The summer turf season is going strong at Arlington Park as we get nearer and nearer to the headline event at the Chicagoland track, the Grade 1 Arlington Million, which will be one of three Grade 1 turf races to be run there on Saturday, August 21. This Saturday is Million Preview Day at the track and They Are Off will be taking a look at the Grade 3 $150,000 Arlington Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on the turf.
#3 Rahystrada might fetch a minor price in this field at 6-1 on the morning line and he is 1 for 1 over the Arlington greenery. That one was a claiming victory last July at 1 1/16 miles. The distance might be a question for the top pick in here, given that he has yet to go a mile and a quarter. However, in his last try at Pimlico, the Grade 2 Dixie on Preakness Day, he was gaining through the stretch while in tight at the eighth pole and only ended up 1 1/4 lengths off the winner. #9 General Quarters scored a nice upset win in his last grass start in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Derby Day at Churchill Downs, winning by a neck at 9-1. That was also the last time Rafael Bejarano was aboard and he gets the call here. General Quarters came back with another nice effort last time out over the main track in Louisville, running third in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster. This race will undoubtedly decide whether or not he goes on Million Day at Arlington. #2 Just As Well actually was one of two horses to beat the top pick in the Grade 2 Dixie at Pimlico. He came back in the very tough Grade 1 Manhattan on Belmont Day and finished 5th, just 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner in a crazy blanket finish. Julien Leparoux was not aboard at Belmont, but does return to the saddle here. This runner is also 2 for 2 in the top two over the Arlington grass. Finally, for a wild longshot, how about #4 Cross Village? He posted a bullet workout at Arlington on June 30 and came back to run 3rd with optional claimers on July 5. He could clearly be in over his head, especially reflected in his 30-1 morning line, but if we are going to throw in a price, why not? Here is the play for the Grade 3 $150,000 Arlington Handicap:
$5 WP #3
$1 EX BOX 2-3-4-5-9
$1 TRI 3-9 with 3-9 with 1-2-4-5
Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers made in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again on Monday for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!