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Grade 1’s Galore on Saturday

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 8/17/2012 6:15:16 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Questing, Mystical Star, Boisterous
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Alabama, The Beverly D., The Arlington Million
Where: Saratoga, Arlington
When: Saturday, August 18th

With a six-pack of Grade 1’s this Saturday, I tried to narrow my focus to the three most interesting of those events. As a result, the Sword Dancer at Saratoga, the Secretariat at Arlington, and the Del Mar Oaks (where the surf meets the turf) were kicked to the curb. We’ll take a brief look below at the Alabama at Saratoga and the Beverly D. and Arlington Million at Arlington Park.

Contention runs deep in the 132nd Running of the Alabama, with five of the seven entrants listed at odds of 8-1 or less. #2-Zo Impressive (5-1) and #7-In Lingerie (6-1) are very difficult to separate. #3-Grace Hall (7-5) owns the top bankroll ($1,140,000) and shares the top Beyer Speed Figure (105) with #6-Questing (5-2). I’m leaning toward Questing, who has blossomed for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin since being moved back to the dirt in late June. She’ll race on or near the lead in a race that may lack pace, which works to her advantage. She’s been training forwardly and appears to have no distance limitations for this, her initial try at a 1 ¼-mile route. The way she finished in her last pair, I’m not sure that anything can come and get her. I’ll bet on #6-Questing to win at odds of 9-5 or better.

Based on Beyers, the Beverly D. is unfathomable, with many of the top contenders in the mid-to-upper 90’s. #3-Romacaca (15-1) is a horse-for-course (7-5-1-0) and is rounding back to her best form, but may be more of a Grade 3-type mare. #7-Aruna (7-2) and #8-Marketing Mix (3-1) are tough as nails and rarely run a bad one. Euro-invaders #1-Kapitale (12-1), #2-I’m A Dreamer (8-1), #6-Up (8-1) and #10-Joviality (9-2) are dangerous but not overly imposing. I’m a fan of #5-Mystical Star (6-1), who appears to be a filly on the rise for top turf conditioner Christophe Clement. She has trained smartly for this at her Saratoga base, and the distance is right in her wheelhouse. Her tactical speed should keep her clear of trouble, and regular rider Jose Lezcano fits her like a glove. I’ll bet on #5-Mystical Star to win and place at odds of 4-1 or better.

The pace in the Arlington Million figures to be set by the speedy #4-Little Mike, who has led to the top of the stretch in each of his last nine starts. Whether he’ll close the deal remains to be seen, as he’s been caught in two of his last three graded stakes tries. I’m guessing that #1-Rahystrada and perhaps #10-Cherokee Lord will apply pressure before the final furlong, setting things up for the hard-charging #2-Boisterous (4-1). It could be “Jose Lezcano Day” at Arlington if he captures the meet’s top two fixtures, aboard Mystical Star and Boisterous. I’ll bet on #2-Boisterous to win at odds of 3-1 or better, and take a flier on the 5-2 “Lezcano Double”.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for this Saturday. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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