Four stakes races highlight an excellent nine-race card at Arlington Park on Saturday. A trio of graded events top Arlington Million Preview Day, and I have some horses of interest with attractive prices attached to them in the featured contests.
RACE 7 – Arlington Handicap (G3)
EL PICARO (#5) (9-2) is a multiple Group 1 victor on the turf who will make his second run since importing from South America. The Lookin at Lucky colt had a decent tightener at Churchill Downs in the Wise Dan Stakes (G2) and figures to show big improvement with more ground to work with on Saturday for trainer Ignacio Correas IV. The move to leading local pilot Jose Valdivia Jr. was a smart one, as well.
RACE 8 – American Derby (G3)
A baker’s dozen of sophomores will vie in a well-matched field going 1 1/16 grassy miles. The Steve Asmussen-trained WAR FILM (#2) (12-1) might finally receive the swift and contested pace that aids his robust late kick. The son of the hot Declaration of War comes in fresh with good morning drills, and the colt out of the classy Film Maker lands in a field with a good measure of early speed. The three-year-old also gets a rider change to Miguel Mena.
RACE 6 – Modesty Handicap (G3)
Fillies and mares will compete on the lawn going 1 3/16 miles in a solid cast. Juddmonte homebred JULIET FOXTROT (#2) (3-1) is perfect from a pair of runs since coming to the United States and seems poised to make it three in a row on Saturday. Trained by Brad Cox, the bay was super impressive at Churchill Downs last time in a powerful allowance score when she relaxed early and flew home late. Her tactical speed should allow jockey Florent Geroux to get first run turning for home.
RACE 5 – Hatoof Stakes
Three-year-old fillies will vie in this 1 1/16-mile turf affair with nine going postward. Mike Maker’s BE NIMBLE (#3) (10-1) could be dangerous at a healthy price while making her stakes debut. The daughter of rising turf sire The Factor was a close fourth at Keeneland last time in a key race where multiple foes came back to win next out, including race winner Desert Ride, who bagged the Woodbine Oaks. Be Nimble could sit a perfect trip in the stretch with local leader Jose Valdivia Jr. inheriting the mount.
PHOTO: War Film (c) Coady Photography/Keeneland