Breeders' Cup Big Bet Battle Royale - Arlington Million Selections
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The Editorial team at brisnet.com is getting involved in the fun, providing selections for the remaining contest races. Here are their thoughts on Saturday’s Arlington Million:
Jennifer Caldwell: LEGENDARY (#6) just might live up to his name on Saturday in the Arlington Million (G1). The six-year-old gelding is listed at 15-1 on the morning line but based upon his last effort has a chance against this talented bunch. Legendary captured a pair of allowance/optional claimers at Belmont Park last year going 1 1/4 miles and would go on to add the Knickerbocker S. (G3) to his resume in his penultimate start of the season. With three races under his girth in 2015, the British-bred bay has finished fourth in the Maker’s 46 Mile S. (G1) at Keeneland, fifth in the Dixie S. (G2) at Pimlico after being well out of his early in last, and third in the Manhattan S. (G1) at Belmont. He earned a 101 BRIS Speed rating for that last one, the same as he did for winning the Knickerbocker, and could be rounding into form just in time to take on the Arlington Million.
Vance Hanson: : Having often seen the not-very-best of Europe come over and upend some of this country’s best grass horses in the Million, I’m taking a shot with the progressive French-based colt BOOKRUNNER (#3). He showed early promise when a close fourth in last year’s Prix Djebel (G3) when only a head behind eventual triple Group 1 winner Charm Spirit, but his sophomore campaign never really got restarted after a poor showing in the 2000 Guineas (G1). A season debut winner over the left-handed Saint-Cloud course in May, he enters off a third in the Prix Messidor (G3) to Fractional, a confirmed Group 2 type in France. He might have been closer to the pace than necessary in that one, but that scenario is unlikely to be repeated here. Although he hasn’t run beyond a mile, he’s by Tiznow out of a mare by Arlington Million winner Chester House. In other words, he’s easily bred to get this distance.
Kellie Reilly: TRIPLE THREAT (#10), once a candidate for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in bygone days, presents an irresistible combination of back class and current form. He really shouldn't have won the June 7 Monmouth (G2) in his U.S. debut, considering the nine-month layoff and especially the slow early pace. But the Bill Mott charge produced a 114 BRIS Late Pace rating to get up by a nose, and he promises to roll late again off a better pace scenario, and over added ground, here.
James Scully: Owner Ken Ramsey entered Shining Copper, who was claimed two starts back, as a “rabbit” for stablemate and 3-1 morning line favorite Big Blue Kitten, but the pacesetter figures to benefit several late runners in Saturday’s 11-horse field, including top choice TRIPLE THREAT (#10). A French Group 2 and Group 3 scorer in 2013, the 5yo raced sparingly last season and wound up being sent to U.S. trainer Bill Mott, returning from a nine-month layoff in the June 7 Monmouth Stakes (G2). He impressively extricated himself from tight quarters down along the inside, closing with a rush after angling wide to get up at a nine-furlong distance that is little short for him, and the Team Valor colorbearer netted a whopping 114 BRIS Late Pace number rallying into a slow pace. Triple Threat is a prime candidate to improve off the tightener, especially with Saturday’s added ground and projected pace scenario, and the 6-1 morning line price only adds to the appeal of the formidable late runner.