With the calendar changing the page to August, things continue to heat up on the racetrack with a number of graded events this Saturday. Each of these events will also have an impact on the actual fields for the 14 stakes events that make up this year’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park on the first Friday and Saturday in November. The highlighted track in this week’s preview is Arlington Park outside Chicago.
Arlington Park’s Saturday Card
The week may be quiet, but Saturday’s card at Arlington more than makes up for the lull in horse betting action. The first big event is the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes with a total prize purse of $500,000.
The early field for this one-mile race on turf points to more than 12 three-year-old contenders according to the current lineup at Horse Racing Nation. The field could be led by trainer Todd Pletcher’s Bulletin with the highest HRN rating at 7.82. Pletcher might also run Clint Maroon in this race. Trainer Mike Maker is looking to stay hot with Faraway Kitten coming off a recent victory at Arlington in the Grade 3 American Derby on July 13.
The main event on Saturday’s card is the 2019 Arlington Million for three-year-old thoroughbreds and up. It will be contested on the turf track at a distance of 1 ¼ miles with 10 entries currently listed as possible at HRN.
The hot bet in this race could be Bricks and Mortar. Trained by Chad Brown, this five-year-old horse won the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park on June 8 covering the 1 ¼ miles on turf in 1:58.11.
Interestingly enough, Brown also has Robert Bruce listed as possible for this Saturday’s Arlington Million after finishing second in that same race. Going for the trifecta, Brown also trains Raging Bull, who was third in that early June event at Belmont. This four-year-old French-bred colt is also listed as possible for this race.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s Best Pal Stakes
The juvenile racing season is underway with some fresh two-year-old thoroughbreds trying to make an early name for themselves on the 2020 Kentucky Derby Trail. This Saturday’s card at Del Mar out on the West Coast features the Best Pal Stakes as a Grade 2 event with a total prize purse of $200,000. The race will be contested on the dirt track at Del Mar covering a shorter distance of six furlongs.
The field for the Best Pal is still taking shape. A few of the contenders listed as possible include trainer Doug O’Neill’s Fore Left. With an early HRN rating of 6.84, this two-year-old Kentucky-bred colt has already won a pair of races as a juvenile. After winning a 4 ½-furlong Maiden Special Weight race at Santa Anita on May 19, the son of Twirling Candy bested the field in the ungraded Tremont Stakes at Belmont over 5 ½ furlongs on dirt back in early June.
Saratoga Race Course’s Saturday Card
Saratoga’s biggest contribution to this Saturday’s horse betting action is the Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap with a total prize purse of $500,000. This turf race will be run over a distance of one mile at this upstate New York track. The race is open to thoroughbreds three-years and older.
Also on the card is the Grade 2 Saratoga Special for two-year-old thoroughbreds. The total prize purse is set at $200,000 for the 6 ½ furlongs on the dirt track at Saratoga.