The 32nd running of the Grade 1 Arlington Million takes place on Saturday at Arlington Park in Chicago. There is a very compact field of seven horses in the race, including the winner of the 2013 edition of the Million and the winner of the 2013 Breeders' Cup Turf. Let's take a look at the analysis:
My top selection in the Arlington Million will be an 8-1 shot, #7 Side Glance. This selection is based mainly on the way I see the pace setting up in the race. Side Glance appears to be able to go right to the lead and go all the way in front. Based on his most recent effort in the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth Park, Side Glance should be in front here with no other pace pressure apparent. This should allow jockey Jamie Spencer to dictate how fast this gelding will go through the early stages. I also am taking into account the fact that the U.N. was a furlong farther than the Million is. Side Glance set the early pace at Monmouth and still finished 3rd after digging in late. He was part of the result last year in the Million, placed 2nd after the DQ of The Apache.
#6 Real Solution will be my second choice here. He actually crossed the finish line first for the first time in some time last out at Belmont in the Grade 1 Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day. He sat in mid-pack most of the way around the racetrack and uncoiled a decisive run through the stretch under his jockey, Javier Castellano, who might very well be the best turf rider on this continent right now. In the Man O'War two starts back, he essentially ran the same race that won the Manhattan, but just couldn't get past Imagining in the stretch. Real Solution is attempting to become the first horse in the history of the Million to win the race in back-to-back years (John Henry did win the race twice in 1981 and 1984). Another major factor for Real Solution is the lineage with Kitten's Joy as the Sire and Pulpit on the Dam side, both excellent for turf pedigree.
#3 Magician has won only once in five starts since scoring in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita last fall. That victory came in the Group 3 High Chaparral Mooresbridge Stakes at The Curragh in early May. While he did follow that up with back-to-back seconds, he was never really a threat in the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, finishing sixth. It makes one wonder how this horse will be coming into the Million, but it is never a smart move to dismiss anything that the O'Brien connections put out there.
#4 Finnegans Wake could be a juicy value in here at 12-1 on the morning line. He did win at the distance over the Arlington turf course last time out on July 12 in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap. He also posted a bullet 5F workout on August 10 at Churchill Downs, covering the distance in 1:00.2. Ryan Moore has the ride for trainer Dale Romans, who won the Million two years ago with Little Mike.
Arlington Million Top Four Selections: Side Glance, Real Solution, Magician, Finnegans Wake
Keep in mind that you can follow me on Twitter: @taoMC16. Chamberlain's Choice each night at Vernon Downs in the summer and Turf Paradise each day in the winter is available there. The best of luck with all of your Arlington wagers this weekend. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!