How to Bet the Arlington Classic
By Dick Powell
Beautiful Arlington Park will host the Arlington Classic (G3), a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3yos. It will be followed on July 7 by the American Derby (G3) going 1 1/8 miles and the series culminates on August 11 with the Secretariat Stakes (G1) at 1 ¼ miles.
This year’s renewal drew a field of eight so let’s go.
Tizway won the Metropolitan Mile (G1) and Whitney Handicap (G1) on dirt and never raced on the turf. As a sire, he is a strong 15% turf sire so it was no surprise when Brad Cox tried #4 EZMOSH on it for the first time and the colt won going away by a length at the Fair Grounds. Besides it being his turf debut, it was the first time he raced without blinkers.
With that out of the way, Cox, who seems like he is winning with everything lately, brings Ezmosh back 62 days later for this series and his pupil appears to have today’s competition at his mercy. Ezmosh finished a neck second to Bravzao in an Oaklawn Park allowance earlier this year and that effort looks even better now that that rival almost ran down Justify in the Preakness Stakes. Ezmosh has big-time talent and coupled with an affinity for the turf, he should be the one to beat in here.
Using BRIS Prime Power ratings, Ezmosh is 15 points better than anyone else and the way to make money will be to get the next few horses correct.
#3 ALTERNATIVE ROUTE makes his turf debut for Al Stall Jr. After breaking his maiden in an off-the-turf event at the Fair Grounds, he had a rough trip on the same main track in an allowance race.
Stall shipped him to the synthetic track at Turfway Park for the Rushaway Stakes and after being bumped at the start due to an awkward start, Alternative Route raced up near the pace and won going away. He adds blinkers today for the turf debut and could be a pace factor.
Alternative Route is by Tiznow out of a dam by Storm Cat who has already produced a Grade 3 stakes winner on the turf and she is a half-sister to a Grade 2 stakes winner on the dirt and a Grade 3 stakes winner on the turf so there is lots of quality in his pedigree.
#6 PONT DU GARD has plenty of experience on the turf and should show it today. He was a good winner over Louisiana-Breds two starts back at the Fair Grounds but then hated the rain-softened turf at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day. The son of emerging turf sire Liaison has a big late kick and he broke his maiden on this course last July when making his career debut.
Even though it took him six tries to break his maiden, #8 PAPA RIZZO is a dangerous entrant in here. He missed going gate to wire two starts back in his first start for Hugo Rodriguez and then came back to win easily at Hawthorne after opening up a big lead in the stretch. I think he will be able to make an unchallenged lead from post 8 and could last a long time.
Ezmosh looks super tough in here for a red-hot trainer so he will be the key.
#4 Ezmosh to win
Exactas: 4 over 3,6 9 (main exotic wager)
Exactas: 3,6,9 over 4 (reverse for less money)
Exacta Box: 3-6 9 (small saver in case Ezmosh doesn’t fire)