Hanson: My Late Pick 4 play on Arlington's International Festival

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

August 12th, 2016

Saturday's $200,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 at Arlington includes the quartet of races encompassing the International Festival. Even with rain on Friday likely to soften the course a bit, the turf condition doesn't really change my opinion on these races. Here's how I'll be playing it.

American St. Leger (G3) (Race 6) -- Da Big Hoss (#5) is a deserving favorite here, but I don't see him as invincible. Clondaw Warrior (#8), one of three Europeans in the field, has handled soft conditions quite well. He has oodles of stamina having spent the better part of his career contesting hurdle events, and he was a sharp second in the Doncaster Cup (G2) last September over 2 1/4 miles.

Secretariat (G1) (Race 7) -- Trainer Aidan O'Brien is going for his third straight win in the race with Long Island Sound (#8), but this looks like more of a spread race. American Patriot (#2) has really stepped up his game since adding blinkers, most recently taking the Kent (G3) in course-record time at Delaware Park. Triple Crown veteran Cherry Wine (#1) is an interesting longshot. His turf form against maiden company last fall was decent, and being a son of Paddy O'Prado he should appreciate some give in the ground.

Beverly D. (G1) (Race 8) -- Sea Calisi (#13) is tempting as a possible single in the sequence, but given the weirdness of last year's result I prefer to have some insurance. Rather than side with either of Aidan O'Brien's three-year-old fillies, I'll go with the older Tuttipaesi (#5). She figures to move forward in her second start off the layoff after not getting much pace to run at in the Dr. James Penny Memorial (G3) at Parx.

Arlington Million (G1) (Race 9) -- Mondialiste (#9), winner of the Woodbine Mile (G1) and second to Tepin in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) last fall, comes off a sharp second in the York S. (G2) to Time Test. Both he and Tryster (#12), who fared well in Dubai last winter, seem best of the European contingent. I also like Man o' War (G1) winner Wake Forest (#10) to rebound from a third in the United Nations (G1) at Monmouth, a tighter course than he might have preferred.

My 50-cent ticket is 5,8/1,2,8/5,13/9,10,12 for a cost of $18.

The Arlington Million is also linked in a Double wager with Saratoga's feature, the Fourstardave H. (G1) at a mile on the turf. My top selection there is Grand Arch (#5), who missed by a neck in the Fourstardave two years but came back to win last year's edition over Ironicus. He's never really done well around a mile on the Widener turf at Belmont, so I'm willing to forgive his recent dud in the Poker (G3). His morning line price of 8-1 is attractive. is pulling out all the stops by offering another 10% Pick 4 Bonus on both the Early Pick 4 and $200,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4. During Saturday's International Festival at Arlington, TwinSpires players can feast on five graded stakes races worth $2.6 million while also cashing for 10% more than the track payout in every Pick 4 pool on the 10-race card. Cash a winning ticket in any Pick 4 on the Arlington Million card and you will earn a bonus equal to 10% of your gross winnings, up to a maximum of $500 per Pick 4 pool.