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Preview of Saturday's graded stakes action at Arlington and Calder.
A huge day of racing Saturday sees seven graded stakes races at Arlington and Calder with plentiful wagering opportunities.
Arlington's first graded stakes of the day is the Modesty H. (G3) for fillies and mares on the turf. A compact, but classy, field of six will go to post headed by the Brisnet Prime Power pick, Pure Clan. The chestnut filly was a closing second to the talented Acoma in her first start of the year at Churchill Downs and is trained by Robert Holthus who wins at 12 percent, with a positive ROI, with his runners making their second start off a layoff. For that effort Pure Clan earned the top spot in the Late Pace Last Race category in the Brisnet Ultimate Past Performances Summary. The four-year-old is also top of the Speed Last Race, Current Class and Average Class Last 3 categories. Top on Early Pace Last Race is Tizaqueena who is the lone "E" style, or frontrunner in the field and her superior "E1" and "E2" pace figures suggest she may be dangerous given an easy lead. This notion is enhanced after a look at the Brisnet Track Bias Stats in the Ultimate Past Performances reveals that early speed has been a considerable asset on this turf course this meet. Not to be ignored is Dynaforce who is on top of the Back Speed category. She will be making her first start since mid-May but her trainer, Bill Mott wins at 19 percent with his runners returning from this length of layoff. Having posted a sharp work a Belmont, which qualified her as a "Clocker's Special" on the Brisnet Insider Picks and Power Plays Sheet, Dynaforce appears ready for this test.
The American Derby (G2) has drawn a field of seven three-year-old colts. Giant Oak, who won the Arlington Classic here in May, has been installed as the strong morning line favorite and is top on six of the seven, including Prime Power, categories in the Ultimates Summary. The only category in which the giant chestnut is not ranked first is Early Pace Last Race. This position goes to Vaquero who, like Tizaqueen, is the likely pacesetter being the only entrant with an "E" type runstyle.
A competitive field of 13 is entered for the Arlington H. (G3) which is carded as race 12. Cosmonaut has been tabbed as the luke warm morning line choice and is top of the Current Class, Average Class Last 3 and Early Pace Last Race categories. Making his third start off a layoff, (a situation in which his trainer Philip Serpe has been winning at a 22 percent rate), Cosmonaut is noted as a Horse for the Course on the Insider Picks and Power Plays sheet with two wins over the Arlington turf. The Prime Power pick is Just As Well who will be making his first start since finishing second in the Dixie S. (G2) in which his strong finish earned the top spot on the Late Pace Last Race category. The Jonathon Sheppard trained six-year-old is also the highest ranked runner on Speed Last Race and Back Speed. Players looking for value may consider Thabazimbi who is 10/1 on the morning line. The third top ranked on Prime Power, Thabazimbi is the lone runner with an "E" runstyle and may have the early lead despite his wide post.
The big race of the day at Calder is the Princess Rooney H. (G1). A well matched field of eight will meet the starter with Dubai Majesty the narrow Prime Power pick over Game Face. Dubai Majesty is also top on Average Class Last 3 and Early Pace Last Race and is coming off a short layoff in which situation her trainer, Bret Calhoun, wins at a rate of 21 percent. With two wins from three starts, Game Face is tabbed as a Distance Specialist on the Insider Picks and Power Plays as is Marina Ballerina who has four wins to her credit at six furlongs. Marina Ballerina is also noted as a Horse for Course on the sheet with three wins at Calder and the five-year-old is top on the Speed Last Race and Current Class categories.
Benny the Bull is likely to be the strong favorite for the Smile Sprint H. (G2) which will be run as race 10. Being top on five of the seven Summary categories including the Prime Power by more than 10 points, Benny The Bull will be hard to beat although it should be noted that Ikigai, who will start from the rail, is the lone runner with an "E" runstyle over a distance at which 40 percent of the races have been won in wire-to-wire fashion, according to the Track Bias Stats.
Six runners will line up for the Carry Back S. (G2) including You Lucky Mann whose trainer, Martin Wolfson, has been winning at a 34 percent clip for the meet. The clear Prime Power Pick, You Lucky Mann is ranked highest on all the Summary categories except Late Pace Last Race which is headed by Not For Silver. A closing second last time out in the Hirsch Jacobs S. (G3) 56 days ago, Not For Silver is trained by Michael Trombetta who wins at 26 percent with runners coming off short layoffs and is also a Distance Specialist as well as a Clocker's Special on the Insider Picks and Power Plays sheet.
Being ranked top on the Prime Power but a generous 8/1 on the morning line, First Passage may provide value in the Azalea S. (G3). The filly by Giant's Causeway, who cost $1.2 million as a yearling, in also top on Average Class Last 3 and on the Insider Picks and Power Plays is tabbed as a Blue Chip Trainer Play through Martin Wolfson winning with 31 percent of his sprinters.
Tim Holland 7-10-09.
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