Flash: Saratoga Sizzler goes today... This Sharpshooter goes for all the money at Saratoga, see below.
Despite losing out to Valdosta (Ga.) as Titletown USA at ESPN, Chicago sports is still doing OK this year. The Cubs and White Sox are in first place, the Bulls nailed a 100-1 top draft pick...and there is a certain QB who got traded out of the Bears' division.
And -- at least for one day -- the Second City gets to be the First City in thoroughbred racing.
On Saturday, Arlington Park will host three Grade Ones -- the Secretariat, Beverly D. and Arlington Million -- as races 8, 9 and 10 on a 12-race program.
And since all three races will be run on the grass, we won't have to deal with main-track synthetics. The weather forecast is good, a guaranteed $250,000 Festival Pick 3 links the three races, and, if you can't find an OTB or simulcast facility, you can catch the three races on the tube on -- what else? -- ESPN from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Eastern.
The only thing missing is a PEB caricature on page one of the Form.
Personally, my favorite memory of the Million was the first one -- when the immortal John Henry and The Bart hit the wire as one...and the NBA announcers and director incorrectly called The Bart the winner.
Figures. This is the 60th anniversary of Chicago's No. 1 newspaper calling it for Dewey.
But let us return to the present...and a look at Arlington Million Day:
Race 7 ( The $50,000 Forward Pass Stakes)
Six of the eight 3-year-olds come into the race off victories, but check out Sebastian County, one of the two who does not.
Owned by country music icon Toby Keith, Sebastian County returns to the racetrack where he won twice last year, and was a closing third in the Washington-Arlington Futurity. Canny trainer Von Hemel drops him in class and distance off a troubled sixth in the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows.
Coach Ryan, named for Buddy Ryan, who coached the Bears' defense to Super Bowl glory in '86, won at this seven-furlong distance at Churchill, but loses Borel, who is at Monmouth Park.
They have St. Joe -- and jockey Douglas -- to catch.
Race 8 (The $400,000 Secretariat Stakes)
Never could quite understand why Secretariat gets a grass race named in his memory. Yes, I know Big Red was one-for-one on the green.
The story line obviously is Tizdejavu, the favorite and lone speed. The only knock is that he's spotting serious pounds to his eight rivals.
Trainer Stidham is running an uncoupled entry of Secret Getaway and Sr. Henry...and it is not outside the realm of possibility that Secret Getaway, a two-time stakes-winner at Woodbine, and lady jockey Wilson will prevent the chalk from getting a loose lead if you know what I mean.
Winchester is the Firestones' best horse since Genuine Risk, Plan will fly Big Brown's colors, and Albarado becomes the seventh different rider for Snoose Goose in as many races.
Your Round, wheeled right back off a closing fourth in the Virginia Derby, has a puncher's chance.
Race 9 (The $750,000 Beverly D)
No 3-year-olds in this major test for fillies and mares. Pure Clan, the class of the 3-year-old grass fillies, is headed for the Del Mar Oaks next Saturday where the turf meets the surf.
It's hard to separate the three millionaires in the nine-horse field -- Dreaming of Anna, Precious Kitten and Mauralakana...and all come in off graded stakes victories.
Obviously, Anna -- 8-3-0 from 11 starts on the grass, and 2-for-2 over the course -- will bust from the rail under Gomez...and, if Rosinka (from the two) doesn't push her, she'll be as loose as the proverbial goose.
Meribel (Pitts/Albarado) is winless 14 months, but she was beaten less than a length by Anna on Tampa weeds.
If the race somehow falls apart, the late-running Comminique may be along at a price. Note how Tejida does in Friday feature at Saratoga.
Race 10 (The $1,000,000 Arlington Million)
Will they catch Sudan?
The only reason that Red Rocks and Curlin did catch Sudan in the Man O'War was because of jockey Cohen's suicide mission. Can't blame Spa top jock Johnny V. for giving up some serious Spa horses to make the trip.
Sheik shipper Archipenko is the program favorite off back-to-back graded stakes scores at Hong Kong and Ascot, but note he was double-digits in seven and 11-horse fields.
Stream Cat, co-owned by Duke all-American Hurley, picks up nine pounds off his perfect-trip blowout in the Arlington Handicap. He was beaten a mere length in this race last year.
Again, no 3-year-olds in the field. And the only 4-year-olds are imports Archipenko, Spirit One and Mount Nelson.
Mount Nelson sheds seven pounds (133 to 126) off a Grade 1 victory at Sandown. Two years back, he beat Spirit One in a photo in a French Grade One.
Hard to separate the three imports -- but the first thing they need to do is catch Sudan, himself a one-time Grade One winner in Italy.
JOHN PIESEN GOES FOR THE MONEY SATURDAY
WITH HIS ARLINGTON MILLION DAY SUPER PICK-3
If you're looking to get extra money for end of the summer vacation season, the time to step in is Saturday, August 9th, because I have the golden word on the $250,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 from Arlington Park featuring the Arlington Million!
If you can get to the track or OTB Saturday, this is the kind of action-packed day you can step in on and play with both fists. I am assured that everything is a "GO" and that these races are near "Locks"
- In the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes, Tizdejavu is the favorite and lone speed. The only knock is that he's spotting serious pounds to his eight rivals. I've got my eye on a longshot that will start us on the road to riches.
- Next up is the $750,000 Beverly D, one of the longest, gueling turf races for fillies and mares. No 3-year-olds are in the field in this major test , but another longshot may come flying late if the race sets up like I believe it may. I'll have the exacta & trifecta covered here too.
- Finally it's the Arlington Million. Three foreign invaders will try to knock off top U.S. entrant Archipenko, the M.L. favorite. The late scratch of Sudan could alter the way this one plays out, but I'm still confident I'm backing the right horse to complete the pick-3
SARATOGA BONUS RACE: Get my top-rated runner at the Spa for Saturday as well when you sign up for the Arlington Million Pick-3. This horse has hidden form and blazing speed, and will pay off at least 6-1 to build bankroll for your pick-3!
Get all this for just $20. Click Here or call my office toll free at 1-888-612-2283.
Closer to home, this is Week Eight of the Sixty Minute 6. This time, Saratoga and Monmouth each host two races.
Last week, the biggest win price was $10, and the payoff was 3K-plus.
Let's take a look:
LEG A (Saratoga Race Six, 3:47 p.m.)
The first four legs are for 3-and-up, and, at least in this case, the 3-year-olds Ranger James and Volponi Dragon appear dominant.
Both are lightly-raced, both hail from high-percentage barns, they exit a 2-3 finish in same race, and they are drawn inside.
Strategic Vission had nightmare trip behind top two.
LEG B (Delaware Race Eight, 3:54 p.m.)
These nine maidens are a combined 0-for-66.
Mass, off a second as the stick, is 0-for-25.
You may as well toss Jebster's last -- beaten 19 lengths at 4-5 in off-the-turfer. Assuming this race stays on the turf, he will be the one to catch and beat.
Red Wild took money in Gulfstream debut, was wiped out at start.
LEG C (Philadelphia Park Nine, 4:02 p.m.)
Monmouth shippers Banque Royale, War Tale are a combined 2-for-34, but there's not much else in this full field of nickel-claimers.
Mojave Mint is 1-for-20; his trainer is 1-for-39, and his rider is 1-for-30.
Joejoebugs was second for 10K over the track back in May.
LEG D (Monmouth Park Eight, 4:17 p.m.)
How good is Say It With a Kiss?
As a good thing from Joe Pierce in her debut month back, she came out in a tangle, spotting the field a dozen lengths...and won by five!
Now she steps up in class and distance, and draws wide.
Jane Sighs Too had awful trip closing for second going two-turns. Bravo sticks.
Freuglit turf-to-dirt for hot trainer Manning.
LEG E (Saratoga Seven, 4:21 p.m.)
This is the first Saratoga Saturday in my lifetime without a graded stake. The Grade 3 Yaddo (oh, the memories) was to pass for the feature, but it didn't fill.
In place of the Yaddo is the Madame Jumel, and, trainer Frankel, who will be in Chicago with Sudan and Precious Kitten, has the favorite in Santa Anita Oaks winner Ariege with Garcia up.
Trainer Mott runs uncoupled entry of Ossun, a French import, and Zee Zee (first time Prado).
Jockey Theriot gives up several live mounts at Ellis Park base to ride stretch runner Closeout.
LEG F (Monmouth Nine, 4:47 p.m.)
Jockey Borel in from Kentucky to ride Whirlie Bertie from the one-hole in the Monmouth Oaks. The filly makes stakes debut for Margolis after three Churchill blowouts.
The run to the first turn should be interesting. Six of the seven fillies want the lead.
Three trainers who have had some success at Oaklawn Park have major players. They are John Servis (Philly Gal); Larry Jones (Maren's Meadow), and David Carroll (Acoma).
Enjoy. Make some money...and we'll see you back here next week.
FLASH: SARATOGA FILLY GOING OFF AT 10-1+ ODDS... DON'T BE SCARED TO BET THIS LONGSHOT FRIDAY!|
The info I'm sitting on is explosive! Crafty horsemen have been planning this manuever at Saratoga since opening day. A young horse whose form points her out as nothing more than an also-ran, has been carefully conditioned by these expert horsemen to run an extremely good race and return a hefty longshot payoff. Whatever your plans are for this day, if you make one bet...this is it. Also Friday, I have been following a certain shipper that according to reports from his connections is a real runner sitting on a win, plus my Saratoga Sure Shot of the day.
Sign Up Now, Just $15 for all 3 races... Click Here
Get more articles by John Piesen here...