Player Quick Pick: Arlington for 7/12/2014

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

July 12th, 2014

Arlington Park is home to to an all G3 Pick 4 today, kicked off by the...

Arlington Park 7 | 4:55 pm ET G3 Arlington Handicap for 3&up going 1-1/4 mi. (T)

1-Admiral Kitten

Michael Maker is one of the top-10 trainers in the country.  He’s having a very nice 2014, winning at a 24% clip.  This horse won his first two career races (debut race with today’s jockey Julien Leparoux up), and then six races later, scored his third career victory here at Arlington in the G1 Secretariat on the turf at this distance.  Leparoux has guided this horse to two of this horse’s four career wins, and although recent form hasn’t played out well, this one has the back-class to compete, especially since it’s a short field.

2-War Dancer

Kenny McPeek sends War Dancer out after winning as the favorite in the G3 Louisville at Churchill Downs in May.  War Dancer is McPeek’s first G3 turf winner since Rogue Romance won as the favorite in the 2 year-olds Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland in 2010.  This horse is cutting back from the mile-and-a-half distance of the Louisville, and has the best speed ratings of the group.  Although he could be a likely winner, this horse should be bet heavily enough where you’ll need to take a shot elsewhere.

3-Mister Mardi Gras

A few things to note about Mister Mardi Gras:

--He’s the oldest horse in the race (7 years old, the rest are 4 - 5yo).

--He’s the only horse in the race that has won on a wet surface.

--He’s never won a graded stakes race on the turf.

--He’s a beast in workouts right now, with two consecutive bullet works.

--He’s cross-entered in the G3 Stars & Stripes which is Arlington Race 8 today.

Make sure he’s racing here if you like him.  If it’s wet (and it IS supposed to rain), he'll be worth playing--especially on the synthetic main track.


Tom Proctor is an outstanding trainer in the Midwest.  He is excellent here at Arlington Park, and he saddles a horse today that has been a favorite in five of his seven career races.  The horse has been less than even money odds four of those five times.  He has never finished out of an exacta (7 starts, 4 wins, 3 places). Avanzare has never tried stakes company, and was supposed to have Gary Stevens on board.  With Stevens’ career in limbo with a knee issue, the red-hot Drayden Van Dyke comes East to take the reigns.  Here you have a good trainer, a hot jockey, and a horse that is stepping up in class against rivals who have ALL raced in AT LEAST one G1 race.  He will probably set the pace, and it’s a crapshoot whether anyone will take the lead from him.  A contender, with his “class-question” being the key to the entire race.  Can he hold on?

5-Finnegan’s Wake

Dale Romans is performing like he normally does, winning about 15% of his races, and finishing in the money about 45% of the time.  Victor Espinoza is having a much better year than normal for him (when you get to ride California Chrome, that will happen).  Finnegan’s Wake is not off to a good start this year.  This will be his third start off the shelf, finishing 6th in the G2 Monmouth Stakes, and 8th in the thrilling G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill where Wise Dan narrowly defeated Seek Again by a head (Admiral Kitten finished 5th in that race).  This horse has two career wins (his maiden win as a 30-1+ longshot, defeating Golden Ticket one race before HE would in turn break his maiden) and hasn’t smelled victory since June of 2012 as the favorite in allowance company.  He has placed twice and has a show at this distance, and he’s no stranger to Arlington’s turf course, so if the race stays on the turf, he can catch a piece in this small field.  Don’t think he’s a winner, though.

6-Infinite Magic

By far-and-away, the longest shot on the board (morning line), Infinite Magic is making his second start of 2014.  It is interesting to note that this horse beat Admiral Kitten last year at Keeneland in an allowance race, and again here at Arlington Park in the American Derby almost exactly one year ago.  Admiral Kitten DID finish better than Infinite Magic in the final Hollywood Derby at Hollywood Park (which was won by Seek Again). So in a six horse race, in which you label one horse a contender, and have a “rival” that has beaten him twice before, you could make a case that THIS 10-1 shot is ALSO a contender.  Jockey Channing Hill has guided this horse to victory in a G3 turf stakes race, and the horse has decent enough back-class to warrant a play at 10-1.  He’s your exotic “key” horse.



IF the race stays on the turf and IF Mister Mardi Gras runs: Take 3-Mister Mardi Gras on top of 4-Avanzare and 6-Infinite Magic 

IF the race stays on the turf and Mister Mardi Gras scratches: Take 4-Avanzare on top of 6-Infinite Magic and 1-Admiral Kitten

IF the race goes to the main (synthetic) track: Take 3-Mister Mardi Gras on top of 1-Admiral Kitten and 6-Infinite Magic--throw in 5-Finnegan’s Wake if there’s a scratch.