It is likely the very last Arlington Million Day, and the marquee race has been renamed, but a solid card including three Grade 1 races make up Saturday’s card at Arlington Park.
Churchill Downs Inc. has plans on selling the property at Arlington Park, which means the end to one of the premier turf races in the U.S., the Arlington Million, which has been renamed the Mr. D. and the purse has been reduced to $600,000.
Trainer Chad Brown has won the last three editions of the race, which was not run in 2020. Brown saddled 2019 winner Bricks and Mortar as well as Robert Bruce in 2018 and Beach Patrol in 2017. Brown won the Million in 2013 with Real Solution.
Brown sends out the 6-5 morning line favorite Domestic Spending this year. The gelding has won six of his seven career starts, taking the Manhattan (G1) in his last outing at Belmont Park on June 5.
Domestic Spending Wins Manhattan
The $300,000 Bruce D. (G1) was previously called the Secretariat. A field of nine three-year-olds will line up to go one mile on turf. The Jack Sisterson trained Tango Tango Tango is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The colt won the prep, the American Derby over the Arlington Park turf on July 17.
The $400,000 Beverly D. (G1) is the first of the three Grade 1 races on the card and its name has not changed. A field of seven fillies and mares will go 1 3/16 miles led by the Graham Motion trained Mean Mary (9-5) and the Aiden O’Brien trained Santa Barbara (2-1).
Let’s head out to Arlington Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Arlington Park Race 7 The Beverly D. G1 4:49 CT
2 Mean Mary 9-5
6 Lemista 5-1
4 Santa Barbara 2-1
5 Naval Laughter 9-2
The Motion trainee set the early fractions and held on gamely while drifting outward late to prevail by a nose in the New York (G2) last out over yielding ground at Belmont Park. The effort was flattered when the runner up Thundering Nights came back to win the Pretty Polly Stakes (G1) at the Curragh on June 27. Our top pick has now won 7 of her 10 career starts on turf with two runner up finishes. She still lacks a G1 win, missing by a neck in the Diana (G1) last summer at Saratoga, but this sure looks like the right spot to get the job done. The lightly raced Naval Laughter could give her some pressure early but if not, she is going to be very tough to run down in this spot.
This filly made her U.S. debut two back in the Beaguay (G3) where she came with a good late rally to finish a solid second behind Harvey’s Lil Goil, beaten a half-length. She then went to the Diana but she did not fire, tiring to finish eighth at 7-2. She gets lasix added here and Brown ships her here and picks up Prat. Looking for her to bounce back with a much better effort. She won a Group 2 and 3 in Ireland last year. Brown won this race five years in a row from 2015 to 2019.
The filly is making her second start since coming to the U.S. for the O’Brien barn. Last out the filly was sent off as the 6-5 chalk in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) and did not disappoint. The daughter of Camelot stalked the early pace, got stuck behind and blocked behind foes from the quarterpole to inside the three-sixteenths, split rivals and finished full of run to get the win. The runner up Con Lima came back to win the Saratoga Oaks Invitational (G3) in her next outing on Aug. 8. She was beaten just a neck two back in the Pretty Polly behind Thundering Nights. Dating back five years here at Arlington Park O’Brien is 0 for 16 including 0 for 5 in this race with all 16 starters coming on Arlington Million Day. This gal has a ton of talent but looks as if she may turn up an underlay here.
WIN: Mean Mary to win at 9-5 or better.
EXACTA: 2 / 4,5,6 and 2,6 / 2,4,6