Arlington Million & Alabama Stakes preview

by TCI 5 years ago

Jon & Joel wrap up the 2-year-old stakes action from last weekend and preview the all-important Arlington Million Day program Saturday in Chicago, featuring a trio of key Grade 1s on the turf that are sure to have major Breeders’ Cup implications. Ed DeRosa is on location at Arlington to give his impressions, and the boys also take a look at a pair of Grade 1s at Saratoga on Saturday: the Sword Dancer Inv. and the Alabama S.

Watch it. Comment.

TCI Top 5 Ladies’ Classic 3YOs

Rank Name Comments
1 Potesta Game Hollywood Oaks winner is a rising star and could be best of this group
2 Grace Hall Fast in Delaware Oaks but has yet to beat a top field; That could change in Alabama
3 Questing (GB) Has been fast & unchallenged since switching to dirt, including an easy G1 win
4 Zo Impressive She fits very well on quality, but not sure she’s at her best going 9 furlongs
5 Eden’s Moon G1 winner is now trying turf, but holds this spot while others are on the sidelines

through 8/17/2012


  • Joe Polander

    Joel – I agree with you that 1 1/4 may not be Silver Max’s best distance. Interesting though if he could be a major contender for the BC Turf mile at SA in the Fall. That could be a loaded race in November with the likes of possibly Wise Dan, Data Link, jeranimo, and the superstar Euro would be Excelebration if he shows up. I think Point of Entry is an interesting horse and if he can win the Sword Dancer he has to be considered as a major contender for the BC Turf at SA. I agree with you that Brilliant Speed has a big shot in this race. St Nicholas Abbey probably will return to defend his crown in the BC Turf race in November, and he has had a good year so far. Nathanial may also come over for the BC Turf in November. Sorry to see that Acclamation has suffered a minor injury and his BC Statis in now questionable.

    • Joel Cunningham

      Brilliant Speed ran terrible and did not show positive signs by the way he was moving late in that race… I hope he’s ok…
      Excelebration is currently the BC Mile favorite without question, and one would think Coolmore would bring him over. I do find Wise Dan very intriguing because his quality is undeniable when he’s on top of his game..he’s a legit G1 horse in any racing jurisdiction, and if he can replicate his performance from last week then he just might keep that BC Mile trophy in America in November. Watch out for Doubles Partner in the Mile…he’s back working towards the Shadwell Mile at KEE and is pointing for the BC Mile. He’s pretty good when he’s right but has had some unfortunate setbacks. You are correct about local miler Jeranimo and the word from Mike Welsh is that Data Link is training very well in NY right now. But I do believe this division runs primarily through the Europeans, much like most of the turf divisions.
      It’s picking up, Joe..can you feel it!!

  • Joe Polander

    Joel – Impressive win for Point of Entry in the Sword Dancer. He is in peak form and looks like a real contender even with the usual strong euro contingency featuring St. Nicholas Abbey and possibly Nathanial. Silver max disssapointed in his race and looks like he is not BC caliber. Looking forward to you Travers prevue, I’m leaning towards Nonios who should be a good price. He ran a strong Haskell to get a clear 2nd place finish behind Paynter, very good performance considering it was his first time on dirt.

    • Joel Cunningham

      Joe, nice pick! Man, has this horse really grown up since stretching out on the lawn at Keeneland earlier this year. He is getting fast enough too, which definitely makes him one of North America’s best contenders for that BC Turf if he can hold his form and ship well.
      As you mention, Euros like St. Nicholas Abbey, Nathaniel, Farhh, Sea Moon, etc. will still likely be very tough for the Americans to beat. In my opinion, the only chance to beat the Euros is to run them off their feat with our speed, much like Little Mike was able to do when slowing down the pace in the Million…Presious Passion nearly did the same a few years back over the Euros at SA. But if Acclamation comes back for the race then there would likely be a speed conflict between him and Little Mike, if LM chooses to run in the Turf rather than the Mile. We’ll see!
      Silver Max is a nice colt but 10 furlongs is probably a tad out of his wheelhouse. I agree Nonios is probably the best contender coming out of the best prep…but the traveling, new jockey, etc. make it interesting because he’s not a clear choice over these like Paynter would have been. I do believe that Nonios will take close to the same amount of money as Alpha does by the time they enter the gates, and he could even be a slight favorite. The Travers is very very interesting because it’s a true handicapper’s event much like the Jim Dandy… hard to figure out the pace, a large field with similar horses in terms of style and quality, etc… the biggest difference is the 1 1/4 miles WILL seperate some fo these from the others 🙂

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