Horses to play (or oppose) in Arlington's $16,578 Pick 8 carryover

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July 11th, 2021

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares three horses of note in Sunday’s $16,578 Pick 8 carryover at Arlington Park, which gets underway in Race 1 (post time 3:25 p.m. ET).

There's also a $2,259 Pick 7 carryover on tap starting in Race 2 (post time 3:52 p.m. ET).

Vulnerable favorite: Race 1, #4 Bourbon Rebellion (1-1)

From a Brisnet Speed rating perspective, Bourbon Rebellion is a logical favorite in this $20,000 claimer. Whereas none of her rivals have earned a figure higher than 76, Bourbon Rebellion has posted five straight figures in the 76-92 range, including three ratings earned at Arlington.

But Bourbon Rebellion hasn’t run since September, and there’s no guarantee she’ll produce her A-game off the 10-month break. Plus, she’s a one-dimensional deep closer in a small field containing very little speed. This sounds like the recipe for an upset.

Live longshot: Race 1, #3 She’s Wandaful (4-1)

If we’re opposing Bourbon Rebellion in the opener, then why not consider She’s Wandaful as a nice-priced alternative? The three-year-old daughter of Flat Out broke her maiden for a $35,000 claiming tag at Arlington before stepping up sharply in class for a $75,000 allowance optional claimer over the same track, where she finished sixth by just 5 3/4 lengths.

She’s Wandaful has at least a little tactical speed, and shouldn’t fall too far off the early tempo in this small, paceless field. With just four starts under her belt, she still has upside for hot trainer Patti Miller, who has gone 6-for-20 (30%) at Arlington this year. She’s Wandaful’s 4-1 odds might not scream “longshot” at first glance, but she’s bound to play more like a longshot in the Pick 8 thanks to Bourbon Rebellion’s short price.

Best single: Race 2, #4 Southsider (5-2)

Considering 40% of Arlington’s six-furlong Polytrack sprints are won in gate-to-wire fashion, we have to view front-running Southsider as a formidable threat in this $4,000 claimer. The six-year-old gelding boasts a lofty 6-4-1-0 record over this track, and enters off back-to-back victories sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs at Arlington. On both occasions, the son of First Defence led all the way through quick fractions.

Southsider isn’t the only speedster in the field; morning line favorite #1 Storminside (1-1) has likewise won two straight races at Arlington in gate-to-wire fashion. But Storminside’s triumphs have come over seven furlongs, so the fact Southsider is exiting shorter sprints is appealing in this battle of possible pacesetters. Drawing outside of Storminside is another potential advantage for Southsider, affording him more options for working out a comfortable trip. If Southsider wins as our single—while defeating an even-money favorite—we’ll be well on our way to cashing a hefty Pick 8 payoff.

Good luck!