Arlington Park: Rivelli saddles a pair of formidable favorites

July 31st, 2020

The Arlington Park summer meet continues Friday and Saturday, with a pair of eight-race cards getting underway at 3:05 p.m. ET each day.

The openers have attracted small fields, but this could provide an opportunity to cash on deserving favorites and boost our bankrolls.

If this strategy sounds appealing, let’s tackle the Friday and Saturday kickoff races with a couple spot plays.

Friday, July 31

Race 1: $10,000 claiming

As usual, trainer Larry Rivelli is off to a hot start at Arlington. He has gone 7-for-23 (30%) to kick off the meet. Rivelli can keep his momentum going with the lightly raced #4 Vincent William (9-5), a 3-year-old poised for victory in this 5 1/2-furlong Polytrack sprint.

Vincent William broke his maiden over this course last summer, when he wired a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight by 4 3/4 lengths, over next-out winner Peruvian Boy, who later placed twice against stakes competition. That impressive debut earned Vincent William an 89 Brisnet Speed rating, the highest figure in Friday’s field.

Vincent William struggled when he faced stakes company last season, but the gray speedster has shown improvement since he dropped into the claiming ranks. Last time out, he wired a $12,500 claiming event over the main track at Gulfstream Park, where he cruised by 2 1/2 lengths, and a return to Arlington could make him even more dangerous with hot jockey Jareth Loveberry (7-for-28 at Arlington) in the saddle.

#3 Insane Lifestyle, victorious for a $20,000 tag at Arlington in September, can round out the exacta.

$20 to win on #4 Vincent William
$5 exacta: 4 with 3
Total: $25

Saturday, Aug. 1

Race 1: $5,000 claiming

Rivelli and Loveberry will team up again in the Saturday opener with #3 Unscathed (8-5), who boasts an 8-for-13 record over the Arlington Polytrack and a 4-for-9 record at Saturday’s 6-furlong distance.

Unscathed posted an impressive win over this course and distance in September, when he led all the way to dominate a optional-claiming starter allowance by 2 1/4 lengths, with an 86 Brisnet Speed rating.

Claimed out of that race by trainer Steve Manley, Unscathed lost three subsequent races over the Hawthorne dirt and Turfway Park Polytrack. But he didn’t fare badly in his most recent effort, when he finished second in a $5,000 claiming sprint Dec. 31, and Rivelli elected to claim Unscathed back.

Unscathed has been freshened, and considering Rivelli strikes at a 36% rate with horses returning from layoffs, this 7-year-old gelding figures to be ready for a sharp effort in his first run of the season.

A return to his favorite course can send Unscathed right back to the winner’s circle, with #2 Talking Zip (5-2) and #4 Nyoman (3-1) rounding out the exacta and trifecta.

$30 to win on #3 Unscathed
$5 exacta: 3 with 2,4 ($10)
$5 trifecta: 3 with 2,4 with 2,4 ($10)
Total: $50

Good luck!