• Arlington Million Day Overlays & Underlays

    POSTED Aug 15, 2014

    With a great day of racing, including the Arlington Million, on tap at Arlington Park on Saturday, I really wanted to dive into the card and handicap some races… that’s what I wanted to do.

    Unfortunately, time and a desire to keep what’s left of my sanity overruled this desire and I decided, instead, to provide some free handicapping reports for the big day (see below), as well as some thoughts on certain horses in selected races.

    In a show of orderliness, I started with the first race:

    Arlington Park
    Race 1
    7 furlongs (main track)
    Avg. ESR: -2 Avg. LSR: -15

    Potential Underlay(s)

    Although he ranks third in overall speed on my Pace Profile Report, 1-MYSTIC has finished in the money (third or better) exactly one time since being claimed by trainer Robert Dobbs on Aug. 15, 2013. Worse, the seven-year-old gelding has visited the winner’s circle just once in eight non-turf tries over the course of his career. At odds anywhere close to his morning line (9/2), he looks like a money-burner.

    Potential Overlay(s)

    2-GHETTO CAT ranks first in overall speed on my Pace Profile Report, makes his third start off of a layoff and has tactical speed in a race with a sluggish average early speed ration (ESR) of -2. I think he’s fairly priced at 7-2, yet he’s 8-1 on the morning line.

    6-DE GREEN LIGHT is 5-1 on my Win Factor (computerized fair odds) line. I think that’s too low, but I also think De Green Light’s morning line odds of 20-1 are too high.

    Arlington Park
    Race 3
    About 1 Mile (turf course)
    Avg. ESR: +4 Avg. LSR: -3

    Potential Overlay(s)

    1/1A-WHATTHECATDRUGIN & COUGAR RIDGE make an interesting entry. The former is 0-for-5 on the grass, yet has run well in his last two turf tries at a mile or less (3rd in an allowance race at seven furlongs at Mountaineer and 2nd in a starter handicap going a mile at Indiana Downs). The latter comes off a winning effort in a race similar to today’s at Indiana Downs, where he recorded a 95 Brisnet speed figure (BSF) and a 0 late speed ration (LSR).

    6-TAZZ is a veteran (eight years old) campaigner with a favorable front-running style and loads of back class (he won the 2011 Black Tie Affair Handicap and numerous other top-purse events in Illinois).

    Arlington Park
    Race 4
    About 1 Mile (turf course)
    Avg. ESR: +5 Avg. LSR: 0

    This race for two-year-old, Illinois-bred maidens features several first-time starters and, coincidentally, I just did a study on horses making their debuts in route races — with some amazing results…


    * Last three workouts < 15 total furlongs

    Number: 400
    Winners: 26
    Win Rate: 6.5%
    IV: 0.60
    OBIV: 0.70

    * Last three workouts ≥ 15 total furlongs

    Number: 143
    Winners: 18
    Win Rate: 12.6%
    IV: 1.15
    OBIV: 1.16

    So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at the “firsters” in this race.

    Last three workouts < 15 total furlongs (possible underlays)

    4-Always a Catch (8/1 morning line odds)
    6-Broken In (8/1)
    8-Tender May (20/1)
    11-Ivanti (4/1)

    Last three workouts 15 total furlongs (possible overlays)

    3-Kinsmanor (8/1)
    5-Safe at Sea (6/1)
    10-Stand Up Guy (6/1)

    Arlington Park
    Race 7
    About 1 11/16 Miles (turf course)
    Avg. ESR: +7 Avg. LSR: +3

    Potential Underlay(s)

    Each of the last two times 2-DANDINO came to the US, he ran great — finishing a close second to Joshua Tree in the Grade I Canadian International at Woodbine in 2012 and winning this very race last year.

    However, as Bob Dylan noted, the times they are a-changin’. Dandino is seven years old now and he’s coming off two of the worst performances of his distinguished career. After finishing up the track at Ascot on June 21, the son of Dansili was beaten 16 lengths in a Group 2 event at Newmarket on July 10.

    Will Dandino’s fortunes change in the Land of Lincoln? Maybe. But, given that he’s likely to be one of the favorites, I’m not betting on it.

    Potential Overlay(s)

    Former claimer 3-BIG KICK gets an advantageous pace scenario (+7 avg. ESR) coming off the biggest win of his career in the Grade II San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita.

    6-HARDEST CORE (also entered in the Arlington Million) is 7-1 on my Win Factor line, 20-1 on the morning line.

    Arlington Park
    Race 10
    About 1 1/4 Miles (turf course)
    Avg. ESR: +6 Avg. LSR: 0

    Potential Overlay(s)

    It’s hard to knock 3-MAGICIAN in this spot, as this year’s Million field is far from stellar. However, given the distinct lack of early zip in the day’s feature, I think both 1-HARDEST CORE (also entered in the 7th race) and 7-SIDE GLANCE have a puncher’s chance of scoring the upset.

    Arlington Park Handicapping Reports

    Win Factor Report (computerized fair odds)

    Speed Ration Key

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