Sunday marks the end of the racing week at Arlington. The races were off turf Friday and Saturday, and more rain fell last night. Therefore, racing has come off the turf again Sunday. Despite that, only two scratches have been reported for the entire card. All of my selections an analysis take into account the scratches, and the moves of the races onto the polytrack.
Without further ado, let’s go to the races!
Race 1: $16,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, N2L, one mile on the polytrack
Selections: Disorderly Conduct (3), Noble Leader (5), Squidalem (6)
Disorderly Conduct won last out, in his nineteenth start. That was his first try at a route distance. He cuts back to the one-turn mile here, but this is still a bit longer race than any of his other previous attempts, and the light may be on. Edgar Perez gets back in the irons; expect him to send. He should get the early lead, but even if not, he has shown some ability to rally off the pace as well. Noble Leader finished second at this level last out, and gets E. T. Baird back in the irons. That last start was his first try on poly, suggesting he may like it. He has hit the board in three of five starts at this distance, as well. Squidalem has hit the board in three of five starts at a mile, including his maiden win. Last out he finished a disappointing sixth against similar, but he cuts back to the mile here, and has plenty of back speed that would stack up favourably here.
Race 2: $7,500 claiming, three-year-olds and up, N2L, six and a half furlongs on the polytrack
Selections: Just for Papa (5), Unbridled Mett (2), Bellodini (6 – undersides)
Just for Papa faltered last out, but it was going a route against tougher. Here he cuts back to a sprint, and drops in class. He has hit the board in both career polytrack sprint starts, and his single career win came at this six and a half furlong distance. Unbridled Mett finished a close second behind longshot Josh last out at this level. He stands to be the speed of the speed here, though he could get a challenge from Escarto. Both Unbridled Mett and Escarto have shown an ability to run well on contested paces, but Unbridled Mett’s better synthetic record gives him the nod between those two. Bellodini should be stalking not too far from that pair. He has a win at the distance, and has hit the board in two of his three polytrack starts. A win may be a bit too much to ask, but he finishes in the fray enough to make him a logical exotic key underneath.
As for Double Crossing (7), take a close look at him in the paddock or post parade if you can. His better races fit here on paper, but last out he looked a bit off when he was walking. I went elsewhere, but if you like him, keep a close eye on his physical appearance.
Race 3: $16,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, three years old OR N3L, races where entered for $12,500 or less not considered for eligibility, one and one sixteenth miles over the polytrack (originally carded for turf)
Selections: Alittlebitofcandy (5), No Flowers (2), Zes T Cat (1)
This race has nothing in the way of early pace. Alittlebitofcandy had been a closer in most of her races, but she won two starts back from right on the pace. Rosemary Homeister, Jr. rode her that day, and she returns here. She should be able to take advantage of that versatility. Alittlebitofcandy is also the condition book pick here — everyone else in the field is straight N3L, but she has an extra win that falls under the claiming price threshold for eligibility. No Flowers has the best speed figures of the group, and drops to her lowest class level yet. She is third off the lay for trainer Wayne Catalano, 20% in that circumstance. She has hit the board in three of four starts on synthetic, though all of those have been thirds. She will be in the mix, but is hard to slot on top only because she so often finds ways to finish underneath. Going two deep in this leg would make sense for exotics, but Zes T Cat defaults into the best of the rest. She can run decently from a stalking spot, something none of the rest of the field can say, and has won at similar distances on dirt and grass. She has hit the board once on poly, in three tries.
Race 4: $12,500-$10,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, five and a half furlongs on the polytrack
Selections: Roarin Missile (3), Azeg (1), Saturdayatbernies (2)
The 6/1 morning line would be a dream come true on Roarin Missile, who drops into here from the allowance ranks. His early speed is sharp, but he can run a good race from just off as well. He also has a sharp 5-3-1-0 record at the five and a half furlong distance, and five wins over the Arlington polytrack. Roarin Missile loves the distance and the surface, and even 4/1 would be enough to bet that he will wake up against the softest company he has faced in over a year. Azeg is another class-dropper. He has hit the board in three of four attempts at this distance, including a win, and also has a win over polytrack. Pacewise, he has versatility; he has run well from everywhere but the clouds. Though rider Nicholas Meza does not win a lot of races, he did get Azeg home third against tougher two starts back. Saturdayatbernies steps up from a third-place finish against weaker last out, but two back he won at this level going six furlongs. A stalking to midpack type, he will benefit if Roarin Missile gets in a speed battle with Legend Forever, Evenanangelcanrun, or Hothalfone. He gets a rider change to Florent Geroux, and his speeds are in range. Finally, he races on his best surface; out of seven career wins, five have come in just eleven starts on polytrack.
Race 5: $50,000-$40,000 maiden claiming, three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, one mile on the polytrack (originally carded for turf)
Selections: Baltic Star (5), Silent Ronin (4), Lady Geri (1)
Baltic Star improved on the stretch out to a mile last out, and returns to that trip today. She steps up in class from $25,000 to $50,000 types, but another step up should put her in range with this group. That last race was also her first on a synthetic surface; her performance suggested she could handle it well. She could even go off at longer than her 8/1 morning line, which more than justifies sticking with her on the class rise. Silent Ronin is the only one in the field who is on The Drop from maiden special to maiden claiming. She showed improvement on her first start at a route distance, last out at Aqueduct. She does have a series of five-furlong works over the Arlington poly; though they are not exceedingly fast, they do suggest she has had some time to get used to the track. She tries poly for the first time here, and top-flight rider Florent Geroux is in the irons. Lady Geri is an interesting paddock play. This first-timer will be the longest shot on the board by far. However, her full brother Lucas Jordan won first out last year, at age four, suggesting there could be some “win early” lurking in her pedigree. She does have a lot of works, though it has been a while since her last. Whether she is worth playing is fully dependent on how she looks in the paddock: if she looks calm, collected, and like she will enjoy a mile, she is worth a flyer. If she looks off or not quite fit yet, pass for greener pastures.
Race 6: $7,500 claiming, three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, one and one sixteenth miles on the polytrack
Selections: Jazzy Jan (4), Yes Or No (2), Melody by Mancini (7 – undersides)
Jazzy Jan comes into this race on a class drop from $16,000 N2L company. She has done her best work on the front end, and she is the only credible speed in the field. (Francis Leal did win her only race on the lead, but will not likely outgun Jazzy Jan early.) Mitchell Murrill returns to the irons after last out, as well, and has been riding well. He deserves another shot with her at a more reasonable level. Yes Or No has shown the best of anyone in this field, and broke her maiden in her only attempt over the Arlington polytrack. She has not raced since October of last year, but trainer Pavel Vashchenko does well off of those long lays: 24% off of layoffs of 180 days or more. The worktab is oddly short, just two since her last race, but the trainer’s lay record suggests he knows what he is doing. I would suggest just going two deep in multi-race wagers, with those two. Melody by Mancini was second against similar last out at this same distance. She has tried this distance ten times on the main, and hit the board five times, including her one career win. She may be a little far off the pace to win, but is logical to include underneath.
Race 7: $15,000 maiden claiming, three-year-olds and up, six furlongs on the polytrack
Selections: Out of the Woods (9), Rebel Rebel (5), Buddons (6)
For my detailed analysis of this race, read the latest Chicago Railbird.
Race 8: $16,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, three years old OR N3L, races where entered for $12,500 or less not considered for eligibility), five furlongs on the polytrack (originally carded for turf)
Selections: Anna’s Alibi (2), Three Cat Rules (7), Sheza Salty Vet (9)
Anna’s Alibi is the class of this field, and squarely the one to beat. She drops in from $25,000 beaten company last out, but was competitive in the state-bred allowance ranks last fall. She also comes in here second off the winter lay, and should be sharper than she was last out. Six furlongs may be her best game, but she does have a win at five and a half furlongs, and is just the fastest horse here. With no shortage of early speed in here, she can get a good stalking trip. Three Cat Rules drops down from $25,000 company as well. Though early speed is her best game, she can hit the board from a stalking spot, suggesting some chance to stay out of a speed battle. She also gets a rider change to Mitchell Murrill, which gives her both a five pound bug and a hot, confident rider. She has win over the synthetic, and has run well at dash distances. If speed holds, Sheza Salty Vet should be the one who prevails. Sheza Salty Vet was fourth against this set last out, but cuts back to a flat five furlongs here. She has won two of three on the polytrack, and comes in third off the lay for blazing hot trainer Larry Rivelli. She could end up the speed of the speed, and if that bears out, few ride the lead better than E. T. Baird, who is in the irons.