Arlington Million Day graded stakes selections and TwinSpires.com Late Pick Four

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TwinSpires Staff

August 10th, 2018


Before you punch your Pick Four tickets on Million Day, make sure you've opted in to the Arlington Pick Four All-Ways Bonus. Bet at least $50 into the Arlington Park's Million Day Pick Fours (race 1, 5 and 9) and get a 20% bonus if you win or 20% back if you lose. Bonuses are capped at $500 per player.

Horses are listed in order of preference. I'll budget $200 for my Late Pick Four plays.

9th race – The Secretariat (G1)

#9 Analyze It (A) – If he didn't hand his last two races over to Catholic Boy late, this talented son of Point of Entry would be perfect from five starts. He looks like the perfect candidate for blinkers, but trainer Chad Brown has resisted the strong temptation. I trust the decision, at least for now.

#8 Untamed Domain (B) – Graham Motion has touted this guy all along, but up until now he's yet to live up to his trainer's lofty expectations. His trip in the Kent (G3) was nightmarish to say the least "Off slow lost four lengths, rail trip, steadied, shuffled turn, in tight rail, cut off, checked, ran on, galloped out best." Could this be the day he puts it all together?

#13 Hunting Horn (Ire) (C) – First off the boat, he finished third behind Catholic Boy and Analyze It in the Belmont Derby (G1). He was never getting to the top pair that day, so I'll use him, but not prominently.

#2 Platinum Warrior (Ire) (C) – He has a Group 3 win over 10 furlongs of turf, an excuse for his most recent start, and first time Lasix can only help the cause.

#10 Sniper Kitten (C) – A bit of a stretch class-wise, he's won his last three and still has upside for Mike "Money" Maker. Off the bench at Canterbury last out, he closed into a fast pace to run down a 42-1 shot in the Mystic Lake Derby. Timing-wise this assignment might be a lot to ask, but I do think his best days are in front of him.

10th Race – The Beverly D. (G1)

#3 Sistercharlie (Ire) (A) – It's tough to poke holes. She's talented, consistent, perhaps even better than she looks on paper and the pace should be honest. Steadied and shuffled early, she was hung six-wide while closing into a slow pace and got up to win the Diana (G1) last out. I like my second and third choices almost as much, and think there's a good chance trips will be the deciding factor.

#1 Daddys Lil Darling (B) – She wasn't beaten all that much by Fourstar Crook and Sistercharlie in the New York (G2) and she overcame post 12 to win the Modesty (G3) impressively. The rail draw could work in her favor big time here and the price should be right. 

#9 Athena (B) – Dismissed at odds of 10-1 in the Belmont Oaks (G1) first off the boat, there was some question as to her genuine quality. As it turned out, she made quite the impression, closing strongly into a moderate pace to win going away. She faces an accomplished, older field of foes here, but there's no telling how good she can be.

#7 Fourstar Crook (C) – The model of consistency, I would not be surprised if she won, but I just preferred others. She got the best of Sistercharlie in the New York (G2), but the leader ran off and she got the advantageous jump. She's a must use, but on the win end, I prefer others.

#4 Dona Bruja (C) – I loved her in this race last year and she ran a winning race, but settled for second. She's only run twice in 2018, making the lead in both, which goes against what she does best. There's no questioning the raw talent, but she hasn't run since April, and winning a race like this off the bench is a lot to ask.

11th Race – The Arlington Million (G1)

#3 Almanaar (A) – Fully intended for this race last year before he came up lame in the left front, this lightly raced six-year-old scored an explosive win off the bench on June 8 at Belmont. He tends to tug early before settling into a rhythmic stride and uncorking when asked to He's never run further than nine furlongs, and he has miler pedigree, but he acts like a horse that will handle added ground and Chad Brown is confident he will do so.

#11 Oscar Performance (A) – Last year's Secretariat winner broke Belmont's 20-year course record for a turf mile in his first and only start of the year. Taken off the pace, he moved up three-wide on the turn while in hand, was roused, led and held firm. He's also proven over distance and will surely be forwardly placed here. The extreme outside post bothers me only slightly. He's a top contender.

#2 Spring Quality (B) – Solid on dirt, this six-year-old gelding has taken his game to an entirely new level since moving over to the turf. He upset the Manhattan (G1) from way off the pace, but that run was more circumstantial than anything. I don't like him as much as the top two picks, but he's well drawn here and could trip out.

#10 Robert Bruce (B) – In his first U.S. start, this Chilean import defeated Spring Quality in the Fort Marcy (G3). That rival turned the tables in the Manhattan (G1), but he had a clean run outside while this guy got hung up in a stretch traffic jam. The two are interchangeable to me.

#9 Deauville (C) – He ran a winning race last year in finishing third as the Million favorite, but he hasn't been the same horse since. I lean towards "against," but am willing to include him as a C.  

#8 Money Multiplier (C) – He is what he is, which is pretty good. A gimmick player for sure, but you would think that at least one horse will run better.

12th Race – The Pucker Up (G3)

#7 Madame Milan (A) – Much improved since adding blinkers this spring, this daughter of Bernardini ran a sneaky huge race in the local prep. After losing some five lengths at the start, she was in tight between foes on the turn, split rivals, finished strongly and galloped out best. She should fly way under the radar and is my longshot bomb of the weekend.

#6 A. A. Azula's Arch (A) – Last out in her grass debut, she stalked into a slow pace from the pocket and gamely cut the rail late, finishing up second best in the Ontario Colleen (G3) behind the 3-5 chalk Got Stormy, who is one of the divisional leaders. That was a one-turn mile, but by Arch, today's added distance could be exactly what she wants.

#10 Secret Message (A) – Left at the start of the Regret (G3), she lost further position before the first turn and rallied through traffic into an honest pace to finish fourth behind likely Pucker Up favorite Beyond Blame. It's interesting to note that Irad Ortiz Jr. lands here instead of Pamina, whom he rode to victory last out in New York.

#13 Beyond Blame (B) – As good as any here, but she doesn't have to win. She got first run on the deeper closers in her Regret victory last out, and the extreme outside post doesn't do her any favors.

#4 Cosmic Burst (C) – The class of the field, but you have to dig deep to find any turf pedigree.

#3 Pamina (C) – First or second in all four starts, she was a bit green in winning a nine furlong turf allowance at Belmont last out. She's talented, but I think she'll improve as time goes on.

#11 Kabella (C) – She owned the Fair Grounds grass this winter, but her last two starts left a lot to be desired. She's capable of better, but can only win if the race completely melts down.

#12 Smart Shot (C) – Defeated her elders in a pair of recent turf starts a Churchill. This is a tough task, but I can't completely leave her out of the equation.

The tickets:

.50 Pick Four – 8, 9 with 1, 3, 9 with 2, 3, 10, 11 with 6, 7, 10, 13 = $48 (all A's and B's)

.50 Pick Four – 2, 9, 10, 13 with 3, 4, 7 with 3, 8, 9 with 3, 4, 7, 11, 12 = $90 (Top picks with C's)

.50 Pick Four – 9 with 1, 3, 9 with 2, 3, 10, 11 with 6, 7, 10, 13 = $24 (Single Analyze It with A's & B's)

.50 Pick Four – 9 with 3 with 3, 11 with 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13 = $16 (A's with ABC in 4th leg)

= $178

(Horsephotos.com photo)