Betting the Arlington Handicap on a Budget

Gambling

Triple Threat (pink silks) beat Middleburg in his U.S. debut in the Monmouth Stakes last month. (Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

The Grade 3 $100,000 Arlington Handicap is best known for being the local prep race for next month's $1-million Arlington Million. This year's Arlington Handicap field looks fairly strong and makes for a great betting race. We're playing on a $20 budget but if we're right, we should be able to turn a nice profit. 

There are a few headliners in the race, starting with Sam-Son Farm's Up With the Birds, now trained by Graham Motion. In his first start for Motion last out, he ran a very nice third in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico but had some trip trouble, having gone extremely wide while closing in the stretch, and still finished with a lot of interest. This is a former Queen's Plate winner (Canada's version of the Kentucky Derby) and he's certainly one of the classiest horses in the field. 

The other big name is Midwest Thoroughbreds’ The Pizza Man. He's a local favorite at Arlington, where he's won an incredible eight of 11 starts, while finishing in the money in two of the other three starts. The Pizza Man won the Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs with ease in his first start of 2015. In that race, he defeated Departing, who came back to win the Firecracker Stakes. 

THE PIZZA MAN WINNING THE AMERICAN ST. LEGER AT ARLINGTON LAST YEAR

Photo by Eclipse Sportswire

French-bred Team Valor and Gary Barber hopeful Triple Threat also comes in with some buzz after winning in his first U.S. start - the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes last month. He showed a really nice late kick when he closed into a pace that wasn't all that fast. Trainer Bill Mott can certainly keep a horse like this moving forward and, if Triple Threat progresses off that last effort he could be a major player in the Arlington Handicap. 

There are a few intriguing long shots entered in the Arlington Handicap as well. The one that looks especially intriguing to me is Looks to Spare, for the relatively unknown team of O'zbekiston Racing and trainer Otabek Umarov. This horse looks to be in way over his head as he's run in mostly claiming races and lower level allowances until now. But he definitely appeared to improve on a synthetic surface (which often translates into success on the turf) and he has flashed some early speed in the past. On the stretch out from seven furlongs to 1 3/16 miles, I wouldn't be surprised if his early foot gets him to the lead and if he stays there for a while. 

There are several ways to go in this competitive race but here are my final selections and wagers on a $20 budget for the Arlington Handicap.

Selections: 

#8 Triple Threat - #4 The Pizza Man - #3 Looks to Spare - #2 Up With the Birds

Wagers: 

.50 cent trifecta key 8/2,3,4/ALL ($12)

$1 exacta 4,8/2,3,4,8,10 ($8)

$100,00 Arlington Handicap

Saturday, Race 6, Arlington International Racecourse, 4:50 p.m. ET

1 3/16 miles, turf, 3-year-olds and up 

PP

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

ML
Odds

Owner

1

Dramedy

Rosemary Homeister Jr.

Gerald Russel Aschinger

10/1

John James Revocable Trust

2

Up With the Birds

Drayden Van Dyke

Graham Motion

4/1

Sam-Son Farm

3

Looks to Spare

E. T. Baird

Otabek Umarov

30/1

O'zbekiston Racing

4

The Pizza Man

Florent Geroux

Roger Brueggemann

3/1

Midwest Thoroughbreds

5

Yankee Dealer

Samantha Colvin

Michael Reavis

30/1

Michael Reavis

6

Coco Mon

Emmanuel Esquivel

Frank Kirby

30/1

Gary and Beth Leverton

7

R. Great Adventure

Edgar Perez

Brian Williamson

20/1

Nancy Vanier and Mike Schmitt

8

Triple Threat

Jose Lezcano

Bill Mott

5/2

Team Valor and Gary Barber

9

Middleburg

James Graham

Christophe Clement

7/2

Mr and Mrs. Bertram Firestone

10

Quiet Force

Julien Leparoux

Mike Maker

10/1

Warner Thoroughbreds

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