Friday, August 07, 2009

The Grade 1 Arlington Million

I think that the Arlington Million could play out one of two ways on Saturday afternoon. I think that either #2 Presious Passion goes out and steals the race on the lead or there will be a horse come rolling from the clouds to run him down. My preference is for the latter scenario and I will go with #6 Gio Ponti (yes, I know that I am going way out on the limb here).

First of all, I have stated previously on this blog that I tend to look at Christophe Clement anytime he is in a turf race. That rings especially true when he has the best horse in the field, by far. This colt has won three consecutive Grade 1 turf races, two of them coming with today's rider, Ramon Dominguez, at the controls. One of those was at the Arlington Million distance of 1 1/4 miles (The Manhattan Handicap at Belmont) and over the course of his thirteen-race career, there have not been too many clunkers for Gio Ponti.

For second, I will go with #2 Presious Passion. I think he will get the lead and while I don't think there will be too much speed out there with him, I think there might be enough that will challenge him to the point where he might not be able to hold off the charges of all the closers. I certainly don't think he will get twenty lengths in front, as he did in the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth. The lone A.P. Indy runner in the field is my third choice, #3 Just As Well. He scored a win last time out over the Arlington greenery in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap. In fact, he is one of two horses in the Million to have a win on the Chicago turf, the other being Recapturetheglory. The European horse I think might get the top Euro honors in the Million is #4 Stotsfold. I know he finished behind Cima De Triomphe at Sandown two starts back, but he came back to win the Group 3 La Coupe at Longchamp in France. Here is the play for the Grade 1 Arlington Million on Saturday:

$5 WP #6 and $5 EX BOX #2+ #6
TOTAL- $20

Remember that They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers made in conjunction with these selections. Tune in again on Monday for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!


xtrawinners said...

I am going to go with # 6-GIO PONTI first as I can find no weaknesses with this dynamic horse who has already has THREE Grade I victories.
I'll take #2-PRESIOUS PASSION for second. Definitely the pacesetter, it may be a tough trick to catch him if the fractions aren't too fast.
I'll go out on a limb and take #3-JUST AS WELL for third. He's in great form, and hopefully can rise to the occasion with a new Beyer high.

Mark Ripple,Author,
Handicapping the Wall Street Way

Chalk Eating Weasel said...

How does the scratch of Recapturetheglory figure in your view of the race?

Michael Chamberlain said...

Sorry, I didn't answer you earlier, Weasel, but I thought that Presious Passion might have had an easier time of it with that scratch. I am actually surprised they ran him down as easily as they did. I thought that the pace he set was a little soft, but maybe the yielding turf was more of a problem for him than the scratch.