Big races, big money, big fun Arlington Million week

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Ed DeRosa

August 14th, 2013

Whether it's carryovers, guaranteed pools, or contests you like (and especially if it's all of the above), Arlington Million week on offers great wagering opportunities to go along with the great racing at Arlington International Racecourse.

Thursday features a $14,270 Pick 5 carryover and the start of both Summer Showdown and Let 8 Ride contests on Summer Showdown features a daily contest while Let 8 Ride let's you keep playing only if you hit a win bet in the eighth race each day. Friday has sunset racing leading into the International Festival of Racing on Saturday with guaranteed pools on the all-stakes Pick 5 ($100,000) and Pick 4 ($200,000).

Want a shot at all that money but not as familiar with racing this week at Arlington Park because of Polytrack, the Europeans, etc.? has some Arlington-specific information to help you handicap. Arlington At A Glance provides a snapshot of how the track is playing as well as horsemen to watch in the races with mostly local horses.

Regardless of distance or surface, closers are not doing well at Arlington. In main track (Polytrack) sprints (one mile or less), "E" type is the best pace style at six, seven, and eight furlongs. "P" types fare better at 1 1/16 miles. On the turf, speed or tracking speed is far better than a sustained late run.

There does not, however, appear to be a better part of the track, as there is plenty of variety under the "best posts" column from rail, rail/inside, middle, and outside.

The stats tell the story of what's happened at Arlington, but what about what might happen with the Euros? We won't know for sure until Saturday, but Nick Luck of Channel 4 in England joined Steve Byk on Wednesday to discuss all 14 European horses. Click here for an .mp3 of that conversation.

Also discussing how the European horses factor in the Million day wagering, is Mark Johnson, who will provide with Spotlight Selections covering the whole Million day card with a special focus on international class.

Regardless of how Arlington plays this week, we know it's going to pay this week. If you solve the pari-mutuel puzzle, the payouts are nice. 40-to-1 on exactas, 44-to-1 on doubles, and $1,650 average on $.50 Pick 4s. TwinSpires is adding to the money as well with $6,000 guaranteed in Summer Showdown (including a potential $4,500 pot for sweeping the Million day card) and $1,500 in free money for Let 8 Ride players who make it to Saturday and Sunday.

On personal level I'm excited because the racing at Arlington has kept me afloat in recent years thanks to the Pick 5 on Arlington Preview day in 2011 and the Pick 5 on Million day last year. With 12,168 combos available in the all-Festival-stakes Pick 4 on Saturday and a $200,000 guaranteed pool I plan to come out with guns blazing. Hopefully I'll have money left after chasing that Pick 5 carryover on Thursday, though!

Speaking of that Thursday card, here is my ABC grid for the nine race extravaganza.