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Arlington Million Betting – Optimizer Beats The Field To The Finish Line At Arlington Park

Posted by on 8/14/2013 9:45:15 PM

Sports betting players love races with big purses, and the Grade-1 Arlington Million is as big as it gets. With up to $600,000 at stake for the winner, many put this event, which takes just outside of Chicago, up there with the biggest non-Triple Crown or Breeders’ Cup races of the season. On Saturday, Optimizer will etch his name into history with a massive victory.

What: Horse Betting
When: Saturday, August 17th, post time TBA
Where: Arlington Park, Arlington Heights, IL
Pick: Optimizer

(All horses entered as of Tuesday, August 13th)

Finnegans Wake is the first of two Dale Romans-trained entries as Romans aims to join the list of multiple winners after success with Little Mike in 2012. His best finish in a graded-stakes event was a second in the Grade-1 Secretariat last August, but he hasn’t finished higher than third in five starts since then and that third came in an allowance race. He’ll have to find another gear to run with the leaders.

Grandeur has won six of his 13 career starts, and he ended 2012 on a high note with a second in the Grade-1 Hollywood Derby, followed with a win in the Grade-2 Hollywood Turf Cup. 2013 hasn’t been as kind to this four-year-old gelding with a fourth-place result in the Grade-2 Princess of Wales’ Stakes, but Grandeur did bounce back with a runner-up in the Grade-2 York Stakes. A solid performance in this race would go a long way in steering Grandeur towards the Breeders’ Cup Turf race in November.

Guest Of Honor finished third in his graded-stakes debut, the Grade-2 Summer Mile Stakes, and this will be a big test for this four-year-old colt, which had three wins and three second-place finishes in his previous six starts. If he wins this race, horse betting players will have no other choice than to put Guest Of Honor on their radar.

Hunter’s Light has plenty of big-race experience with 20 starts under his saddle, and 14 of those have been graded-stakes races. This Irish thoroughbred has won two Grade-1 stakes races in the past, but foreign horses are a major gamble when they enter the United States, so his chances are up in the air. However, trainer Saeed bin Suroor has conquered the Arlington Million in the past, with Sulamani in 2003 (Storming Home actually won that race, but was dropped to fourth). 

Indy Point has never finished lower than third in 13 starts, winning six times, and he is seems to making a nice transition to turf. Three of his last four starts have come on turf after racing on dirt and he has two wins and a second as Indy Point won the Grade-1 Gran Premio Jockey Club in his home country of Argentina. In his U.S. debut, this four-year-old colt won the non-graded Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar last month. 

Little Mike is the defending champ at the Arlington Million, but horse betting sharps might be down on him after an awful 2013 by his standards. This six-year-old gelding was brilliant last year, posting a victory at the Breeders’ Cup Turf after winning the Arlington Million, but he hasn’t finished higher than fourth in three starts, all Grade-1 races. Has the magic run out for Little Mike? We’ll see on Saturday in Illinois.

Another Irish entrant, Mull Of Killough, steps up to the plate after finishing second in the Summer Mile Stakes ahead of Guest Of Honor. He also won the Grade-3 Earl of Sefton Stakes in April, but this is his first race in North America and the competition will be much higher, so we’ll see what he is made of; at seven years old, does Mull Of Killough have the legs to run up front?

Nates Mineshaft is an interesting horse betting option with seven wins in 13 starts, but even though three have come in graded-stakes events, all three were in handicap races and flat races are obviously a different animal. He did manage to win an allowance race in his last start, but the Arlington Million will be a step up for this six-year-old.

Optimizer is sort of in the same boat as his last two wins have come in handicap races (the Grade-3 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap in January and the Grade-3 Fair Grounds Handicap in February). He posted a second in the Grade-1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in May, but then fell to fifth in the Grade-1 Man O’ War Stakes in July. Which Optimizer will show up on Saturday?

Rahystrada is coming off a victory in the Grade-3 Arlington Handicap last month, his second straight win in that event (and third in four years), but he has also won flat races in the past, notably the Grade-3- Kentucky Cup Turf in September 2011. This nine-year-old gelding has three previous appearances in the Arlington Million, posting a fourth in 2010, a fifth in 2011 and a third last year, and this is probably his last chance in this race.

How It Will Play Out

Optimizer gives D. Wayne Lukas his second Arlington Million to go with his victory in 1997, and rolls to the online betting victory.

Arlington Million Betting: Optimizer

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