Before tonight’s fireworks display at Arlington, let’s get ready for some fireworks on the track! There is a full eight-race card today, with a special first post of 3:20pm due to the festivities afterward. The races contain a little something for everyone: routes and sprints, turf and polytrack, first-time starters and salty local mainstays.
This has now been updated in light of scratches…so, without further ado, let’s dive into the card!
Best Bets: Bank Account (race 3), Gary Luke (race 5)
Live Prices: Incensed (race 4), Jazz Beat (race 6)
Race 1: $7,500 maiden claiming, three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, six furlongs on the polytrack, post time 3:20pm CDT
Selections: Beautiful Brittany (8), On the Hoofha (2), Able Mayble (7)
No one would be blamed for using the ALL button here. None of the horses who have started appeal much. There are a few first-time starters, but the only one with any real suggestion of precocity is Beautiful Brittany. She is by 24% first-out sire Bring the Heat, out of a mare who produced another first-time-out winner (Albata, who is the dam of Riv), and has solid maiden connections in Larry Rivelli and E. T. Baird. That’s enough here. On the Hoofha drops to the lowest level of her career. She has been fourth in her last two tries against $25,000 company. Trainer Armando de la Cerda tends to be live off class drops, and if On the Hoofha is ever going to figure it out, she may never see a softer field than this. Able Mayble is the only one on the drop from maiden special to maiden claiming. She finished dead last in her only other start, but that came in one of the most loaded maiden specials of the meet to date. Trainer Mike Stidham does well with horses on The Drop, and his “A” rider Mitchell Murrill takes the call again.
Race 2: $7,500 claiming, three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, N2L, one and one sixteenth miles on the polytrack, post time 3:56pm CDT
Selections: Town Centre (8), W W Star (2), Insumadora (1)
This is a race in which it makes sense to go two deep in multi-race wagers, to Town Centre and W W Star. There is no shortage of speed in this race, and those are the two who look best suited to run it down. Lightly raced Town Centre gets the nod on top. He has only raced twice, but neither has been bad. She rallied from midpack both times, and got her diploma second out. She has not raced since that maiden win in December, but with a long worktab, a solid lay trainer in Pavel Vashchenko, and a solid rider in Mitchell Murrill, she looks well-meant. The biggest question is the surface, since both of her previous runs came on dirt. W W Star is another midpack type, and far more experienced. Her recent form is good, but the string of second and third place finishes gives a bit of pause. Still, she is certainly fast enough, and likes the poly. Among the rest, the better horses are on the front end. Michaels Girl does have an excuse for her last, as she flipped in the paddock before the race. However, her best has come on an easy lead, whereas Insumadora has shown a bit more fight on the front end. In a race with as much front-end gas as this one, that gameness gives Insumadora a better shot for a piece.
Race 3: $5,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, five and a half furlongs on the polytrack, post time 4:34pm CDT
Selections: Bank Account (1), Fort Lewis Rivers (2), Jesuit Warrior (3)
Bank Account has been in against tougher in his las three starts, since being claimed by Rodolfo Aguilar. However, he drops back in against open $5,000 company here — exactly where he belongs. He has solid form over the polytrack and the distance, and he gets tons of pace to run at. He is the clear credible off-pace type, and he should win this. Fort Lewis Rivers is the speed of the speed, never a bad thing at dash distances. Two back he blew the break; last out, he tried blinkers off. With the blinkers back on, if he starts well, he should be the best of the speed, and be the last one Bank Account has to run down late. Jesuit Warrior has solid recent form, and his 7-2-2-1 record over the Arlingotn polytrack is a strong point in his favour. His second-place finish last out was franked when Buddons won again. It is hard to see him winning this race — Jesuit Warrior won’t strike the front over Fort Lewis Rivers, and is only 1-19 at main-track dashes — but with money finishes from off the pace and eight money finishes underneath in the distance category, he should round out an exacta or trifecta.
Race 4: $50,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, N2L, races where entered for $32,500 or less not considered, five furlongs on the turf, post time 5:12pm CDT
Selections: Incensed (2), Compass Stone (5), Over Yonder (1)
For this most part, this race seems like the Island of Misfit Toys: horses with a ton of early speed, but who are underperforming for some reason, and their connections have decided to try a turf dash. The one clear exception to that is Incensed. Last out, he tried a turf dash for the first time — he aired. He looked well-meant that day, and he looks just as well-meant here. He will have to outgun the rest of the speed or show a passing gear here, but with only three starts underneath and with the light coming on in such a big way when he tried a turf dash, Incensed merits that kind of confidence. Compass Stone drops in for a tag for the first time. He will be forwardly placed, but he can hold his own in a duel or even stalk the pace and still run well. Hailing from the barn of Mike Stidham, he gets rider Mitchell Murrill back aboard, and he scratched out of a tougher spot (the allowance won by Modern Medicine on Friday) for this spot. Rail-drawn Over Yonder also drops in among claimers for the first time. In a race so loaded with speed, he actually does his better work stalking, which should give him a pace advantage here. He has a long worktab leading into this race — suggesting he will be fit, but almost so long that one wonders why he has not raced since March.
Race 5: Maiden special weight, three-year-olds and up, Illinois-bred, six furlongs on the polytrack, post time 5:50pm CDT
Selections: Gary Luke (2), Matt’s Magic (10), Maximum Charges (11)
This race has a pair of bona fide money burners. Nutsandhoney always comes close against this set, but always finds ways not to seal the deal. Use him under, but take a pass on top. It’s the same with Sicilian’s Lad, who always seems to stalk the pace but never seems to seal the deal. Until Sicilian’s Lad tries a new distance or drops for the tag, he is an underneath type at best.
Gary Luke, on the other hand, looks well set to get his diploma today. He showed little at two, but was third at this level last out on June 5. That was Gary Luke’s first start since December. Here, he comes in second off the lay for trainer Justin Johns, a 22% winner with positive ROI in that circumstance. He keeps top rider Jose Valdivia, Jr. in the irons from that outing, also a positive sign. With a few in this field who have shown early speed, he should get something to run at, and figure it out today. Matt’s Magic starts for just the second time ever, and the first time since November. He gets a rider change to Edgar Perez, who is always a positive person to see in the irons on a maiden. He has a solid worktab leading into this start, with his last work as long as the race. Finally, there is a bit of precocity in the pedigree, as his only other half to race (Community Property) won first out. Maximum Charges is a first-time starter. He is a bit of a stretch – but, then again, stablemate The Minister would have been a stretch, too, and The Minister blew up the tote board on June 5. The worktab is solid, and similarities in dates and times suggest that this one was working with The Minister a few times. Sire Albertus Maximus wins a respectable 15% of the time first out, and he has a half-sibling who won at second asking. You need long odds on Maximum Charges, particularly from the 11 hole, but you should probably get them.
Race 6: Allowance optional claiming, three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, non-winners of $9,800 twice other than maiden, claiming, starter, or state-bred OR N3L OR claiming price $40,000, one and one sixteenth miles on the turf, post time 6:36pm CDT
Selections: Jazz Beat (2), Tapnfire (6), Devil’s Rose (5)
Jazz Beat may go off the longest shot on the board, but with no other speed in this race, today is the day to take a shot with her. Her 11-4-3-0 line at a mile and a sixteenth suggests that it is her best distance, and she also has three wins and five other money finishes over the Arlington grass. Last out, she was seventh at this level — but only beaten four lengths all told, and did not get the early lead. This field is a bit softer than that bunch, despite the same conditions, and the pace setup is far better. Tapnfire turns up for the first time since March, but tends to fire very well first off the lay. She gets rider Jose Valdivia, Jr. in the irons, with whom she had some success last year. She runs consistently well over the Arlington track, too, and has some success rallying into paces that were not particularly fast. That will help her here. Devil’s Rose is another who has shown some ability to run into fractions that did not fly. She comes in third off the lay, and gets Victor Santiago back in town to ride. Devil’s Rose and Santiago have had success in the past, including a third-place finish two back (the same race from which Jazz Beat comes). If she can stay the extra half-furlong, she should get a share here.
Race 7: $25,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, N2L, races where entered for $20,000 or less not considered, one mile on the turf, post time 7:22pm CDT
Selections: In the Chamber (1), Chivalrous (8), Flashdance Road (5)
Even after the scratches, there’s quite a bit of speed in this race, making In the Chamber attractive. He was claimed for $25,000 two back. He faltered against $50,000 types last out, and returns to this level here. His speed and form fit this field well, and he has a bit of versatility in pace. He can send, stalk, or rally from the clouds. Expect some form of off-pace style here. Note also that he cuts back to a mile — has try last out was at a mile and a sixteenth, but he has done his best work going a flat mile. Chivalrous drops to the lowest level of his career. He will be part of the speedy contingent, but has shown some ability to battle on the front end. Though he was well beaten in a turf mile last out, this is a far softer field than an allowance at Churchill, and he comes in second off of a freshening. Flashdance Road will likely be the longest shot on the board, but he has just enough turf form to suggest he can invade the exotics. He was second in his only try over the Arlington green, and has three seconds in four lifetime tries over grass. He does his best work on the front, but has been able to rally from off the pace and finish in the money. A win may be a bridge too far, but a share underneath is not out of the question.
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 in eligibility, seven furlongs on the polytrack, post time 8:09pm CDT
Selections: I Am Another (2), Magic Command (7), Turbulent War (5)
I Am Another drops in for a tag for the first time. Trainer Wayne Catalano wins 21% of the time (with a slight positive ROI) with runners who are first-time claiming. I Am Another also comes here second off a long lay, with a string of solid works even after that first start back. Seven panels is the question, but if you believe he will improve second off the lay, that mediocre one-turn mile last out can be attributed to rustiness. Magic Command is the speed of the speed. He has a win at seven furlongs, and a one-turn polytrack mile win as well. There is other speed in the race, but it would not be completely out of the question to see Magic Command run this set off their feet, especially if the track plays kindly to speed. Turbulent War won at seven furlongs last out, in his first try at the distance. This is a more difficult set, but he does have some speeds that fit, and his last time out was franked when second-place Bold Ransom won his next start. Mitchell Murrill returns to the irons, and even though Turbulent War has early speed, he also showed in a start back in December that he can come from a bit off the pace, remain interested, and do the job.