2017 Arlington Million Picks
Arlington Million Preview and Odds
In addition to the large purse up for grabs, the Arlington Million is also a qualifier for the 2017 Breeders’ Cup, with the winner gaining an automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Turf race in November at Del Mar Race Track.
Given that, the race almost looks like a Breeders’ Cup event itself, with a full field of 13 expected to go to the gate. Leading the pack is the Irish-bred Deauville (7-2 in the morning line) trained by Aiden O’Brien and ridden by star European jockey Ryan Moore. The third-place finisher in this race last year, Deauville has been battling some of the top turf colts in Europe since then, and has been in the top three in five consecutive races, all at the Group level.
Checking in just behind that one, UK-bred Mekhtaal (9-2) will be making his US debut and breaking from the outside gate under jockey “Flying” Frankie Detorri. He’s another that has been facing some of the best across the pond, and two back captured a Group 1 event in France, although he could do no better than sixth his last race out in Ascot.
American Longshots in With a Chance
In a race that seems to call out for a longshot play, there are several US-based runners to consider at longer odds. Among them is the Graham Motion trained Ascend (10-1) who made his first attempt at the graded-stakes level a winning one when he beat a very good field two starts back in the (G1) Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park. He next finished fourth in the (G2) Bowling Green Stakes at Saratoga, running a slightly shorter distance on the tight Saratoga inner turf course. Both the longer distance and the wider turns in the Million should be a benefit, and if he can run back to his Belmont form, he rates consideration particularly in exotic bets.
Also from Team America comes Kentucky-bred Divisidero (5-1) for trainer William Bradley. A well-bred son of Kitten’s Joy, he has a pair of Grade 1 wins on his resume, although both of those came in the same race, the 2016 and 2017 Turf Classic Stakes at Churchill.
Another making his North American debut, and getting first-time lasix, is the contrarily named Irish-bred Scottish (8-1) who finished first or second in five of his last seven races. He closed out the 2016 season with an excellent runner-up finish in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup, one of the major races in Australia, and made his only start so far in 2017 in the Group 1 Prince of Wales Stakes at Ascot, a race that he led late and then ultimately finished a close-up fifth behind multiple Group 1 winner Highland Reel. (Ed. note: Scottish was withdrawn from the race on Friday)
Deserving of a long look in the exotics is Argentine-bred Kasaqui (10-1) who was second in this race last year, has a win over the track in the 2016 Arlington Handicap, and two starts back won the (G2) Wise Dan at Churchill. He had a rough trip last race trying to defend his Arlington Handicap title, but still managed to get up for third, beaten less than a length.
The Arlington Million goes Saturday, August 12 from Arlington International Race Course in Arlington, Illinois. Post time is 6:19 PM Central. It’s race 12 of a solid 13-race card at Arlington, and you can bet the full day’s action online with an account at one of our recommended internet racebooks.
Entries w/ ML Odds
- Oak Brook (30-1)
- Oscar Nominated (15-1)
- Enterprising (30-1)
- Ghost Hunter (30-1)
- Deauville (7-2)
- Fanciful Angel (30-1)
- The Pizza Man (12-1)
- Kasaqui (10-1)
- Scottish (8-1)
- Beach Patrol (5-1)
- Divisidero (5-1)
- Ascend (10-1)
- Mekhtaal (9-2)
- #1 – Scottish
- #2 – Deauville
- #3 – Mekhtaal
- #4 – Kasaqui
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