The Arlington Million is one of the premier turf races in America. Not only does it provide a massive $1 million purse, but it is so prestigious that it attracts entrants from across the pond almost every year. The winner receives an automatic entry to the Breeders Cup Turf. Notable victors include John Henry (twice), Manila and Star of Cozzene. 2009 winner Gio Ponti is back this year to try and become the second horse to win the Arlington Million more than once.
Rahystrada (Rahy x Ministrada by Deputy Minister) Love this old gelding. He rallied well to win the Colonial Turf Cup over Smart Bid last out. He loves the distance, but he may be in just a bit too deep this time.
Tajaaweed (Dynaformer x Uforia by Zeal) Shadwell Stable owned horse has 2 wins from 5 starts at Arlington and was last seen taking the Arlington Handicap as the favorite over Mister Mardi Gras. This is a good track and distance for him, but in the end it looks like he is in line for a minor award at best.
Dean’s Kitten (Kitten’s Joy x Summer Theatre by Ide) Winner of last year’s Lanes End Stakes at Turfway Park found the winners circle for the first time since that score two back at Lone Star in the Dallas Turf Cup. This distance seems to be beyond his best, but he is working well and has top connections in his corner. Puncher’s chance for that reason.
Zack Hall (Muhtathir x Halawa by Dancing Brave) Regally bred colt is a winner of 3 races from 7 starts. He most recently finished fourth in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud earning a 116 RPR and before that finished a good second in the Prix d’Hedouville. Trainer Mikel Delzangles is opting to throw lasix on and jockey Christopher Soumilllon is making the trip to ride. Don’t count Zack Hall out.
Gio Ponti (Tale of the Cat x Chipeta Springs by Alydar) Hasn’t won in his last five races and last saw the winners circle in the Shadwell Turf Mile. He is producing good second and third place finishes, but can’t seem to get over the hump. He has shown that he loves Arlington Park with a win and second place finish in this race. If the track comes up firm then trainer Christophe Clement will likely breath a sigh of relief. The old timer has two very sharp works since his last race where he was second in the Man O’ War and it looks like he is ready to run a big race.
Proceed Bee (Bernstein x Procession by Private Terms) I hate to say a horse doesn’t have a chance, but this gelding would be a real shocker. He just isn’t good enough.
Cape Blanco (Galileo x Laurel Delight by Presidium) We loved this colt last out in the Man O’ War where he won for fun and paid $8 and change. He wasn’t a hard pick that day as the price was very generous and he simply outclassed the field. Much hasn’t changed since then. The colt is simply too good for most of his American counterparts to compete with him. Jimmy Spencer is making the trip to ride again for Aidan O’Brien.
Mission Approved (With Approval x Fortunate Find by Fortunate Prospect) Front running horse waltzed his way to a win in the Manhattan two back before fading to fourth in the Man O’ War last out. The Naipaul Chatterpaul owned and trained horse is working like a freak of nature since then with a :57 3/5 B move over the Saratoga turf training track on July 31. He wont just fold his tent when someone comes up to him and very well could wave goodbye as they turn for home.
Wigmore Hall (High Chaparral x Love And Laughter by Theatrical) Since finishing second to Paddy O’ Prado in last year’s Secretariat Stakes this gelding has won the Group 2 Jebel Hatta in the UAE and finished third in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free. His last two races where he faced top competition don’t inspire confidence, but this could be a class drop for him. I’m not wild about Wigmore Hall and I can’t quite put my finger on why. I won’t be using him on my exotic tickets.
General Perfect (Perfect x General Tree by General Assembly) Remember when I said Proceed Bee likely has no chance? Well this gelding really has no chance.
My top selection to win the 2011 Arlington Million is Mission Approved. He isn’t far behind the top two in this race (Cape Blanco and Gio Ponti) in terms of talent and it looks like he is moving forward based on a strong work pattern. Let’s hope he can score an easy lead and get to the finish line first at a decent price.
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