The Grade 1 Arlington Million drew the smallest field in its 32-year history, but a stellar field will head to the gate including last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Magician, who was installed as the 7-5 morning line favorite.
Trained by Aiden O’Brien, who won this race in 2011 with Capo Blanco and in 2005 with Powerscourt, will give a leg up to his son Joseph who will ride the strapping four-year-old son of Galileo.
The colt has only won one of his five starts since winning last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Turf taking the Group 3 High Chaparral Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh in Ireland. The colt then ran second in the Group 1 Tattersals Gold Cup and Prince of Wales Stakes, and in his last start was a disappointing sixth in the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
The second choice on the morning line is the defending champion Real Solution, who was actually beaten a head by The Apache, who was disqualified and placed second. The Chad Brown trainee won the Grade 1 Manhattan at Belmont Park on June 7 in his last start. Javier Castellano retains the mount.
The overseas invader Smoking Sun is the third choice on the morning line at 9-2. The five-year-old makes his first start since May 18 where he ran a good second in the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup.
Up With the Birds (6-1) invades from Canada where the Malcom Pierce trainee is coming off a win in the Grade 2 Nijinsky at Woodbine. The colt has won seven of his 12 career starts including the Grade 1 Jamaica last fall at Belmont Park.
Side Glance (8-1) was third in the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth Park in his last start and is seeking to improve off his third in the Arlington Million last year. Jamie Spencer is in to ride for trainer Andrew Balding.
Finnegan’s Wake (12-1) won the local prep for this race, the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap. The victory snapped a 13-race losing streak for the Dale Romans trainee.
Hardest Core will break from the rail and is 20-1 on the morning line. The gelding won the Cape Henelopen last out at Delaware Park for his third win in a row, but gets a serious class test as this is his first start against graded stakes company.
The Arlington Million is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Turf, which will be contested on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.
The race is the marquee event of the International Festival of Racing. Also on the card are the $400,000 American St. Leger, the Grade 1 $500,000 Secretariat and the Grade 1 $750,000 Beverly D.
The American St. Leger field from the rail out: More Tap, Dandino, Big Kick, Infinite Magic, Moment in Time, Hardest Core, Havana Beat, Admiral Kitten, Eye of The Storm, The Pizza Man and Suntracer.
The Secretariat field from the rail out: Global View, Highball, Belisarius, General Jack, Sheldson, Adelaide, Divine Oath, Can’thelpbelieving and Tourist
The Beverly D. field, from the rail out: Just the Judge, Euro Charline, Street of Gold, Emollient, Stephanie’s Kitten, Tannery, La Tia, I’m Already Sexy, Alterite, Sparkling Beam, and Somali Lemonade.
The Grade 1 Arlington Million Field and Morning Line Odds
1. Side Glance 20-1
2. Smoking Sun 9-2
3. Magician 7-5
4. Finnegan’s Wake 12-1
5. Up With the Birds 6-1
6. Real Solution 5-2
7. Side Glance 8-1
Michael’s Saratoga Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations. Mike has been handicapping the New York Racing circuit on a daily basis for nearly three decades. Get the remainder of the meeting for just $59.95!