All American Day at Arlington with Pick 4

Arlington Stake Races for Saturday

Arlington Pick 4This Saturday July 13th at Arlington Park we have 4 graded stakes races on tap with a fifty cent pick 4 opportunity with a guaranteed  pool of $100,000! The Pick 4 will cover races 7-10 and will include the Stars and Stripes, Modesty, American Derby and Arlington Handicap. With this kind of cash on the line, you know HandicapHorseRacing has to get in on this, so here are our selections for Saturday at Arlington.

Stars and Stripes Stakes

Dark CoveThe Grade 3 $150,000 Stars and Stripes will highlight 3 year olds and up going 1 ½ mike on the turf. The morning line even money favorite is Dark Cove. We last saw Dark Cove in the Louisville Handicap at Churchill where the 6 year old won by ½ length. Rosie Napravnik will be on board for the Stars and Stripes and it would be a crime to leave this horse off of the list for the Pick 4. This horse is definitely the best horse for the course, but because I really hate pointing out the obvious favorite and I like my Pick 4’s to pay well, let’s take a look at some other options. The Pizza Man should be a close contender, but I’m just not convinced that the 4 year old gelding can get it done. If I’m going to play for odds, I have to consider Live in Joy. This 5 year old son of Kitten’s Joy has been working his way to this race and his times are very compatible with Dark Cove. Sitting pretty at 15 to 1 morning line odds, I’m throwing him into the mix with a nervous smile and a prayer and hope he proves me right!

The Modesty Handicap

La TiaThe Grade 3 $200,000 Modesty Handicap is race 8 at Arlington for Saturday and the second race in our Pick 4. Set at 1 3/16 of a mile on the turf, the Modesty hosts a field of 8 fillies and mares. Colonial Flag will be the favorite in this one, but her last race concerns me a bit. Although she ran 3rd, she lacked a late response. In the Modesty, I’m going to take a leap of faith and pass on her. Instead, I believe there are 2 horses in this race that will be overlooked. The first is Dame Marie who will have Rosie at the helm. She has put up some very competitive times that are on par with Colonial Flag. In the same vein is Embarr who will have Kent Desormeaux on board.  Desormeaux is having a decent run at Arlington and is well versed here. Embarr is showing some good works and could be a threat to Colonial Flag as well. To hedge my bets a bit, I’m throwing in La Tia. La Tia seems to be the only front runner in the race and if she’s left out on the lead and can control the pace like I know she can, she’ll take this one in for the money.

The American Derby

General ElectionThe grade 3 $200,000 American Derby is the 9th race for the day and will feature 3 year olds to go 1 3/16 on the turf.  This 11 horse field will be a tough one to call, especially with the likes of General Election, Admiral Kitten and Dorsett making a three way charge to the finish. All 3 of these horses like to make the late run so a lot will depend on how the front end is raced. Stormy Len has an excellent shot in this race if he can control the pace. Unfortunately, I think that a few of these horses will challenge him for that early lead and burn him out. Should Stormy Len be unable to hold that lead, I look for Infinite Magic to creep in there at the end.  His last 2 outings were rough, but he is fully capable of handling the competitors here and if he’s feeling his oats… we might witness a little of his magic ourselves. To hedge the bet on this one I would also throw in Admiral Kitten who won’t pay much, but I believe will be a strong contender in the American Derby.

The Arlington Handicap

NajjaarThe last race in our run at the Arlington Pick 4 is the $200,000 grade 3 Arlington Handicap. This field of 8 three year olds and up will trample it out over 1 ¼ miles on the turf. All eyes will be on Rahystrada, last year’s Arlington Handicap winner. Ridden by Rosie Napravnik, this 9 year old gelding will return to this race after a 4th place finish in the Monmouth.  His times look great and he should be ready to take this one home again. Many will also be looking at Dullahan, but we really haven’t seen much out of the 4 year old since August of last year. Then again, he has seen much stiffer competition than the rest of the field, so he may be dropping back down to the right level. For my underdog play, I’m going with Najjaar. He’s definitely capable of showing us something Saturday in this field. His works are solid and I believe he is showing us lately that he is meant to be run on the turf. This Saturday at Arlington, he just may prove it.

I will be making a few plays on this Pick 4, rotating these selections. Good luck to you all!

Race 7-Dark Cove, Live in Joy

Race 8-La Tia, Embarr, Dame Marie

Race 9-Admiral Kitten,Infinite Magic, Stormy Len

Race 10-Najjaar, Rahystrada, Dullahan




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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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