Turf tracks dominate this Saturday’s horse racing card for major graded stakes events at a number of different venues led by the 2016 Arlington Million at Arlington Park. This $1 million dollar stakes race is part of the “Win and You’re In” series for the Longines Turf in this fall’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park.
The field for Saturday's race is deep in talent with 13 entries expected to compete for an automatic qualifying spot in the Breeders' Cup Longines Turf. The morning line betting odds have been set and the following are my top three horses that line up perfectly for a trifecta play.
2016 Arlington Million- Arlington Park
The Arlington Million is a Grade 1 stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbreds and up with a total prize purse of $1 million. It will be contested on the turf track at Arlington over a distance of 1¼ miles.
The field is deep for this Saturday's Arlington Million and the horse at the top of my list as a 4/1 second favorite on sportsbooks on the morning line is World Approval. He is the highest ranked entry in the 13-horse field by Horse Racing Nation at No. 36 and his rating stands at 8.17. The main reason I like his chances to win this race is the momentum he brings into Saturday's main event with his recent victory in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 3 over a distance of 1 3/8 miles.
This Florida-bred four-year-old gelding is trained by Mark Casse with jockey Florent Geroux expected to get the ride. He has finished in the money in five events this year and going back over his entire racing career he has never finished lower than fourth in 15 races. World Approval has drawn the No. 11 post for Saturday's race.
I am going out on a limb a bit with my second choice in this race with Wake Forest at 6/1 odds on the morning line. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by jockey Flavien Prat, this six-year-old German-bred horse followed up a victory in the Grade 1 Man O'War Stakes at Belmont on May 14 with a third-place finish in last month's United Nations Stakes. This was the third race this season that he was able to finish in the money. He did fade to sixth in last year's Arlington Million, but this is a different horse this time around.
Wake Forest is well down the list in HRN's rankings at 367, but he does have one of the higher ratings in the field at 7.26. Going back to the 2014 horse racing season, he has ran in 10 events and has finished in the money seven times. He will break from the 10th post on Saturday.
The morning line favorite betting pick for Saturday's Arlington Million is Tryster at 7/2, but I am going to pencil him in as my third choice in a trifecta pick. My main concern with this five-year-old Irish gelding was his recent fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Prince of Wale's Stakes at Ascot Racecourse in Great Britain over a distance of 1 ¼ miles. This followed a third-place run in the Grade 1 Dubai Turf on March 26 which may signal a slight downward trend for a horse that had won eight of his previous nine races dating back to early January of last year.
Trained by Charlie Appleby with jockey William Buick getting the ride, Tryster is currently unranked by HRN with a 7.06 rating. He will be starting Saturday's race from the No. 12 post.