11:44 PM
Pete Denk

Considering he is 5-5 on turf, Summer Front is not getting that much hype in here. Be interesting to see what his price is.

18 Aug 2012 12:42 AM

Pete : Just "watched" the live blog,  It was good to read everyone's picks.  Had me thinking about some of my picks.  Also, if you can, please post turf's condition as early as you can :)  A slow vs. good has big impact on the races.  Thanks!!

I think Grace Hall is a single in Saratoga's GS and P4 and don't forget the P6 at Del Mar.. 92K carryover for tomorrow.

Good luck to all playing tomorrow!!  I hope you hit the big one!

18 Aug 2012 3:54 AM
Mary Zinke

Alabama: Grace Hall, Via Villaggio, Zo Impressive, In Lingerie.

Beverly D: Aruna, Marketing Mix, Romacaca, Mystical Star

Lady Of Shamrock to win the Del Mar Oaks.

Iselin: San Pablo, Toby's Corner ex.

18 Aug 2012 4:43 AM
Pete Denk

It's sunny and beautiful at Arlington Park today. As expected, the turf condition has been proclaimed 'good.'

18 Aug 2012 10:40 AM

My picks for Arlington.

Pick 3 Race 2) 3,5,7,9/3,4,5/1,9

Pick 3 Race 4) 1,9/7,9/8,9

Pick 3 Race 7) 6,8,10/2,7/2,5,6

PIck 4 Race 9) 2,5,6/7,8/2,6,9/5,6

I wish it weren't raining almost every day at Saratoga.  I had a good run going when it was fast an firm.  

18 Aug 2012 10:43 AM
Pete Denk

Yeah Kevin, what started as a great Saratoga meet has slowed down a bit for me due to weather and the way they are carding their races. The field-limited 2yo heats are almost unbettable to me. Tons of very short price winners.

18 Aug 2012 11:29 AM

Arlington :

01 : 8,1

02 : 7

03 : 3

04 : 3,4

05 : 9

06 : 2,

07 : 8,12

08 : 3,8

09 : 2,1

10 : 7

11 : 6,3

12 : 1,5,10

Saratoga :

07 : 6,4,2

08 : 5,1,8

09 : 8,2

10 : 3

08 : 5,1,8

09 : 8,2

10 : 3

11 : 12,2,7

18 Aug 2012 11:49 AM
Pete Denk

Monarchos Matt and I gave out Race 1 winner Francois on the chat yesterday. At a nice price. Great start to the day.

Race 2 pick Godard taking heavy action, bet down from 8-1 ML.

18 Aug 2012 1:36 PM

I'm surprised by how things played out today, but they did so in my favor.  I thought early bets on Pick 3s where there were scratches you got refunds.  Today I got the "fave."  

Pick 3 race 7) 6,8,10/2,7/2,5,6

With that in mind, and I don't understand the math of it, but shouldn't the Race 7 Pick 3 have paid more?

With scratches I got the fave twice in the first leg and 3 times in the second (late money went on the 2 to make him post time favorite).  Straight Pick 3 paid $44, but I got $89.  For the math wizzes, does that make sense?  Not complaining, happy to end my drought.  Just curious.  

18 Aug 2012 5:47 PM
Mary Zinke

I think because the p3 at Arlington, races 7-9 paid $44.80, Kevin, but I am not a math "wiz".

18 Aug 2012 6:20 PM
El Kabong

Like Afsare alot Pete but I'll have to play Crackerjack King, Rahystrada, and Wigmore Hall underneath.

Good luck all.

18 Aug 2012 6:31 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ex Box 3,5 and bet 3-Asfare, and 5-Colobian each to win.

18 Aug 2012 6:43 PM
El Kabong

Nice call Dr. D

18 Aug 2012 6:45 PM
Mary Zinke

How about Dominguez?  Way to get the 10f.

18 Aug 2012 6:53 PM

Mary Z !!  Nice pick on Little Mike.  I saw your post about LM but thought, there's no way he can get away on that "good" turf but that he did.

Kevin : You got $44 for your $1 P3 but since the 6 was scratched in the first leg, you got the favorite which won hence you won twice which makes it $89.  I believe P3, P4, P5, P6 and P9s all works the same way, if your horse is scratched, you get the favorite.  I don't know if they still do the "Alternative" picks, where you can put your other pick if your horse gets scratched so that you don't get the post time favorite.

18 Aug 2012 8:09 PM

Whew!  Mike Smith gave me a scare when he was dead last that far.  I got my money back and then some hitting the P3, a $4 bet singling the 3 (22-1) with 1,3,6,7 and singling LadyOfShamrock.  Starting over again with Los Alamitos lol.

18 Aug 2012 9:01 PM
Mary Zinke

It was the jockey switch and the Woodford Reserve win that swayed me towards Little Mike. Nice score with that big longshot, Tree  Of Life and p3, Jay Jay. GL at Los Al. Lady Of Shamrock was my nice winner. 1:46.30 for her Del Mar Oaks win. One of the top 3yo fillies. No bias against turf winners allowed, lol.

18 Aug 2012 9:24 PM

Thanks Mary, I should've had the P4 too, I didn't have Dynamic Diva! I have no idea how I missed Bejarano in the 3rd leg and I had that 9 on the last leg.

I'm gonna slow down and save some for the MASSIVE P6 carryover tomorrow at Del Mar...they said it might hit $2M.  If I'm lucky enough and I hit the P6, I'll break even.

Mary Z : Can I get 3 singles for tomorrow's P6 card ?    

18 Aug 2012 10:07 PM
Mary Zinke

I'll take a look JayJay. Check back in the a.m. :)  They might be the chalk.

18 Aug 2012 11:06 PM

Jay Jay, understand your post about the scratch of the 6 in the 7th race, but I also had scratches of the 5 and 6 in the 9th race, and the favorite (2) won, whom I also had, plus the two scratches,  so I was thinking the payout would have been larger.  

19 Aug 2012 1:11 AM

Kevin :  The 2 and the 8 were both 2-1 in the 9th race but the 8 horse was actually the favorite (by $1400.)  I just checked in my xpressbet account and here's the win money total :

8 : $68,947

2 : $67,541

19 Aug 2012 2:12 AM
Mary Zinke

Tough DM card for me today, Jay Jay.  In the Rancho Bernardo, the 6th, I like Home Sweet Aspen, Sugarinthemorning, and Glamorista.

In the 5th:

Party With Brando ran better w/Maldonado; Collating Lady, and Ambitioness.

19 Aug 2012 1:04 PM
Mary Zinke

The 7th is a baby race. Check out the 5(tip on her), 6(trainer 1st time starter stat), 8(dam's winners stat) and 9(fav, just beaten a head last time). 4 and 5, have good points, too. GL. Sorry, no singles for you, Jay Jay.

19 Aug 2012 1:29 PM

Jay Jay,

Thanks for the explanation.  Guess I shouldn't have been yelling so hard for the 2.  8 finished 2d by a head.  Would have paid more I guess.  

Have 2d itus at Saratoga today.  Haven't gotten a single leg of my rolling Pick 3s right.  

19 Aug 2012 3:59 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  Remember: A penny saved is a penny earned.

19 Aug 2012 9:19 PM

Well, had a good run for 5 out of 6.  I had the 13 (24-1) in the first leg instead of the damn 12. I had the next 4 winners and had 4 horses on the last leg 3, 7, 8 and 11.  All that for nothing! lol

19 Aug 2012 9:24 PM

Dr. D : Yeah, saved some :)

19 Aug 2012 9:25 PM
Mary Zinke

Good thing the 5 was scratched in the 7th at Del Mar. The tip was on the 6 not the 5 and I guess you had her anyway, Jay Jay. Nice win by Halo Dolly in the Solana Beach. I loved the ride Joe Talamo gave her--so patient.    

19 Aug 2012 10:28 PM

Mary : Yeah, I was focused on Halo Dolly the whole race, saw her go wide, but I knew she would get there. Reminded me of the queen :)

Yes, I had the 6.  I had 13-1-2-6,9-9 with 3,7,8,11...oh it still hurts lol.

20 Aug 2012 12:16 AM
Matthew W

I was pleasantly moonwalking to the cashier's window as Little Mike cantered down the Arlington backstretch! I hoped the same fate would befall the ultra-game Winning Machine in the Longacres Mile, but he needed one more stride to come bace on the rail--that was the slowest pace in recent memory, as far as the first 1/4 goes, in the 'Mile...Awesome Gem was unfortunate, he was certainly the best horse, but what a money rider is Mario Guitierez, he is the real deal! Questing ran lights out in the Alabama, she is the BC Favorite as of right now, for the Ladies Classic...and Winding Way, if she dirts, looks like any kind of sprinter, I had Sugarinthemorning, and I was counting my winnings at the head of the stretch! I know there are big races this upcoming weekend, just not sure the males will be able to match the performances I saw out of those two fillies, Questing and Winding Way, this past weekend! Baffert is loaded for the Pacific Classic, of his three I like Richard's Kid, who will (once again) fetch a pretty price--I had him both times he won the Pac Classic, (24-1 and 9-2), and I'll box him with my pick to win the race outright: Suggestive Boy, for Big Mac, who can bring a horse up to a big race as good as anybody who has ever saddled a thoroughbred--he "likes his chances"--that's enough for me! I like Baffert in the Travers, (Liason), and the Dorf, (Nonios), this is the year of the West Coast Three Year Olds! Despite being a West Coaster all the way, for me, The Travers remains the "Greatest Two Minutes" in horse racing, the Midsummer Derby, for my money, trumps the Kentucky Derby, you only need to compare the winners of both races to see that! My weekend betting highlight was another of my favorite races, the (underrated) Del Mar Oaks, and I hit the trifectta with my four horse box--I came in ist/2nd/3rd/4th, I loved Stormy Lucy, she is a top class turf filly, a former claimer, she can hold her vs any filly or mare at 1 1/4 over turf! It took the very best three year old turf filly to beat her, and she wasn't beaten by much. A nice debut at Del Mar for the two year old filly Madame Cactus for Peter Eurton, she looks like a future stakes winner, she didn't win, but she looked real nice finishing up, and she should win easy next out....

20 Aug 2012 4:45 PM
Matthew W

Pet Peeve # 2172: I played a pick three the other day at Del Mar....I went five horses/by one horse/bythree single in the middle leg was scratched, but because I did not hit leg #3, I wasn't awarded a refund--the track says "you would not have won"--I understand that, but, with the scratch of my ONLY horse in middle leg, I COULD not have won!

20 Aug 2012 4:50 PM
Matthew W

Jay Jay I loved that Robanier colt in the last yesterday, (I Run For Fun), I pay close attention to the Robanier's, he had only run once, vs a strong winner, and he passed four in the stretch and galloped out real well--that horse is a playback who should really enjoy turf and distance! Halo Dolly cost me a huge double, as I had the neck loser Unusual Heatwave--I also looked closely at that #12 in the 4th race--jockey Arias also won on Friday ($76), and he was on a live 1st timer for Canani yesterday (3rd and showed bigtime speed)---alas, I, too didn't pull the trigger on the #12, I could tell early on that I was gonna be regretting that omission, as he was in the "MaCarron position", third on the outside! That "strong winner" who I Run For Fun faced in his debut race, Hammer The Bay, returns Friday, from the two hole with Garcia, so he'll be sent hard--if it's cooler I will hammer Hammer--but this excessive heat makes that track tougher to win on the pace, especially at 6 1/2....

20 Aug 2012 5:22 PM

Matthew W : That was a nice price on the 5 horse - off at 9-1.  As for that 12 horse, I actually looked at the horse but saw it was Arias riding, I was looking for a longshot on the first leg and thought Nak Nak has probably the best shot with the 13 horse (by Scrimshaw).  If I hadn't noticed Arias, I probably would've taken the 12 and enjoying 2400.00 now since I would've had the 5 out of 6 on my 4 horses in the last leg.  

I'll have a look at Hammer this Friday, don't bet too much though, I want some value hehe.

FYI : Richard's Kid was sold recently and no longer trained by Baffert.   He's now in the Doug O'Neill barn, which really won't make a difference as Doug is a pretty good trainer.  Just not sure how things go as far as changing barns just before the Pacific Classic.   Super Mario will probably be on him.

20 Aug 2012 11:49 PM
By a long nose

Pete, are they paying you to hand out all these losing picks to the public?

21 Aug 2012 10:52 AM
Mary Zinke

Where are your picks, long nose?  (Highly edited.)

21 Aug 2012 1:25 PM

Mary Zinke : LOL at your last post.

21 Aug 2012 11:56 PM
Mary Zinke

Jay Jay, I just thought this was a blog in which picks are given with reasons for them from a handicapper's point of view based on PP's and other pertinent information and that any wagering is done at one's own risk. Also, that it's a place for the readers to post their pre-race picks and rejoice or commiserate over the results.

22 Aug 2012 1:24 AM

first bode, now hansen retired?? WTF

22 Aug 2012 9:28 AM
Matthew W

Winners HO: Saratoga: Race 8: #'s 2 Bluember (7-2) and 8 Just For Today (15-1) are both live shooters! Race 9 I LOVE the #3 Zivo (3-1), and race 10 #4 Krissy Kat (8-1), and I doubt I'll get the 8-1 on her--also I thinl the #5 horse, 1st timer Snookie Slew (15-1) is worth a small saver as I think she may be live, as well....over at Del Mar, there's less to love today, Race 2 #7 Half Dome Dude (8-1) is way too high at 8-1 and I will pounce if I get anything near that!...Race 5 #5 Jules Journey (6-1) I love on the pace...race 6 is wide open, but I fancy the #6 Suances Vixen (6-1), along with #1 Budinha, and do not sell Mr Arias short in here (#3 Pennies From Denny (20-1), the July 29th mdn 20k race was strong and he came right bace 12 days later to score, there is MUCH value in this horse and I have included her in my pick 4's and exactas...race 7 I like #4 Flashy Dame, 'think I';; get more than the 3-1 morning line and I think she may just wire the field, she loses Bejarano but to get Talamo on the speed is not a downgrade! Race 8 I like #7 Tiz The Route (8-1) and #11 Huntington Harbor (7-2), good luck to all, I feel fairly confident right now, and I hope I feel even better AFTER the races!

22 Aug 2012 2:52 PM
Matthew W

Ouch! Hanses was gonna soften things up for Liason this weekend! He wasn't a 1 1/4 horse--no way was he ever gonna win The Travers, but he was a nice horse, and I thought his tail looked just fine without the paint! He reminded me, in looks, of Vigors, the "White Tornado", I was present, right on the apron at the finish line, when he ran down Mr Redoy in the '78 Big Cap, what a come from behind performance that was! Something about a white horse, all greys turn white, the bestest horse I ever saw, Spectacular Bid, was an ordinary looking, leggy, steel grey, who turned white and anything but ordinary looking in his old age, he was a runnin' machine, and he knew who he was, too, "The Greatest Horse To Look Through a Bridle", to quote Bud Delp, and he was right!

22 Aug 2012 3:12 PM
Matthew W

Tiz The Route hopped and lost seven lengths, then rushed up, then almost won the final race, only to be dq'd to third--a tough beat for me, as I had him, bigtime across the board, but that is horse racing! It could have been much (much!) worse for me, as I had an all/7,11/7,11 tri and the 11, who he impeded, could've finished 4th, thus negating ANY winnings whatsoever--so I'll take what luck comes my way, and live to fight another day!

22 Aug 2012 8:57 PM
Criminal Type

Pete, Can you please give your analysis on the Ballston Spa and your opinion of Summer Soiree. I really like her but given her long layoff, she might need a race before she regains her form from last season. Her Bourbonette Oaks score was spectacular but I don't know how she measures up against this group (tapitsfly, heavenly landing, hungry island and zagora)but she was closing when she finished second in the Matriach. I like Acting Happy as a longshot. This is a good group of turf fillies and will be hard to handicap.

I could care less about the Travers as I am disgusted by the retirements of 4 of our top 3 yr olds and the illness of another. IHA was probably the most ligitimate of those retirements based on his conformation. Union Rag's and Bodemeisters retirements were suspect in the fact that the horses could have rehabbed and returned at 4 to lay it down, but noooo, the owners jumped right on those stud fee's. For the record, I think both of those horses could have been spectacular 4 yr olds and had not seen the best of either. Paynter has been ill, not sure if he is recovered or not, but dissapointing he won't be in the race off of his Haskell win. Then we have Hansen..and I say this in the horses best interest in mind. I have always thought that the owners were racing this horse beyond his limitations. Yes, he was brilliant as a 2 yr old but not so much as a 3 yr old and as the year progressed it was clear to me, that he wasn't going to be a classic distance horse. I think this is a case where the owner's wishes and ego overrode the trainers advise like a mack truck, and while I will miss the excitement of watching him fly in front of everyone else, but not the trepidation of knowing he was going to hit a wall at about 8 to 9 furlongs. I will be glad that the horse retires with only a tendon injury and nothing more serious. He would have been unbeatable in the King's Bishop ala Hard Spun.

I'll take Neck N Neck in the Travers.

23 Aug 2012 7:52 AM
Criminal Type

Matthew, I too think that about Spectacular Bid. I saw him win his Preakness in person while sitting on top of the infield fence screaming GO BID ! I saw him years later when he had turned nearly white. He was indeed Spectacular and only got better at 4.I can't remember another walkover winner in my lifetime. He was quite dark gray, as were Unbridleds Song, Holy Bull, Monarchos, Skip Away and Native Dancer in their youth. Look at Silver Charm, he is nearly white as snow. Look for Old Fashioned, Paddy O'Prado and Macho Again to do the same thing. Even horses of other color, with at least one gray parent will lighten up as they age, case in point, Medaglia D'Oro..His dapples are becoming more pronounced as he ages.

23 Aug 2012 8:08 AM

Mary : Yeah, totally agree.  It's why I like this blog.  I get to see other people's picks and post my losing picks hehe.

What about that run by Frankel eh ?  I think that's a pretty good group he destroyed.  If he runs in the Breeder's Cup, I'm going.  I haven't seen the race but the BH article made it sound like it was an easy and very impressive win, drawing off with one furlong to go and winning by 7 ?   I'm officially a fan, wanted to see how he'll do at 10F... now I want to see him run outside of UK :)

It's funny that during the prep races for the Derby, there were too many things going with Alpha that I thought he wasn't even going to make the Derby.  Now he's pretty much the only one left from the top contenders, the rest are injured or retired or both.

23 Aug 2012 12:33 PM

just want to give you all a horse to look out for, Top Priority. He is a full brother to Tiz Miz Sue, A tiznow out of Sue's Good News. Tiz Miz Sue just lost to Royal Delta by a head. He is training well at Monmouth for Hobby, they hope to get him on the track soon. put him in your virtual stable.

Secondly, Jaycito at 12-1 is a great price. Yeah, GOD and RK are deserving favorites, buy Jaycito will be closing. This is not Santa Anita...

Ever So Lucky in the Kings Bishop should be rolling as well. 3rd off a layoff, cutting back in distance

23 Aug 2012 4:25 PM

Sadly your readers didn't seem to know about my Todos giveaway which was announced Thurs. preceding on Twitter - they would have had a good day -> summary of results:

Todos is the only tool in N.A. that rates Euros and N.Americans on a standard scale - hence we picked up the 3 Euros that won 4 of the major races ... along with 5 other winners on the card including the $80 winner in the last race.

23 Aug 2012 9:37 PM

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