Mucciolo: Mondialiste the Play in Million

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 13th, 2016

The 34th edition of the Arlington Million will take place on Saturday with a fine 13-horse field entered for the signature event of the Arlington meeting. One could go many different directions in a group with a slew of contenders, but I am backing Grade 1 hero MONDIALISTE for the top prize in the 1 ¼-mile race. The six-year-old son of Galileo has not been in the best of form this campaign but I trust the connections for shipping the Irish-bred over for the race, and in his defense, he has been knocking heads with some of Europe’s best as of late.

Trained by David O’Meara, the talented sort ran two of the best races of his lifetime in North America last season, recording a strong tally in the Woodbine Mile (G1) before finishing full of run to be second to the mighty Tepin in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and clear of third in a deep field. The bay showed signs of life when second behind a real good one in the York S. (Eng-G2) last time, suggesting his form could be coming around, and in a field with a lot of runners who like to be near the lead, Mondialiste may get a nice pace set-up for his big late kick.

While much of the money will go on his more ballyhooed European counterparts, the value is on this guy. Wet turf only enhances his chances, given how he’s thrived on good and yielding ovals last fall, and I like seeing regular pilot Daniel Tudhope come along for ride on Mondialiste.

In the prior race, the $700,000 Beverly D. S. (G1), I think COOLMORE will be a tough opposition for her 13 rivals in this turf test. Conditioned by Aidan O’Brien, the chestnut daughter of Galileo finished third in her U. S. debut last time in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) after chasing the wunderkind Catch A Glimpse from an impossible draw, and the sophomore not only gets a much better post to work with in this run, but I also think this field is not as good as the prior one she faced off with.

The Group 3 vixen is a nice 6-1 on the morning line and her ability to get into a race early is such a key to me in a big field like this one. The Irish-bred also got a morning drill at Arlington to get acclimated to the new surroundings and Colm O’Donoghue gets off stablemate Deauville to ride Coolmore, who can sit close to a moderate pace before earning her biggest score to date. 

TwinSpires is offering players a 10% bonus on all Pick 4 pools on Saturday’s program at Arlington