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Early Look at Arlington Million

Posted by on 8/12/2015 12:06:06 PM

Inaugurated in 1981, the Arlington Million was the first race in this country with a 7-figure purse and it will be renewed Saturday at a mile and a quarter on the grass for all of the fans of Chicago racing to enjoy.

The first Million was won by the late great John Henry and he is the only runner to have won the Million twice. Fittingly the legend Bill Shoemaker was on John Henry that day

Some true turf stars have won this race like Perrault, Estrapade, Manila, The Tin Man and in 2012 Little Mike came up big to win the Million off a slow pace.


Real Solution took this event in 2013 and last year Hardest Core was coming off a win and a 97 Beyer Speed Figure before breaking from the rail and coming from third to last to secure the victory with a 103 Beyer.

A total of 14 pre-entered for this year’s million but it was shortened when Gabriel Charles came down with colic. The rest are classy and dangerous.

Slumber and Big Blue Kitten could again it skills. They have bounced heads before and both are talented. In June Slumber won the duel in the Grade 1 Manhattan but Big Blue Kitten got revenge last time at Monmouth Park in the Grade 1 United Nations with a 102 Beyer.

Belgian Bill last ran in July at Goodwood in England and he finished 2nd of 18 runners in a $234,000 race. He has won 6 of his 43 starts, has earned over $500,000 and probably would need his very best to win this weekend.

Bookrunner would be shipping in from France. He last raced July 5 and was third beaten 2 lengths in a Group 3 event. He has won half of his 6 races but this could be his toughest test to date.

Irish interloper Elleval has lacked the killer instinct for the most part with only 3 wins from 33 starts and he is only one for 25 on grass. He will likely be overlooked.

Legendary found himself on the lead in the Manhattan but probably doesn’t want to be there. He is repeatedly proven at this distance and could respond with a more patient ride.

Quiet Force is in the good hands of Mike Maker and he adds some local flavor to this fixture. He ran here just over a month ago in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap and won like a professional drawing away late with a 100 Beyer. Six for 13 in his career, this reformed claimer is rolling right now and don’t forget, John Henry raced in claimers back in the day too.

Those that like many toppings will be hoping The Pizza Man delivers this weekend. He has a penchant for cooking at the right time winning 14 of 22 in his lifetime and he has earned $900,000. Unbeaten in 2 starts this year, he loves this Arlington grass course and he has enough speed to get first run on the deep closers.

When handicapping this race on race day, give an edge to runners that can make their own luck and put themselves within striking distance of the lead.

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