Our horse racing expert delivers your Arlington Million Day picks for all 11 races on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
With Arlington Park permanently closed, the race card will be run in Louisville. The races will be shown on FSI from 12:30 p.m.-3 p.m.; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. on FS2; and 6 p.m.-7 p.m. on FS1.
Arlington Million Predictions
- Race 1, 12:45 – (7) Always Smiling
- Race 2, 1:19 – (9) Texas Lucky
- Race 3, 1:53 – (8) Legionnaire
- Race 4, 2:27 – (9) Margoinabubblebath
- Race 5, 3:01 – (4) Rougir
- Race 6, 3:35 – (7) Tshiebwe
- Race 7, 4:09 – (7) Sconsin
- Race 8, 4:43 – (1A) Appeal Denied
- Race 9, 5:17 – (3) Second Of July
- Race 10, 5:51 – (5) Twilight Blue
- Race 11, 6:25 – (1) Set Piece
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Arlington Million Picks: The Analysis
12:45, Race 1 – Maiden Special Weight (6 furlongs, dirt)
First-time starter ALWAYS SMILING may have found a vulnerable field for her debut. The Brendan Walsh trainee has posted some fast works. MALAWNIA, a $300K purchase, showed late kick in her debut and will appreciate the stretchout. KENTUCKY REIGNS cuts back in distance and adds blinkers after showing good speed in her debut at Ellis Park.
TIP: (7) Always Smiling Trifecta: 7 – 8 – 5
1:19, Race 2 – Maiden Special Weight (7 furlongs, dirt)
TEXAS LUCKY caught a wet track in her debut and now cuts back in distance after showing stalking speed. Could improve quickly for trainer Ken McPeek. ROMANCE NOVEL has run the best speed figures in the race and trainer Dallas Stewart/B.J. Hernandez combo is always formidable at Churchill Downs. LUV DRAGON drew the rail and finished fourth at Keeneland in April debut.
TIP : (9) Texas Lucky Trifecta: 9 – 3 – 1
1:53, Race 3 – Allowance (1 1/16 furlongs, dirt)
LEGIONNAIRE, a half to champion Art Collector, broke his maiden in last with a strong rally at Ellis Park. There’s plenty of speed in this field to set up his late kick. JELLY NOUGAT engaged in a strong pace duel last out after breaking his maiden two back. Outside draw should help his chances. TEPEU easily beat a modest maiden field at this track and distance.
TIP: (8) Legionnaire Trifecta: 8 – 7 – 3
2:27, Race 4 – Maiden Special Weight (6 furlongs, dirt)
MARGOINABUBBLEBATH has trained well for Eddie Kenneally, who strikes a 21 percent rate with 2-year old first time starters at Churchill Downs. KEY OF LIFE broke poorly as a heavy favorite in her debut; Brad Cox-trained filly ships in from Saratoga for this spot. MOODY is a $550K purchase out of speed sire MUNNINGS making her debut for Rodolphe Brisset.
TIP: (9) Margoinabubblebath Trifecta: 9 – 7 – 10
3:01, Race 5 – Beverly D (1 1/8 miles, turf)
This Grade 1 event drew a surprisingly small and modest field. Trainer Chad Brown ships in ROUGIR from Saratoga after a fourth-place finish in a stronger field. Should have the best closing kick in closely matched group. FAMILY WAY has finished first or second in graded stakes in her last four starts for Brendan Walsh. DALIKA faltered in her last but could steal this on the front end.
TIP: (4) Rougir Trifecta: 4 – 2 – 1
3.35, Race 6 – Maiden Special Weight (6 furlongs, dirt)
TSHIEBWE was purchased for $475K this year despite a modest pedigree and looks primed to win at first asking for trainer Rodolphe Brisset. Trainer Dallas Stewart wins with 16 percent of his 2-year-old first timers at Churchill, so AMERICAN DOLLARS must be seriously considered. CONFIDENCE GAME has worked well since finishing a distant third in debut.
TIP: (7) Tshiebwe Trifecta: 7 – 9 – 3
4.09, Race 7 – Lady Tak (6 furlongs, turf)
SCONSIN has won three stakes races at this distance at Churchill. Should get just enough pace to pass JOYFUL CADENCE in deep stretch. The latter ran her best speed figure two races back while finishing second to Sconsin in a Grade 3 event. BELL’S THE ONE may have lost a step but is 7-for-8 at this distance.
TIP: (2) Sconsin Trifecta: 2 – 3 – 1
Betting on Sports?
4.43, Race 8 – Maiden Special Weight (7 furlongs, dirt)
APPEAL DENIED had a tough trip in his first outing and still flew home for fourth. With that experience and an extra furlong to work with, Appeal Denied can graduate at second asking. Eddie Kenneally-trainee PRO OXIDANT has worked quickly for career debut. CALL ME FAST engaged in a speed debut after a slow start and the addition of blinkers should keep him more focused.
TIP: (1A) Appeal Denied Trifecta: 1A – 9 – 2
5.17, Race 9 – Allowance Optional Claiming (1 1/16 furlongs, dirt)
SECOND OF JULY battled hard throughout a mile race at Ellis Park and tired late. Second Of July won on this surface two back and could go wire-to-wire here. Making his third start off a layoff, SCARLET FUSION will be dangerous for a trainer-jockey combo that wins 36 percent of the time at Churchill. JENNINGS rallied stoutly to win 2022 debut and should close for a share in this field.
TIP: (3) Second Of July Trifecta: 3 – 1 – 5
5.51, Race 10 – Fort Larned (1 3/16 miles, dirt)
This non-graded stakes doesn’t have an obvious frontrunner, which could tip the scales to TWILIGHT BLUE. The 4-year-old colt has shown tenacity while battling for the lead in three of his last four outings. Joe Sharp, who trains Twilight Blue, could run 1-2 here as INTREPID HEART has finished first or second in his last five starts. MR. WIRELESS won two Grade 3 stakes last year.
TIP: (5) Twilight Blue Trifecta: 5 – 6 – 3
6.25, Race 11 – Arlington Million (1 1/8 miles, turf)
SET PIECE had traffic trouble in his last outing at Saratoga. With better luck, Set Piece could roll past this group in the stretch. The Brad Cox trainee has won 10 of 21 lifetime starts. Ultra-consistent SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT has never finished out of the money, though this may not be his best distance. ADMISSION OFFICE won at Churchill off a long layoff, then was compromised by a slow pace in his last start.
TIP: (1) Set Piece Trifecta: 1 – 4 – 7