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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – It’s time for one last major event over the ill-fated Arlington Park oval. While it may no longer be called the Arlington Million anymore, this year’s $600,000 Mister D. Stakes (G1) attracted the top turf horse in the country, just like it did in years past under its previous name.
With the closure of the track imminent, hopefully we can all enjoy one last ride this Saturday at the historic venue.
The best turf horse in America is Domestic Spending from the Chad Brown barn. Right after his triumph in the Manhattan Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, Brown said he’d point for this race next, stating it had been the plan all along. Brown usually dominates these races and is set up to do so once again this year. Domestic Spending drew post 3 for his latest challenge and will have Flavien Prat aboard for the third straight start.
International shipper Armory poses the biggest threat to the favorite, coming to the United States for powerful European trainer Aidan O’Brien. The 4-year-old colt has raced 3 times this season, winning once in the Melodi Media Huxley Stakes (G2) at Chester. He drew post 9 as he looks to upset the heavy favorite with Ryan Moore, who also came over from Europe for the race.
One local horse of interest is Bizzee Channel, who last time out took the Arlington Stakes (G3), the local prep for this event. Trainer Larry Rivelli has dominated here for years, so it’s fitting that he has the best local hope to win the biggest race of the meet. Jareth Loveberry will have the mount again when the colt breaks from post 8.
The full field from the rail out: Strong Tide, Glynn County, Domestic Spending, Two Emmys, Zulu Alpha, Another Mystery, Space Traveller, Bizzee Channel, Armory, and Big Dreaming.
Domestic Spending Dominates Manhattan
#3 Domestic Spending – It would be shocking and extremely disappointing to see the most dominant turf horse in North America lose what seems to be a pretty soft spot. The other American runners leave a lot to be desired, and while he’s talented, this is not one of the top-notch overseas horses. Domestic Spending just looks to be too good for this field.
#9 Armory – This seems to be the only horse in the field who has a shot to upset the favorite. Armory has been consistent all year long in tougher races overseas, so if he shows up here with his normal effort, then Domestic Spending will have to run a solid race to beat him. O’Brien is always good in these spots, so if you’re looking for an alternative to the favorite, this horse makes sense.
Beverly D. Preview: Solid Field Takes Aim at Grade 1 Glory
#8 Bizzee Channel – He comes into this race hot, winning 2 in a row including the Arlington last time. Rivelli is having another great meet here as well, but we’ll need to see another step up for him to beat our top choice. It looks likes like he could be more of an on-the-board type.
#4 Two Emmys – This consistent runner has hit the board in 10 of 15 lifetime starts, including 3 straight second-place finishes. Last time out, he was a solid second in the Arlington.
#7 Space Traveller – The “other” European shipper lacks a solid resume compared to Armory, and while he has experience in this country, it was a lackluster eighth in the 2019 TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). This is an easier spot, so he may finish better, but hitting the board is likely his ceiling.
#5 Zulu Alpha – If this was last year’s version, then you’d think this horse had a big chance, but we haven’t seen his best race in over a year. He won the 2020 Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), as well as a pair of Grade 2 events, but he looked rough in the Arlington last time out, finishing fifth. If he can find his old form, then he’ll have a chance, but he’s going to be hard to trust until we see him do it.
Zulu Alpha zooms away in Pegasus World Cup Turf
#6 Another Mystery – It seems like he’s a bit overmatched in this spot, but out of all the throw outs, he’s the one most likely to jump up and makes an impact. His last race wasn’t horrible, finishing third in the Arlington.
#2 Glynn County – This runner has been solid in the allowance ranks, but his 2 tries against graded stakes company didn’t go all that well. This is an easier spot for him after you get past the top two, but he still needs to improve to have a shot to hit the board.
#1 Strong Tide – He’s had some solid moments this year, but his last three races have been struggle, which isn’t a good sign heading into this event. Him making an impact here would be a big surprise.
#10 Big Dreaming – This is a big jump up in class for him; however, he does com into the race off of a victory last time out at Ellis Park. You might as well take a shot here, but he seems to be up against it, so he’ll need some luck to have a chance to hit the board.
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