• The TCI weekend preview: Arlington, A Gleam, Del Oaks

    POSTED Jul 13, 2012
    `It's tough to look ahead to Saturday's races without also looking further ahead to next week when both Del Mar and Saratoga open and both Delaware Park and Colonial Downs roll out the marquee races of their meetings.

    But I have a keen interest in this weekend's roster because my best day of wagering last year came on Arlington Million Preview day at Arlington Park, and I really like the card again this year. Plus TwinSpires players get a 10% bonus (up to $500) on all winning Pick 4 wagers.

    The Pick 4s start in races 2 and 9, which is a shame because one of my best bets of the day is in race 6, the Modesty. I guess I'll have to make do with rolling Pick 3s involving She's All In, who returns to turf after winning four of eight on dirt.

    The two turf races on her PPs don't inspire from a speed standpoint, but she has clearly developed in the spring of her five-year-old year, and fourth behind the likes of It's Tricky and Awesome Maria is more an issue of her class than her form. The River Cities win last year was authoritative circling five wide into a slow pace. If she's moved forward off that she can win this at a nice price.

    The American Derby kicks off the Pick 5, and all eyes will be on Silver Max if he goes for his sixth consecutive win in here. He's the favorite I like best of all the stakes races, but stretching out again certainly poses some questions. If Silver Max gets completely hammered (odds on) then Daddy Nose Best could offer some value, but if bettors migrate too much to DNB as the logical alternative (especially returning to turf and Leparoux) then All Stormy could be the price horse to use.

    The Arlington Handicap and Stars and Stripes Stakes depend a lot on which cross entered horses go where, but no matter what I think the favorites are vulnerable in both spots, and I'm hoping Vertiformer goes to the Stars and Stripes so I can back him in that race while tabbing Sky Blazer in the Handicap. Vertiformer is an angles-player's dream third-off the layoff from Europe for Catalano and back to going really long if he's in the Stars and Stripes. Harrods Creek is also interesting as a pace threat around three turns. His San Juan was good.

    There is more to the weekend than Arlington, of course. The A Gleam earns the winner a spot in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, and the Delaware Oaks features the return of Grace Hall.

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