Race 5 is the Hatoof Stakes, 8.5 furlongs, 3YO fillies.
1st: #1 Fonepferesh: Best average winning distance (AWD) from pedigree in field, all from Irish stock. Has run nearly all 7 races lifetime after layoff including today, and has 2 prior wins with this approach. Ran a 78 Brisnet rating 2 races back, then won with a lower rating of 70 last time out, a very good trip at or close to the lead all through for this stalking filly. Also has two wins from an inside post. Bounceback likely.
2nd: #5 VV Goodnight sports best speed rating among those who have already won at the distance, a 4th-place finish 3 races ago in the Edgewood at Churchill, an 89 rating. Before that, won an optional-claim race of 75k. Possible bounce risk for the deep closing threat, with runs of 87, 87, 89 beyond a 74 in the last 4 races. 3 works at AP since last race, 2 pretty fast.
3rd: #2 High Wire Kitten progressed in pace from an 80 in her debut to an 82 2 races later, to an 84 in a 64k stakes race last time out. Possibility of bouncing from that effort tho.
Race 6 is the Straight Line Stakes, 65k race, 1 mile, 3YO.
1st: #7 McQ has 2 lifetime starts, never out of 1st or 2nd at any call-point in either race, tho both were sprints. Trainer Patti Miller has had some good success in this position before: Started 2 horses making route debut this year, with 1 win, a 10.10 ROI. Also 3 horses going from 2 sprints to a route, with 1 win, 2 placings total, for return of 6.07. I’ve rated the colt as fastest overall. Looked great while breaking maiden in last start, wiring the field. Track bias is favorable to posts 4-7 in turf mile races (18% for meet) and to sprinters (29%).
All 3 are overlays compared to morning-line.
Race 7 is the American St.Leger Stakes for 3YO, 1-1/16 miles.
1st: #3 Big Kick had set lifetime best of 96 after layoff racing in Santa Anita, then topped that last time out with a 98 at Santa Anita last time out, in the San Juan Capistrano. Despite fading in the stretch, it was an heroic win for the sprinter going 14 furlongs. Already proven to win off layoff. He is the lone speed here and will certainly relish the opportunity.
Now we get to the Graded stakes activity:
8th race is the Secretariat, 1-1/4 miles, Grade 1 3YOs.
1st: #6 Adelaide raced in Ireland and Europe for first 4 starts, then made American debut at Belmont last time out, 2nd place by a neck in the Belmont Derby last month. The 101 Brisnet from this very good trip is the best score for turf and distance of the field. Running in the middle post again here, which may be more than suitable.
2nd: #7 Divine Oath won the American Derby here last month was 2nd in the Lexington at Keeneland in April. The 91 Brisnet at AP was a bit of a spike up in pace, but still lower than 3 races back right off layoff, and best of the speed figures on this track among winners here. Florent Giroux (19% wins) and Todd Pletcher (1 win in 2 starts) team up again for this one.
1st: #7 La Tia. 5th in this race last year, winner of the Arlington Matron in May and the Ontario Matron at Woodbine last month. She is the true lone speed and should control pace for much of the event. She’s almost always at the front of the field, as evidenced by her body of work for the last 15 months, not finishing lower than 6th. Surpassed lifetime best of 100 with a 102 3 races back in the Arlington Matron. Also slight move up in pace last race out in the Ontario Matron with a 99. It was an excellent trip for this sprinter, extending her lead all throughout. Middle post will help the 5YO’s chances.
3rd: #5 Stephanie’s Kitten, a multiple Graded Stakes winner herself, including the Just A Game at Belmont (G1). I’ve rated her the fastest overall, but she’s a deep closer, so she must get the right trip for this. Maybe something resembling her last effort, a 2nd place finish in the Diana at Saratoga last month, without so much trouble in the process.
My odds for contenders: #7 La Tia 6-5. #8 I’m Already Sexy 5-1. #5 Stephanie’s Kitten 8-1. #4 Emollient 10-1. #3 Street Of Gold and #11 Somali Lemonade, 20-1.
Overlay possibles: 7,8.
10th race is the marquee race, the Arlington Million. Going horse-by-horse:
#2 Smoking Sun I have virtually no stats on as his racing was done mainly in France, tho I do see he’s won off layoff previously. But I have no other evidence to support and I’m leaving him out, at my peril. Morning line is 9/2, but I can’t even rank him.
#3 Magician has starred in Ireland and England, and has just one start here in the States, last year’s Breeders Cup Turf. with a great closing victory. Has good inherent chance to win. Another son of Galileo and the 10.4 AWD. The 110 scored in the BC race does impress me, but nothing in terms of form interests me in him, despite the morning-line of 7/5. I say 20-1.
I actually have the next 3 horses ranked close.
#4 Finnegans Wake has a win and a 2nd in 3 races here. His 97 Brisnet way back when is still the best effort on the track of this field along with #6 Real Solution. 4th in the Million last year. Ryan Moore makes his meet debut here as jockey. With deep closers, he is 3-for-3 this year, with ROI of 5.97. Outstanding trip in the Arlington Handicap last time out at 10 furlongs, being 2nd and close for much of the race. Morning line: 12-1. I think he’s 4-1.
#5 Up With The Birds won last year’s Jamaica Handicap (Grade 1) at Belmont. Slight new top achieved last time out with a 100 Brisnet in the Nijinksy at Woodbine.This edged out a 99 score on the same track in 2012 in the Coronation Futurity. This deep closer I’ve rated fastest of field, and whom must get his trip to deliver the stretch kick. Morning line: 6-1. My odds: 4-1.
#7 Side Glance comes out of a long stretch of races worldwide and was 3rd in Monmouth at the United Nations Stakes last time out. 3rd in last year’s Million. Another horse I can’t get much evidence on, and one I’ll throw out.
Final stakes race is the Hatoof Stakes for fillies, duplicate conditions as the 5th race.
1st: #7 She’s Offlee Good won the Arlington Washington Lassie last year, and only now is return to form with scores of 82 and then 90 in the AP Oaks. Jockey ET Baird has 25% wins, trainer Richard Scherer 16% wins