It is closing week at Arlington Park and the four-day race week will be led-off by a rare Wednesday of live racing and wagering at Arlington – the only live Wednesday of the entire five-month race meet. The eight-race card will be the focus of horseplayers everywhere thanks to a two-day carryover in the late Pick 5 of $22,480. The Arlington late Pick 5 is a 50-cent denomination wager, and this kind of a carryover in a non-jackpot-type 50-cent wager is rare and makes Arlington a must-play track this Wednesday.
The late Pick 5 encompasses the last five races on the eight-race card, beginning in Race 4. A serious swing at the Pick 5 will be an accessible and affordable play, even for mid-range players.
Here is a look at the races in the Pick 5 sequence, and one example of a recommended Wednesday late Pick 5 ticket at Arlington. Excellent weather conditions are expected. The main track is synthetic and the turf should be firm. Take a shot, best of luck!
The Pick 5 sequence starts with perhaps the toughest leg of the sequence, a one-mile $5,000 claiming turf race with a 12-horse field including several contenders. The horse to beat is #7 ROUND HILL (5-1), who drops in class again after hitting the board at higher levels on the turf at Arlington, including last time when he lost by a neck after a wide ground-losing trip around both turns. Leading rider Jose Valdivia is off to ride #9 LOVE YOUR BUTTONS (9-2), who was the beaten favorite at Colonial Downs last time and now takes a big (and suspicious) drop in for $5k. But a third vs. $35k claimers at Churchill three races ago and Valdivia aboard is a promising sign. #5 ENGLISH INVESTOR (7-2) is the morning line favorite and perhaps the horse to beat after chasing a slow pace for third at a higher level at Arlington last time. Should benefit from a better pace today. One could make a borderline case for #12 Drugunov (8-1), but his chances are hampered by being drawn out in the parking lot.
Don’t get KO’d in the Pick 5 in the first leg. Use at least #7 Round Hill, #9 Love Your Buttons and #5 English Investor to start your Pick 5.
The horse to beat in the five-furlong turf sprint is lightning speedball #7 READY’S MISSION (10-1), who I have observed to be the fastest horse on the grounds down at this kind of a class level. There is other speed in this field, including the likely-to-be-beaten favorite #5 Demand Ransom (7-2), but none of them are fast enough to run with Ready’s Mission early, who should be loose on the lead going as fast as he can and as far as he can, wire-to-wire. If the leader can’t go all the way, the most likely stalkers to capitalize are #2 JOBIM (9-2), who will appreciate a cutback in distance and gets leading rider Valdivia aboard; or #6 SILENT FAME (5-1), who has never been worse than second in four career turf sprints at Arlington, including first- and second-place finishes in his last two races.
Use at least #7 Ready’s Mission and #6 Silent Fame in the second leg of the Pick 5. Larger budget tickets can also throw in #2 Jobim.
Two speed horses, and others who will be on or close to the lead in this field, should set-up this 1 1/16-mile turf race for an off-the-pace horse to win. One of the speed horses likely to be cooked, #11 Northern Alliance (4-1), is trained by Larry Rivelli, who also happens to have a closer in the race, #2 VOLUPTUOUS (9-2). The latter should get a tremendous pace to help his chances for a second consecutive rallying victory on the turf. Five of Voluptuous’s seven career wins are on the turf.. Another contender from a little closer to the pace is #8 MISS VICKI (5-1), who won a dirt race at Fairmount by 10 lengths last time bit also had a recent third-place finish on the turf at Ellis Park on July 6. I would like her chances better at one-mile than 1 1/16-miles, but nevertheless she should be a contender down at this level versus the local competition.
In the middle leg of the Pick 5, use #2 Voluptuous and #8 Miss Vicki.
This maiden claiming one-mile turf race features a 12-horse field that includes several first starters sure to give Pick 5 players a big headache. One horse that’s already run competitively at a comparable turf distance is #10 CREALOCK (8-1), who was third beaten only two lengths against maiden special weights at Canterbury. Canterbury horses have been doing well lately at Arlington and he fits locally on the drop in versus maiden claimers. The two most interesting first starters are the Michael Stidham-trained #5 OUR PAL GORDY (9-2), who has second-leading rider Mitchell Murrill aboard (24% jockey/trainer combo) and is bred to do well in routes on the grass; and #7 TURFMEISTER (9-2), who goes for 30% trainer Michael Reavis. With a name like Turfmeister, he better be good on the grass.
In the next-to-last leg of the Pick 5, roll the dice and try to get past the race with three horses, #5 Our Pal Gordy, #7 Turfmeister and #10 Crealock. If you have a big budget, use as many of these as possible and throw in #3 Country Jazz, who lost twice on Polytrack but is well bred for turf and a distance.
Bring home the Pick 5 with #10 RUN YOUR RACE (4-1), who won two of his last three races with the loss coming by a neck behind a loose lone speed horse. In excellent form for a 30% trainer, he looks very tough to beat. Murrell is off #9 Sister Ruler (9-2) who is trained by his main man Steve Manley, in order to ride Run Your Race, who rates as the closest thing to a single on in the sequence. If standing along with one horse in the anchor leg makes you uncomfortable, #5 ONE WAY HOME (12-1) and #12 DESANI’S CHANCE (6-1) can be added. The other prime contender, #4 INSANE LIFESTYLE (3-1), has never run on the grass but certainly fits vs this competition based on his main track form for Rivelli.
Round out your Pick 5 tickets with #10 Run Your Race. If you can afford more horses, use some or all of #4 Insane Lifestyle, #5 One Way Home and #12 Desani’s Chance.
Arlington late Pick 5 tickets:
For a value-priced bargain ticket, go 3 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 1 as outlined above for a .50 denomination, which will result in a ticket costing $18. A bigger budget ticket, as detailed above, would go 3 x 3 x 2 x 4 x 4 and cost $144.
5,7,9 with 6,7 with 2,8 with 5,7,10 with 10 = $18
Big Bucks Ticket: 5,7,9 with 2,6,7 with 2,8 with 3,5,7,10 with 4,5,10,12 = $144