Exacta Box of the day for Arlington
This Saturday at Arlington is the biggest day of the meet – Arlington Million Day.
Million Day at Arlington features a 12-race card headlined by a trio of Grade 1 grass stakes – the Arlington Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat – as well as two other stakes and a slew of big fields throughout the day. The Arlington Million is run at 1 1/4 miles and goes as Race 11.
Many races throughout the day offer excellent opportunities for multi-horse exacta bets, plus plays in the other exotics. Perhaps the best of the exotics races of the day will be the big one, the Arlington Million, which will feature a 10-horse field topped by the defending champion Robert Bruce, perhaps the country’s top turf horse, Bricks and Mortar.
Here are four horses to use in all of your Arlington Million exotics.
Arlington Race 11 Arlington Million Exotics Picks:
ROBERT BRUCE (#1) (7-2) is the defending Arlington Million champion after topping a softer bunch last year, but nevertheless turning in a career-best effort in the process. Obviously loved this course and seems clearly at his best at the Arlington Million’s 1 1/4-mile distance. Comes in attempting to become the first horse in history to win back-to-back Millions, and catches another break in terms of the course conditions, which will be extremely firm just the way he likes it. Javier Castellano picks up the mount for the country’s leading turf trainer, Chad Brown, who also will saddle favored Bricks and Mortar.
BRICKS AND MORTAR (#3) (8-5) will be the big favorite and horse to beat in the Arlington Million for trainer Chad Brown. Bricks and Mortar has blossomed into the country’s top turf horse in his five-year-old season so far, rattling off four consecutive Grade 1 or Grade 2 victories in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) at Gulfstream, Muniz Memorial Handicap (G2) at Fair Grounds, Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill and Manhattan (G1) at Belmont. Owns graded wins on five different courses so he clearly takes his track with him, and also wins on any kind of footing from yielding to good to firm. Doesn’t win by big flashy margins, but reliably gets the job done, and this 1 1/4-mile distance looks squarely in his wheelhouse with regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard.
INTELLOGENT (#9) (12-1) is a 12-1 Euro invader on the morning line who can really bump up the value of your Arlington Million exotics. Euro horses in this race trained by Aidan O’Brien (Magic Wand and Hunting Horn) may attract more attention, but Intellogent ships into this race looking for firm turf and gets his wish with rock-hard course conditions currently prevailing at Arlington. Firm turf is right up his alley based on his Grade 1 win last summer in the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville. Finished less than two lengths behind prominent turfer Zabeel Prince last out in a Longchamp Group 1, and this horse should not be overlooked despite the fact that he is likely to be.
BANDUA (#10) (6-1) won the local prep for the Million last month in the Arlington Handicap (G3) against a much softer field. It was not who he beat, but rather, how he beat them that mattered the most. Bandua served notice he is ready to take the leap up into Grade 1 company when he won the Arlington Handicap in course record time of 1:53 for the 1 3/16 miles on this surface. Also ran third here last year as a three-year-old in the Secretariat, and should once again land in the trifectas again today. Has the speed to be on or close to the lead, and may get away with a moderate pace.
ARLINGTON MILLION (FOUR-HORSE) EXOTICS WAGERS:
Box the above four horses in the exotics, and key Bricks and Mortar in the exactas, you will be covering the speed (Bandua), the defending champion (Robert Bruce), the favorite (Bricks and Mortar) and the live longshot who should have an affinity for the rock-hard turf course conditions currently prevailing at Arlington (Intellogent). You will have the makings of a winning exacta, plus a big chance at the trifecta and superfecta. Best of luck!
$5 Exacta key 3 / 1, 9, 10 = $15
$1 Trifecta box 1, 3, 9, 10 = $24
10-cent Superfecta box 1, 3, 9, 10 = $2.40
PHOTO: Robert Bruce (c) Coady Photography/Arlington Park