Arlington’s All Stakes Mid-Pick 4

2014 Arlington Handicap

Mister Marti GrasOn Saturday we have the All Stakes Mid-Pick 4 at Arlington that will cover the 4 graded stakes events for this card. The first race in this 50 cent pick 4 event is the Arlington Handicap in race 7. The Grade 3 $200,000 Arlington Handicap will feature a field of 6 three year olds and up traveling 1 ¼ mile over the turf. The morning line favorite at 2/1 is War Dancer. War Dancer is coming out of a win in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap at Churchill where he won by a head. Prior to that race, the last race War Dancer won was the Grade 2 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs this time last year. That race was also 1 ¼ mile on the turf. Next in the morning line is Admiral Kitten at 3 to 1. Admiral Kitten has not fared so well in his last three outings, but each one of those races were Grade 2 or better and he will be much better suited with this field. In all honesty, if none of these entries go after him for the early lead, War Dancer might run away with this one. I think that Avanzare will press him, though and will give a late runner the opportunity to win this one. For value, I’m going with Mister Marti Gras at 5 to 1 on the ML. his most recent works are sharp and I feel he is ready to nab a graded win here. He is also entered into the Stars and Stripes, but I feel he will pass on this race as the distance is a bit more than he likes. Should he scratch here, I’ll be going with War Dancer.

2014 Stars & Stripes

The Pizza ManThe $150,000 Grade 3 Stars and Stripes is the 8th race on the card for Saturday and will showcase a field of 10 three year olds and up traveling 1 ½ mile over the turf. 3 to 1 on the ML is Suntracer. Suntracer was a close second behind War Dancer in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap at Churchill in his last outing. In last year’s Stars and Stripes, he ran 2nd and looks to redeem himself here. Julien Leparoux was in the irons for that race and returns as Suntracer’s mount here. Following him in the morning line is The Pizza Man at 7/2. The Pizza Man was a close third in last year’s Stars and Stripes and much like Suntracer, he looks to redeem himself here. Unlike last year’s effort, I look for him to either try and take the early lead or stalk the pace here. As stated earlier, Mister Marti Gras is entered in this race as well as the Arlington Handicap. Should he decide to run in this race, I give him the nod for value again, despite the extra distance. I don’t think he’ll be in this one, though, so for value I am going with The Pizza Man. For a long shot play, I am considering Olympic Thunder at 6 to 1. He ran a very close second in last year’s Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup and I look for a similar effort in this race at the same distance.

2014 American Derby

Divine OathThe $200,000 Grade 3 American Derby is the 9th race and will feature a field of 10 three year olds traveling 1 3/16 mile on the turf. The 3 to 1 morning line favorite is Schoolofhardrocks. Schoolofhardrocks has proven himself as of late on the grass and looks ready going into this event. After taking a few beatings from California Chrome earlier in the year, Chrome’s jockey, Victor Espinoza will be along for the ride on Schoolofhardrocks here. He should go for the early lead here and control the pace of this race. I’m not certain, but the European invader, Our Channel may contest him for it. If I am reading his comments correctly, he likes to be on the lead and at this distance, that may be an issue for him and Schoolofhardrocks. For value, I’m going to go with Divine Oath at 7/2 on the ML. He made a nice 2nd place finish in the Grade 3 Lexington at Keeneland and although it was not on turf, it showed he belonged in graded company. He has a few turf wins under his belt and I believe he will put on a show Saturday. For a longshot, I’m looking at Giacallure at 15 to 1 on the morning line. He’s made strides in improving over the turf and looks ready to shine in the American Derby.

2014 Modesty Handicap

I'm Already SexyThe $200,000 Grade 3 Modesty Handicap is the 10th race. It will showcase a field of 14 fillies and mares 3 years old and upward going 1 3/16 miles over the turf. The 7/2 morning line favorite is Tabreed. Tabreed will make her 2014 debut in the Modesty. Her last outing was in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct back in November where she ran an impressive second. I’m not thrilled about the layoff, but Christophe Clement has put up some good horses this year so I have to consider Tabreed as a valid threat. For value, I have to stick with I’m Already Sexy at 8 to 1 on the ML. She ran a very close second in the Grade 3 Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill in her last outing and I feel she will improve here. She already has a graded win under her belt with the Grade 3 Pucker Up at Arlington back in September, which is a plus and she’ll be receiving first time Lasix. For a longshot, I am considering Kepi at 10 to 1 on the ML. Good luck everybody!




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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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