Arlington Million 2018 Picks and Analysis

9- Secretariat

1- REAL STORY, 20-1 (RPR N/A, 93 BRIS, 87 Beyer)- Won local prep wire to wire while setting hot fractions (:47.45, 1:11.45) and looks like he could be lone speed again from the rail. Will need to take a big step forward in figures but they will all have to reel him in as he stretches out here.
2- PLATINUM WARRIOR, 10-1 (Beyer N/A, BRIS N/A, 108 RPR)- Won a 10f Stakes in Ireland two back and posted a career high RPR in that effort. Now cuts back from 12f, where he was 9th against Group 1 foes, in his last. Looks like the most attractive Euro in the double digit range to our eyes as he figures to sit a ground-saving, forwardly placed trip in a race without much speed on paper.
3- BANDUA, 20-1 (Beyer N/A, BRIS N/A, 103 RPR)- Cuts back from last two races, which came at 14f and 12f against stakes company overseas. Shows a win at the distance over soft turf in Ireland.
4- CARRICK, 20-1 (82 Beyer, 89 RPR, 91 BRIS)- Was last seen finishing 3rd in a 9f Grade III event; lightly raced sort is in heavy here in fourth career start but may get a better trip than he did in his last, eligible to improve.
5- PONT DU GARD, 30-1 (83 Beyer, 91 BRIS, 90 RPR)- Was 4th in local prep last out so would have to take a big step forward to hit the board against these.
6- MING, 20-1 (Beyer N/A, BRIS N/A, 98 RPR)- Shipper takes a class leap here but enters off back to back wins against weight for age company in Ireland. He did finish soundly beaten, 7 lengths behind fellow shipper Platinum Warrior, two starts back.
7- CAPTIVATING MOON, 20-1 (88 Beyer, 91 BRIS, 99 RPR)- Consistent type hasn’t missed the board in six 2018 starts and seems to simply keep running out of ground. Deep closer nearly inhaled the field when 2nd in the 9f local prep for this and seems to be begging for added ground. We’d be a bit more supportive if there was more pace signed on but with so many Euro shippers a quicker than expected pace could easily materialize in which case he is live for the win at a huge price. And he’s also adding blinkers, which should keep him more in touch with the leaders that usual. Will be using on top.
8- UNTAMED DOMAIN, 5-1 (84 Beyer, 92 BRIS, 104 RPR)- Keeps switching surfaces and can’t seem to find his niche, as claim to fame still remains a 2nd place finish to Mendelssohn in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He was beaten nearly 7 lengths by the favorite two starts back at 9f and his form seems to have leveled off; looks like an underlay at these odds after missing the board in three of last four starts.
9- ANALYZE IT, 2-1 (99 Beyer, 96 BRIS, 113 RPR)- Owns field high Beyer and BRIS Speed figures at the distance after being nosed by the highly regarded Catholic Boy in his last two. Has a 5L and 7L head to head advantage respectively in recent starts against Captivating Moon and Untamed Domain, so appears by far the most formful of the American contingent. Whether he can maintain the 1.75 length advantage he enjoyed last out against classy Euro foe Hunting Horn remains to be seen; deserving favorite that must be used on top.
10- SNIPER KITTEN, 12-1 (87 Beyer, 92 BRIS, 84 RPR)- Son of Kitten’s Joy is somewhat of an unknown quantity in his fifth career start, having run past 8f only once. He’s closed well and figures to appreciate the added ground but takes a step up in class. He held off a fast closing Captivating Moon at 8f when winning his last, but the feeling is that one would have had him after a few more steps.
11- DUBBY DUBBIE, 30-1 (83 Beyer, 91 BRIS, RPR N/A)- A closing 3rd in the local prep for this, he’s never gone this far but may improve with the added ground based on running style. It would be a surprise to see him hit the board in this spot, however.
12- LUCIUS TIBERIUS, 12-1 (Beyer N/A, BRIS N/A, 107 RPR)- Winner of last two starts at this distance against Handicap company abroad, he will make his first U.S. start here for Aidan O’Brien. Takes a bit of a class leap but fits as a potential underneath type based on figures and experience at route distances.
13- HUNTING HORN, 7-2 (96 Beyer, 94 BRIS, 116 RPR)- Aidan O’Brien charge was third 1.75 lengths behind today’s foe Analyze It in his stateside bow last out in the Belmont Derby. Group 3 winner abroad stands a chance to take a big step forward in second start off the ship considering connections and field high RPR at the distance, assuming he can navigate a wide post. BRIS Prime Power selection would offer value at this price with Ryan Moore in the saddle.
1) Hunting Horn 7-2
2) Analyze It 2-1
3) Captivating Moon 20-1
4) Platinum Warrior 10-1
10- Beverly D
1- DADDY’S LIL DARLING, 8-1 (96 Beyer, 101 BRIS, 109 RPR)- Winner of the local prep is well acquainted with classic distances, as her last three have come at 9.5f or beyond. She wasn’t disgraced two back when finishing 3rd just a 1.5 lengths behind Fourstarcrook and Sistercharlie who she will again have to catch today. Those two seem to consistently be about a length better but she’s very live underneath at a decent price.
2- NYALETI, 15-1 (Beyer N/A, BRIS N/A, 109 RPR)- Group 2 winner overseas has yet to race beyond 8f. After fading to 4th in her last against Group I company, she is in deep waters here for her first start on U.S. soil.
3- SISTERCHARLIE, 9-5 (104 Beyer, 104 BRIS, 112 RPR)- Heaviest favorite of the Grade 1 stakes card had an awful trip two back in the New York when narrowly missing stablemate Fourstarcrook for the win. A cleaner trip here would make her a very tough filly to beat at this distance. Chad Brown has won the last three consecutive runnings of this race and we don’t feel the need to look any further than his two top contenders here. With her field high Beyer, Brisnet and RPR figures, race plays should lean heavily towards keying her on top and perhaps singling in multis. She enters third off the lay and off a bullet work at Saratoga on 8/3.
4- DONA BRUJA, 6-1 (103 Beyer, 98 BRIS, 109 RPR)- Last year’s runner up enters this race in a completely different spot in her form cycle, laid off since April as opposed to entering third off the lay after having won the local prep at the distance a year ago. She was 5th in that April start after strangely setting the pace in a change of tactics, a solid 3 lengths behind two of today’s favorites, Sistercharlie and Fourstarcrook. It’s also worrisome that she hasn’t run back to this distance since last year’s race; this is a lot to ask off the layoff as trainer Correas wins with just 11% of his starters off a similar lay. May be worth keeping off the board in this spot.
5- THAIS, 30-1 (88 Beyer, 87 BRIS, 105 RPR)- Would appear to be stretching her capability at this distance, as miler has run only once as long as 8.5f and posted her lowest career BRIS speed figure in doing so. Has the right trainer to win this race but this looks like the Brown rabbit.
6- OH SO TERRIBLE, 50-1 (82 Beyer, 82 BRIS, 84 RPR)- A well beaten 5th in the local prep before running back to finish 5th against optional claimers less than two weeks later. Appears to be aptly named, to say the least of being badly misplaced here.
7- FOURSTARCROOK, 9-2 (101 Beyer, 101 BRIS, 110 RPR)- In career form for Chad Brown as a six year old, mare has not missed the board in her last eight starts spanning the last two years and enters this event fresh off upsetting Sistercharlie, handing that one her only defeat of the year. It will be more difficult to duplicate that result with a more fair trip for her stablemate, but she looms one of the two Brown entries to be feared and will be more than double the odds of her stablemate.
8- INFLEXIBILITY, 8-1 (99 Beyer, 93 BRIS, 102 RPR)- Gets a slight cutback after being caught in the stretch at 10f in her last, but pace type still may be better suited to distances shorter than this. She’s winless in graded events in her career and settles in slightly below the cut in figures. Looking elsewhere.
9- ATHENA, 3-1 (97 Beyer, 97 BRIS, 110 RPR)- Impressive winner of the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks at 10f in her first start off the ship. 3-year old has posted ascending RPR figures in her last three starts for Aidan O’Brien. She figures to take action here on connections alone (despite O’Brien’s winless record in this particular race), but to our eyes she looks like an underlay at these odds without another step forward in figures, which come in a notch below the preferred selections.
1) Sistercharlie 9-5
2) Fourstarcrook 9-2
3) Daddy’s Little Darling 8-1
4) Athena 3-1
11- Arlington Million
1- CIRCUS COUTURE, 30-1 (Beyer N/A, BRIS N/A, 101 RPR)- Tough spot for a class jump in his first US start combined with a stretchout, as his longest race this year has come at 9f. Was beaten 8 lengths by today’s foe Century Dream at 8f, so we’d have to side with that one.
2- SPRING QUALITY, 8-1 (102 Beyer, 97 BRIS, 106 RPR)- Won Manhattan in blanket finish upset last out in first 10f try. Rapidly improving type demands respect in this spot, as he has head to head 1 length wins against two of today’s stingiest foes, Robert Bruce and Money Multiplier, within the last year. May need pace, but enters as the field’s only last out Grade I or Group 1 winner.
3- ALMANAAR, 5-1 (102 Beyer, 98 BRIS, 110 RPR)- Enters second off a long layoff for Chad Brown after an easy win in allowance company. 6-year old fits with these on back class, having beaten last year’s winner Beach Patrol at 9f last winter when that one was in top form, but hasn’t run beyond that distance since 2015. Closing type figures to appreciate the added ground here but lack of form at the distance and limited recent campaign leaves questions against these. Look for room underneath.
4- DIVISIDERO, 10-1 (100 Beyer, 93 BRIS, 115 RPR)- Won local prep for this at 9.5f from deep off the pace and had never won beyond 9f before that. Returns after a 7th place finish in last year’s event, needs pace.
5- CENTURY DREAM, 12-1 (Beyer N/A, BRIS N/A, 111 RPR) Euro shipper may find some class relief in his first US start, as Group 3 winner enters off a respectable 4th place finish in a Group 2 event at 8f. He stretches out here after having run his last four at 8-8.5f though, and was 11th in his only start at 10f this year. He does have one win at the distance from last year, but that came over soft turf.
6- CATCHO EN DIE, 20-1 (100 Beyer, 97 BRIS, 99 RPR)- Won what used to be the local prep for the American Ledger marathon when wiring the 12f Stars and Stripes in his last. He will cut back here and seems likely to see more company up front. Argentinian-bred has never hit the board in a Grade I event and may find this bunch a bit too classy.
7- TWENTY FOUR SEVEN, 30-1 (95 Beyer, 89 BRIS, RPR N/A)- Was 6th in the local Marathon prep and takes an enormous class leap here. Quite rightfully the longest shot in the field as he looks like an extreme outsider on paper having never won above the allowance level.
8- MONEY MULTIPLIER, 6-1 (103 Beyer, 103 BRIS, 112 RPR)- In career form for Chad Brown as a 6-year old.  Held off a closing Divisidero in 9f Monmouth Stakes two back before a runner up finish at 11f in his last against Grade I foes, posting a field high 103 Brisnet Speed figure for 2018 at or beyond 10f. Figures to be sitting on a big one third off the lay as he cuts back here, but feels more like an underneath type against Grade I company.
9- DEAUVILLE, 6-1 (100 Beyer, 95 BRIS, 112 RPR)- Will attempt this event for the third straight time after show finishes in the last two (he was our top selection last year and a late inclusion underneath led to an enormous trifecta score in 2016). Led late in the stretch last year but was caught without excuse and hasn’t won in his last ten starts; he may very well be allergic to winning. Has shown declining figures over his last four and while his best race puts him in the mix, he always seems to find one better. Form-wise he looked more appealing each of the last two years and wasn’t able to finish better than 3rd against weaker fields than this one; expecting a bit of regression here.
10- ROBERT BRUCE, 9-2 (101 Beyer, 97 BRIS, 106 RPR)- Had been undefeated in seven career starts before being bumped in the stretch and finishing 6th just 1 length from the winner, today’s foe Spring Quality, in his last. He had beaten that one at 9f before that however, finishing his final 1/8 in under 11 seconds, and with a cleaner trip, Chad Brown trainee stands to move up third off the lay, where he wins with 22% of his runners at that stage of their form cycle, at a distance he should relish. The feeling here is that BRIS Prime Power selection has been pointed to this and checks all the boxes in this spot. The pick.
11- OSCAR PERFORMANCE, 3-1 (104 Beyer, 117 RPR)- Tied world record time at 8f (1:31.1) when winning his last after a layoff. Boasts field high Racing Post Rating for his win over this track and distance in last year’s Secretariat where he won wire to wire in a time three lengths faster than the Million winner; this race has been kind in recent years to horses with experience over the track (The Pizza Man, Hardest Core, Beach Patrol). Versatile runner looms the one to beat even as he navigates the widest post of all and is a must-use on top as enters off a field high BRIS last race speed figure and also holds the top figure at the distance.
1) Robert Bruce 9-2
2) Oscar Performance 3-1
3) Spring Quality 8-1
4) Money Multiplier 6-1
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