The defending champion of the Arlington Million, Gio Ponti, is back to try and become the first horse ever to win consecutive runnings of the mid-summer turf classic. His morning line for the effort is 7-5. I think he has a strong chance to make history on Saturday in Chicago, but those of you who read this blog know that I am loathe to select anyone at 7-5. Therefore, he are the selections for the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Arlington Million:
My top pick will be #2 Debussy. He recorded a Group 3 win at Chester in Great Britain earlier this year and then finished seventh in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales Stakes at Ascot. His last try was at York and he finished 4th in a Group 2. I am concerned that he finished behind horses he will be facing here in those last two starts, but at 12-1, the price could be right. For second, I will go with the favored #6 Gio Ponti. I think the price for him is too short, especially given the fact he has just one win this year. That came last time out and he was hard-pressed to run down a big longshot, Mission Approved, to get that victory. He might finally be coming into form, but at the odds I expect him to be on Saturday, he can go ahead and beat me. In the third spot, I will select a horse that provided a They Are Off winner in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap earlier this summer, #7 Rahystrada. He is 2 for 2 over the Arlington Turf Course and that win in the Arlington Handicap came at this distance. There are only two horses in this field that have won as many as ten races, Gio Ponti and Rahystrada. Finally, I will round out the top four with #3 General Quarters. He has run very well on the turf at times this year, but he got a horribly wide trip in the Arlington Handicap and ended up running sixth, although less than five lengths away from the winner. He has a bullet workout on August 14, five furlongs in one minute flat. Here is the play for the Grade 1 Arlington Million:
$5 WPS #2
$1 EX BOX 2-3-6-7-9
Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!