A trio of Grade-1 races led by the 37th running of the $1 million Arlington Million (G1) will headline the action at Arlington Park on Saturday. The monstrous day of racing features numerous betting options throughout the card, and I will take a crack at starting the day off with a score.
The early Pick-4 features a trio of maiden contests, with two for the youngsters, and I like the sequence a lot. While it may not yield a life-changing return, there is potential for value while keeping the ticket at a reasonable cost.
Juveniles fillies will sprint 5 1/2 furlongs on the main oval in the opener. The Larry Rivelli-trained JOSEPHINE BAKER (#3) (9-5) makes a second lifetime showing and will run on Lasix for the initial time. Malibu Moon filly showed big early foot on debut before fading but improvement is expected from the top juvenile barn on the grounds.
I will also use CONTENDRESS (#7) (9-2) from the Brendan Walsh barn. Competitive Edge filly shows a pair of dirt races at the level, and she will add blinkers while trying the all-weather for the first time.
Two-year-old boys will get their turn in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint on the Polytrack. I lack conviction with any particular entrant and will spread with the debuters who intrigue me.
JURISDICTION (#3) (5-1), LINFIELD (#4) (9-2) and NICELY NICELY (#8) (7-2) makes the ticket.
Maiden special weight affair for fillies and mares on the lawn attracted eight. OUR BAY B RUTH (#2) (8-5) looks very tough for conditioner Eddie Kenneally. Candy Ride filly was a fine runner-up from the 10 post in a similar spot at Churchill Downs most recently, and the well-bred lass seems poised to graduate today.
I will also use GENTLE TOUCH (#4) (8-1) at a nice price. Larry Rivelli trainee was a positive third on debut before faltering most recently, and the Kitten’s Joy filly tries the lawn for the initial time. Sophomore has five turf-winning siblings and gets top pilot Jose Valdivia Jr.
Allowance/optional claiming run on the lawn will close out the sequence and could deliver a price to end it. I could make a decent case for the longest shot on the board, BLUE SKY KOWBOY (#7) (20-1), who loves the Arlington turf course. So with that said I will hit the ‘all’ button in the competitive field.
$.50-cent Pick 4: 3,7 with 3,4,8 with 2,4 with all = $48
Happy Million Day!
PHOTO: Arlington Park (c) Coady Photography/Arlington Park