Player Quick Pick: Arlington's All-Stakes Pick 4 for #Million32

Ryan Dickey

August 15th, 2014

Arlington Park race 7 | 4:45 pm ET American St. Leger for 3&up going 1-1/16 mi. (T)

#10 The Pizza Man--If ever there was a “horse for the course” The Pizza Man is your horse.  Even though this race kicks off the International Festival of Racing, my top pick is the hometown favorite, or “host” if you will.  No cheesy references to his name necessary.  He’s raced at Arlington in 10 of his 16 career races, winning seven, with a place and show to boot.  The only time he finished out of the money at Arlington Park was when he was out-matched in the 2012 edition of the G3 American Derby.  He retains the services of underrated Florent Geroux, who guided The Pizza Man to victory in last month’s G3 Stars N Stripes here at Arlington.

#3 Big Kick--A horse that has been increasing the distances in his races steadily, and coming in fresh is Big Kick.  He’s looking for his third-straight win, and has won in three of his last five tries.  Winning the G2 San Juan Capistrano was a big step-up in class for this horse that was in the claiming ranks for much of the year.  At 6-1, coming in fresh, and a graded stakes win under his belt, he’s a contender.

#2 Dandino--Your likely post time favorite (even with all of the “local” money on The Pizza Man), he is the returning champion.  He followed last year's victory here with a hard-fought place in the Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup, then finished the year in disappointing fashion.  He hasn’t started the year very well, but is coming into this race third off the shelf, and you have to believe he’s been pointed to this race since last year’s victory.

Arlington Park race 8 | 5:15 pm ET G1 Secretariat for 3yo going 1-1/4 mi. (T)

This may be the only place in the entire sequence where it's safe to single.

#6 Adelaide--Much the best on paper in this stakes race, there’s really nothing to argue.  He’s a three year old colt by the Irish star Galileo, whose offspring hit the board at an astounding 43% clip. He’s trained by one of the best trainers in the world, Aiden O’Brien, and will be ridden by one of the worl’s top jockeys in Ryan Moore.  Adelaide gave Mr. Speaker a very tough run for the money in last month’s G1 Belmont Derby, and he seems to be sitting on an easy victory here over these foes.  A single for sure.

Arlington Park race 9 | 5:54 pm ET G1 Beverly D. for 3&up F&M going 1-3/16 mi. (T)

This third leg is where the whole Pick 4 will be won or lost.  I think there are three ways to play it:

The first strategy is to simply “bet it and forget it”, by singling my top-choice: #9 Alterite--She came off the shelf from a layoff directly after her third-place showing in last year’s B.C. Fillies and Mares Turf race, with a poor showing in the G1 Diana at Saratoga in July.  She obviously needed that race, as she regressed to her effort level in her first U.S. start when winning the G1 Garden City at Belmont last September.  Chad Brown is an excellent turf trainer, and this may be the race he’s had her pointed to all along.  At 4-1 on the morning line, she’s not the best “value”, but I have her as the most likely winner in this talented lineup.  If you want to bet aggressively (and on the cheap) just go with Alterite.

The second strategy is more conservative, and gives you a much better shot at getting to the final race in the sequence: play #9 Alterite, #1 Just the Judge, #4 Emollient, #5 Stephanie’s Kitten, and #11 Somali Lemonade. All of these choices have reasons they can win.  The preference is Alterite, but each choice here has a Group one or G1 Stakes win on their resume, and should contend in this very good race.

The third strategy is the most costly, but the easiest:  hit the ALL button.  There are eleven betting options.

Arlington Park race 10 | 6:36 pm ET G1 Arlington Million for 3&up going 1-1/4 mi. (T)

I am standing fast with my selection to win the Arlington Million.  I’m playing a straight $500 Win bet, and am singling this horse in the Pick-4:

#6 Real Solution--My projected pace scenario fits this horse like a glove.  He does well when settling back, and letting the front runners go, only to pick them off with a strong, powerful late kick.  With only six other horses in the race, and two projected to get out early (but not exactly with blazing fractions), Real Solution will settle to the back of the pack with Up With the Birds.

I see two “tiers” of runners in this race--the front runners, Side Glance and Hardest Core being pressed from behind by Finnegan’s Wake.  The back “tier” will consist of Magician, and Smoking Sun, and the trailers should be Up With the Birds and Real Solution.  Smoking Sun has a big late kick of his own, and Castellano will have to be wary of both Smoking Sun and Magician (who I believe is a solid “bet against” in this race), and has to try to bury Up With the Birds late.  Real Solution has been pointed to this race all along, and even though this is his first start in 70 days, he has both the foundation, and the extra gear needed to hold off all contenders to defend his crown in the Arlington Million.


We're going with the Goldilocks style of ticket-making:

This one is cheap: $1 Pick 4 ... 2,3,10 /6 /9 /6 ... $3 This one is conservative: $1 Pick 4 ... 2,3,10 /6 /1,4,5,9,11 /6 ... $15 This one is expensive: $1 Pick 4 ... 2,3,10 /6 /ALL /6 ... $33

...which one is Just Right for you?