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Arlington Million Possibilities

Posted by on 8/11/2014 9:27:52 PM

It was 32 years ago that the first Arlington Million was staged and it set the tone for greatest. The race will be renewed on Saturday at Arlington Park and we’ll take a glance at the short field that was pre-entered.

Go back to the future and the late great John Henry won the first Arlington Million in 1981. John Henry was an once-in-a-lifetime horse.

The adage ‘refuse to lose’ embodied his skill and heart. He just didn’t want horses to beat him. In his career he won 39 of 83 starts and earned over $6.5 million. John Henry won the Arlington Million again in 1984 and was a 2-time Horse of the Year.

This year, just 7 pre-entered the Million and if all start it will equal the smallest Million field in history.

Magician will be trying to pull another rabbit out of his hat. He won the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year and will be trying to follow in the footsteps of Manila, who did the same thing in 1987 and then captured the Million.

Real Solution will be trying to prove he can win this race on his own. Last year he was placed first by the stewards via the disqualification of The Apache. He is coming to this race sharp as he won the Manhattan in June.

Hardest Core will be tackling Graded foes for the first time. He can run all day and recently cashed at Delaware.

Finnegan’s Wake cashed last month in the Arlington Handicap.

Side Glance and Smoking Sun ship from across the pond to test the waters in the Windy City. Side Glance tried this race last year but finished third and is coming off the same finish in a stakes at Monmouth Park.

Smoking Sun is a Group 2 winner and most recently was 2nd in Singapore.

Up With the Birds carries the hope of Canada. He is coming off a clever win in the Nijinsky.

These are the 7 that may meet in the mile and a quarter turf race, now let’s see has the Arlington grass course been playing of late.

Last Friday, the first turf race was an about 5-furlong sprint and the winner She’s Lit Up took them flagfall to that’s all. Claimers routed next on turf at Arlington and the winner Penelope Perfect sat 4th early about 10 lengths off the pace before nailing the speed by a half-length at 7-1.

Entry-level allowance runners were next on grass and the winner Cabana got an ideal 2-hole trip before cashing as the chalk. And in the nightcap Thursday, a similar 2-hole style proved successful.

Last Saturday the third race was the first turf test and the second choice Helen Kathleen was 5 lengths off the lead early before prevailing. Three races later Sparkling Review got the garden 3-hole trip to win drawing away at the end going a mile on grass.

Cheap claimers lined up a mile in the 9th race last Saturday and Mr. Mischief lulled them to sleep on the lead to go wire-to-wire as the 3rd betting choice.

Sprinters vied on grass in the last race on Saturday and again speed was king as Happy Hour Honey went :46 and change early and was coming away from her foes late.

Those results are just a gauge, the winner of this year’s Arlington Million will depend on the pace of the race and how fast they go early.

Stay tuned for the picks later this week.

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