Final Draft: McLean’s selections for Churchill Downs on Arlington Million Day – Saturday August 13

Total results for the day 8 / 3-1-5
2022 Total — 1376 1376 / 476-510-655
Earn % of first choice 34.59%
Gain % of top 3 picks overall 39.75%
2022 Only / First Choice in Global Money – 889-1376 64.61%
2022 only / Top Pick in the Money @ EP 85-135 62.50%
2022 only / Top Pick Wins @ EP 42-136 30.88%
2022 only / “Key Horses” @ EP 13/3-4-1 23.08% Win / 61.54% ITM
2022 only / First pick in the money @ HI – 230-351 65.53%
2022 only / Top Pick Wins @ HI – 130-351 37.04%
2022 only / “Key Horses” @ HI – 54/21-7-4 38.89% Win / 59.26% ITM
2022 only / “Key Horses” overall 244/ 97-52-20 39.75% Win / 69.26% ITM
2022 only / “Longshots of Day” @ CD 10/1-1-1 10.00% gain / 30.00% ITM
2022 only / Longshots of the day “@ HI – 6/2-1-1 33.33% Win / 66.67% ITM
2022 Global / “Today’s Longshots” @ EP – 6/1-0-2 16.67% Win / 50.00% ITM
2022 only / “Longshots of Day” overall – 34/6-3-4 17.65% Win / 38.24% ITM

All statistics updated

Here are our looks for the Churchill Downs version of the Arlington Million Day. While the venue is changed and the new Louisville Grand Oval turf course is still maturing into a vintage course, much praise must go to all who have secured this date on the calendar of Ellis Park and preserved one of the greatest race days in American history.

Mr. Richard L. Duchossois – the late patriarch of Arlington Park and the man responsible for the first million dollar race in our great country – would be honored and proud.

The legacy continues.

Hoping for a nice day. We also hope for the dawn of a new day and a new era.

And here are our picks, with abbreviated commentary (so I can get out on the track and watch the races, too).

1st: 9-8-1/5/6-7/3/2-10… Baby backtracked (9) is my pick in the old Louisville Grand Oval lid lifter on this special day. This 2 year old girl from Kantharos ran great on her debut here on July 1st. She almost won that day as a longshot. Won’t get those kind of odds here, but the barn wins with 0.23% in 2nd career start and comes out of a knockout. Pleasant. I bet the 9 across the board, then frame the top 3 in the exactas. I will enter the first 3 numbers above/below the 5 in two smaller units.

2nd: 2-1-6/4/3-9/5…Scarlet Band (2) is a first start for a winning barn with 0.10% of the last 207 to debut. His father wins with .20% in the first starts and he trains well. Pick up a rider who wins nearly every Commonwealth jockey title these days. Look here. I bet the 2 on the whole board, then I frame the first 3 numbers in the exactas. I will enter the first 3 numbers above/below the 4 in two smaller units.

3rd: 7-8-4/3/1-5/2… Nougat Jelly (7) has touched the board in each of the last three outings and has 2 wins in that mix. Rider also won with 0.28% of the last 25 mounts for the barn. I love the work at the training center on July 27th. Looks ready here. Legionnaire (8) is a half-brother to Art Collector and trained by one of the best young conditioners in the game today. Do not leave aside. I’m not. I bet the 7-8 across the board, then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will double on the 7-8 in the box category. I will enter the first 3 numbers above/below the 3 in two smaller units.

4th: 6-7/3-4-9-10/1/2-8…Black Forest (6) ran two salty 2nds in the first two career starts and one of them was against a real talent, who came right back to win the next outing as well. If it can duplicate these efforts? Look for. Key of life (7) ran 3rd on debut as top favorite. The “Place” horse that day came right back to win the next outing. Don’t leave this one either. I bet the 6-7 at all levels, then I box these two strictly in exactas. I will enter the 6-7 over (only) the 3-4-9-10 in a smaller unit.

5th: 3-5-4/2/1…G1 Beverly D Stakes…This 11/8 mile event on grass attracted a solid group, led by Process Grace (3), IMO. This 5-year-old mare picked up an easy victory on the grass at Park and is now 6-1-2 in 10 lifetime tries on the grass. The last time she faced the G1 company, she was 3rd behind Regal Glory – who may be the best in the country right now. Lily pond (5) ships from Ireland and rates a big shot for all-star connections. Won a Group 2 last time. He seems ready and breeding is also G1. Blushing (4) opts for the best grass trainer in this country and also rates a huge chance if she can find a clear run in the lane. Raced in two consecutive G1s and looks like the one to beat. I bet the 5-4 – take note – across the board, then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will enter the first 3 numbers out of the 2 in a smaller unit.

6th: 3-6-10/(13)/12-11/1-7-8/2-4-9…Game of trust (3) is my first “Upset special of the day.” This one is listed at 6-1 in the ML and could topple the cart here. Ran 3rd at the start and was well beaten, but the winner that day might just turn out to be a monster and show up today in the G2 Saratoga Special as well. Look for this one that rides late and could be tricky. Gas Dancer (6) is a newbie for Mike Maker’s barn, who could have a good day. This one trains very well and is by a bull that could become one of the hottest in the country. Sire wins with 0.22% of beginners. Take note. I bet the 3-6 on the whole board, then frame the top 3 in the exactas. I’m going to grab the top 3 over/under 12-11 in two smaller units.

7th: 2-1/3-4/5…Lady Tak Stakes…How about another meeting? Why not. These two girls have thrown themselves at each other so many times that they know each other as well as two on their backs – including humans. Sconsin (2) and Bell’s the One (1) have locked up so many times before and delivered great performances almost every time. Don’t expect this one to disappoint either. I give Sconsin a slight advantage – due to the fact that they are having a slightly better year. But you can flip a coin here. Love them both. I bet the 2 to win/place then box the 2-1 in the exactas. Do.

8th: 8-7-9/1A-1-3/6/4-10-5…Burn (8) is still looking for that first trip to the winner’s circle, but this 4-year-old son of Flatter is 4 seconds and 2 thirds in the first 9 outings. Arrives here after two consecutive seconds and now collects the best pilot in these parts here. How to make a difference today. Most likely. Order of Merit (7) is a newbie from Todd Pletcher’s barn. Dam already has 3 winners out of 4 runners and 2 Stakes winners. Sharp work on August 5th. Attention. Just be careful. Pro Oxidant (9) also worked with the lights off. Lights. Out. If he can find this form in the afternoon? I bet the 8-7 on all levels and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I’ll grab the first 3 above/below the entry into two smaller units.

9th: 1-5/2-8/3-6/4-7…Scarlet Fusion (1) gets a slight tick here in a wide, wide, wide open affair. Throw last, when drilled as the beaten favorite. This one just didn’t do well that day and is now getting a new rider who can pony. In the second race, this one took the lead and this one probably prefers to be closer to the front than last time. Jennings (5) could upset that. Really ran 4 good races to start his career. Maybe 4-0. It’s talent. I bet the 1-5 across the board, then I box those two hard in the exactas. I will enter the 1-5 above/below the 2-8 in two smaller units.

10th: 3-2-5/6/7/4/1…Fort Larned Stakes…Mr. Wireless (3) had real success in 2021, winning the G3 Indiana Derby and then the G3 West Virginia Derby in back-to-back races. Won last time out at “The Shoe” in Indy and looks like he may be back in shape here. Formed by a good. A real good, who wins at a rate of 0.20% after 368 starts this year. May be ready for back-to-back wins again. I’m in. Fury King (2) is a real talent and has G1 experience. But his lone start in 2022 hasn’t been good and we’ll blame the move to AW for that. The pace of work worries me. Is he ready? Love this track, though, with 3 wins in 5 starts. Threatens. I bet the 3-2 across the board, then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will enter the first 3 numbers above/below the 6 in two smaller units.

11th: 6-1-4/2-7/3-8/5-9…G1 Arlington Million…What a race. The story. Amazing finishes. The glamour. Thrills. Bart. Jean-Henri. This year’s version is a little different, but times are changing. Times force us to change. I just thank God and Churchill Downs for preserving this racing institution and reminding us all that one of the greatest races in American history will continue into the future. Santin (6) seems like the horse to beat, IMO. Won here in the G1 Turf Classic on KY Derby Day. Impressive then and impressive for much of his career. In 7 grass starts, has 3 wins and 2 seconds. Has the pedigree. A game. The upheaval, if there is one, could come from Set piece (1). This 6 year old gelding loves this track and this place he calls home. In 5 lifetime tries here, he has 4 wins. I have never won a G1. Still. Today? I’m in. I bet 1 – take note – across the board, then frame the first 3 numbers in the exactas. I will enter the 1 above/below the 6-4-2-7-3-8 in two smaller units.

Good luck and all the best / Gene

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