Gio Ponti headlines the Grade 1 Arlington Million
Some rain is projected today at Arlington but because of the heat, I don't anticipate the moisture having much of an impact on the big races today.
Ninth Race: I absolutely love Cheetah, with Garret Gomez to win this $750,000 Grade One. Cheetah is coming off a great win on July 9, when she dominated at Delaware Racetrack. The added six pounds doesn't concern me.
Dubawi Heights is my dark horse, as she's won her last four races with Joel Rosario. I also like Fantasia, who has won her only start over the lawn at Arlington. I suspect Stacelita, with Ramon Dominguez, will be the slight favorite in this race but I don't think she'll finish better than third.
10th Race: I'm not picking either Gio Ponti or 9-5 favorite Cape Blanco to win the $1,000,000 feature race. I think both horses will be stretch threats but I like Rahystrada or Tajaaweed to win the race. Rahystrada has two wins in three starts and two wins at 10 furlongs, so the race is ideal for this 7-year-old gelding.
Tajaaweed is the big closer and has two wins in five career starts over the Arlington turf. I think both of these horses will be between 15-1 and 25-1. Gio Ponti just doesn't appear to be the same horse and if he has any chance to win today, Ramon Dominguez cannot keep him more than five lengths off the lead.
Eighth Race: I like Willcox Inn with Robbie Albarado to win the Grade One Secretariat. The 3-year-old colt is undefeated at Arlington and is a very fair 9-2 morning line second choice. The two main threats in this race appear to be the Irish shipper. Ziyarid, who has won three straight and the Thomas Proctor trained Banned. This $400,000 ten furlong race appears to be a great betting race.
Seventh Race: I see the one mile $65,000 Hatoof as a two horse race. I'm leaning toward 10-1 morning line long shot Startling Beauty and 7-2 favorite Race to Urga. Safe Crossing is my choice to complete the trifecta.