2019 Arlington Million Cheat Sheet

Racing
Bricks and Mortar, left, and Robert Bruce, right, are two of the top contenders for the 2019 Arlington Million Stakes Aug. 10 at Arlington International Racecourse.

Saturday’s Arlington Million Stakes at Arlington International Racecourse is an annual highlight of the North American racing calendar, drawing some of the best turf horses from around the world to compete for the race’s namesake seven-figure purse as well as an automatic berth in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.

As a Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” qualifier, the Grade 1, 1 ¼-mile Arlington Million presents its winner with a fees-paid berth to the Longines Turf, which this year is set for Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.

The Million has been won by champions including John Henry, Manila, Steinlen, Paradise Creek, Gio Ponti, and Cape Blanco, and in 2012 Little Mike became the first horse to win both the Million and Breeders’ Cup Turf in the same calendar year. For more on the race’s history, click here.

This year’s 37th running of the Arlington Million drew a competitive 10-horse field highlighted by last year’s winner, Robert Bruce, and stablemate and morning-line favorite Bricks and Mortar, who enters on a five-race winning streak. The race has a scheduled post time of 7:15 p.m. ET and will be televised on FS2 during the “Saratoga Live” broadcast and on TVG.

Whether you want to gamble a few bucks on the race or you just want the scoop on this year’s runners, we’ve got you covered with our 2019 Arlington Million Cheat Sheet.


Eclipse Sportswire

1. Robert Bruce (7-2)

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Trainer: Chad Brown

Owner: Convento Viejo

Career record: 13 starts – 8 wins – 2 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $1,273,457

Earnings per start: $97,958

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 120

Pedigree: Fast Company – Lady Pelusa, by Orpen

Color: Dark bay or brown

Age: 5

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Despite some underwhelming performances over the past year, the defending Arlington Million winner stands as the biggest threat to Bricks and Mortar on Saturday. Since winning the 2018 Million by a half-length, he’s lost four consecutive races, finishing second in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park last fall, a disappointing seventh in what was admittedly one of the most top-heavy editions of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf in recent years, a puzzling fifth as the odds-on favorite in the May 5 Fort Marcy Stakes – his first start of 2019 – and then second to Bricks and Mortar in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes on June 6 at Belmont. If he just needed a race in the Fort Marcy, his improved showing in the Manhattan could be something to build on as he seeks his second top-level win in North America. A two-time champion in his native Chile who was unbeaten before shipping to the U.S. last year, Robert Bruce has shown a good turn of foot in his races on this continent but has also found trouble a few times when navigating through crowded fields from his usual rear-guard position. He’ll need a good trip to reach the winner’s circle for the second time at Arlington, but picks up a Hall of Fame jockey in Javier Castellano to boost his chances. Dominant turf trainer Chad Brown picked up his first Arlington Million win in 2013 when Real Solution was elevated to first via disqualification. Brown has won the most recent two Millions outright, with Beach Patrol in 2017 and with Robert Bruce last year.


Lauren King/Gulfstream Park

2. Magic Wand (5-1)

Jockey: Wayne Lordan

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Owners: Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith

Career record: 16 starts – 2 firsts – 5 seconds – 2 thirds

Career earnings: $1,795,733

Earnings per start: $112,233

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 119

Pedigree: Galileo – Prudenzia, by Dansili

Color: Bay

Age: 4

Running style: Stalker/closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This multiple stakes-winning filly is also entered in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington on Saturday, a race in which she’s third on the morning line behind Sistercharlie and Coolmore stablemate Fleeting at 3-1 odds. She has raced three times previously in the U.S. and performed quite well each time, finishing fourth behind Sistercharlie last fall in the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, second to Bricks and Mortar in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational back in January, and then a fast-closing third behind Channel Maker, beaten by three-quarters of a length, in the May 11 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park. Since that race, she’s raced three times in England and Ireland, finishing second twice and most recently 11th in the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes won by superstar Enable. Magic Wand employs the classic European turf running style, settling in midpack while covered up before angling out and making a closing run through the stretch. It will be interesting to see whether Aidan O’Brien employs his other entrant in the Million, Hunting Horn, as a pacesetting “rabbit” as he did when both Hunting Horn and Magic Wand ran in the Man o’ War. If Magic Wand stays in this race, this long-winded filly is a must-use in exacta and trifecta tickets, but overall she appears to be a cut below Bricks and Mortar and Robert Bruce as a win candidate. O’Brien and Coolmore have won the Arlington Million twice before – with Powerscourt in 2005 and Cape Blanco in 2011 (Powerscourt was also disqualified from first in 2004).


Eclipse Sportswire

3. Bricks and Mortar (8-5)

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Trainer: Chad Brown

Owners: Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence

Career record: 11 starts – 9 wins – 0 seconds – 2 thirds

Career earnings: $4,303,650

Earnings per start: $391,241

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 122

Pedigree: Giant’s Causeway – Beyond the Waves, by Ocean Crest

Color: Dark bay or brown

Age: 5

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Arguably the best turf horse racing in North America right now, this son of the late-great Giant’s Causeway is a testament to trainer Chad Brown’s patient handling. He showed much promise immediately as a 3-year-old back in 2017, winning his first four starts, including two stakes, and then finishing a close third in two more stakes, only to be sidelined due to injury for more than a year. Since returning in late 2018, he’s won five consecutive races, including three Grade 1 stakes, highlighted by the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational in which he earned more than $2.6 million. Bricks and Mortar enters the Arlington Million off of a 1 ½-length win over Robert Bruce in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes. In that race, he earned a career-best 122 Equibase Speed Figure and, from a visual perspective, appeared all set to take another lap around Belmont Park’s inner turf course after the finish. He’s a clear standout on Saturday, and although it must be noted that the turf course at Arlington has its own unique feel that has confounded favorites in the past (such as champions Kitten’s Joy in 2005 and Magician in 2014, to name two), Bricks and Mortar has already won twice on courses rated as good or yielding this year. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. has been aboard for all five of his recent wins and should have him well-positioned, perhaps a little closer to midpack than usual, as the Million field enters the homestretch. Dominant turf trainer Chad Brown picked up his first Arlington Million win in 2013 when Real Solution was elevated to first via disqualification. Brown has won the most recent two Millions outright, with Beach Patrol in 2017 and with Million entrant Robert Bruce in 2018. Irad Ortiz was aboard Robert Bruce last year.


Coady Photography

4. Catcho En Die (30-1)

Jockey: Sophie Doyle

Trainer: Naipaul Chatterpaul

Owners: Naipaul Chatterpaul and Sotirios Sakatis

Career record: 13 wins – 5 firsts – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $308,126

Earnings per start: $23,702

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 116

Pedigree: Catcher In The Rye – Lola Grill, by Engrillado

Color: Dark bay or brown

Age: 7

Running style: Press the pace/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This Argentine-bred, U.S.-based gelding summoned the two best performances of his career last summer at Arlington, winning the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes on the front end and then gaining third via disqualification in the Arlington Million. He did not race again in 2018 and has been ambitiously – many would say too ambitiously – entered in two Grade 1 stakes and one Grade 2 stakes this year, finishing ninth, eighth, and 11th. Catcho En Die races best on or near the lead but has not shown that penchant for speed so far this year, and it will be interesting to see how young jockey Sophie Doyle positions her mount during the early stages with a potential “rabbit” in Hunting Horn lined up to their outside. Leading Arlington jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. piloted Catcho En Die in both the Stars and Stripes and Arlington Million last year but will be aboard Captivating Moon on Saturday. This hard-knocking gelding has proven stamina at a mile and a quarter and should be a pace factor in this year’s Million, but overall he appears outclassed. His prior form at Arlington makes him worthy of considering at the bottom of superfecta tickets, though.


Coady Photography

5. Hunting Horn (12-1)

Jockey: Ryan Moore

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Owners: Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith

Career record: 19 starts – 2 wins – 2 seconds – 5 thirds

Career earnings: $885,722

Earnings per start: $46,617

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 119

Pedigree: Camelot – Mora Bai, Indian Ridge

Color: Bay

Age: 4

Running style: Pacesetter/press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: In his last appearance stateside, this Coolmore-campaigned son of Camelot shot out to an eight-length lead after a mile in the May 11 Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park. He still carried a three-length lead heading into the stretch of the 1 3/8-mile race, and for a few moments appeared all set to secure an elusive Grade/Group 1 win at 12.10-1 odds, only to be passed in the very late stages by Channel Maker, Arklow, and stablemate Magic Wand. Hunting Horn had raced four other times in the U.S. in 2018 and 2019, shipping back and forth from Europe, but the Man o’ War was his best North American effort so far and signaled a new front-end running style for him. Following that race, he returned to England for three straight Group 1 stakes this summer and finished fourth, fifth, and sixth while competing against the best turf horses in the world in Enable and Crystal Ocean. That recent experience means that the Arlington Million actually offers some class relief for Hunting Horn, and if he can secure the early lead and set sensible fractions against a field largely comprised of stalkers and closers, he has an outsider’s shot at winning. On the other hand, if he’s instructed to set a very fast pace on Saturday, it should enhance Magic Wand’s chances to rally late and win – along with the chances of top contenders Bricks and Mortar and Robert Bruce. O’Brien and Coolmore have won the Arlington Million twice before, with Powerscourt in 2005 and Cape Blanco in 2011 (Powerscourt was also disqualified from first in 2004).


6. The Great Day (SCRATCHED)

Jockey: Trevor McCarthy

Trainer: Arnaud Delacour

Owner: Lael Stables

Career record: 13 starts – 4 wins – 6 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $276,915

Earnings per start: $21,301

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 105

Pedigree: Harlan’s Holiday – The Great Glory, by Honour and Glory

Color: Bay

Age: 5

Running style: Stalker/closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This Argentine-bred son of Harlan’s Holiday won two Group 1 stakes in his home country before shipping to the U.S. earlier this year, and he’s shown improvement in his two races since then. He was blocked in the stretch during his North American debut when finishing fifth in a stakes race at Laurel Park in June, and then ran a good second to Arlington Million foe Bandua in the July 13 Arlington Handicap. Owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson of Barbaro fame, The Great Day is taking a big class jump on Saturday against the likes of Bricks and Mortar and Robert Bruce, but he’s already won twice and finished a close second at the Million’s 1 ¼-mile distance. If the pace scenario sets up for him, The Great Day should be running late in the stretch, and thus is worthy of considering in trifecta and/or superfecta tickets at high odds.


Coady Photography

7. Pivoine (15-1)

Jockey: Silvestre De Sousa

Trainer: Andrew Balding

Owner: King Power Racing Co.

Career record: 19 starts – 6 wins – 0 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $266,120

Earnings per start: $14,006

Top Equibase Speed Figure: N/A

Pedigree: Redoute’s Choice – Fleur de Cactus, by Montjeu

Color: Bay

Age: 5

Running style: Press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This England-based gelding is somewhat of a wild card in the 2019 Arlington Million. He’s built a steady, solid career competing in handicaps over various turf and all-weather courses in the U.K., but has only raced twice in Group 3 stakes, finishing sixth and fourth earlier this year in races won by top-class Crystal Ocean. Pivoine has plenty of experience racing at distance of 1¼ miles or longer and has had the most success throughout his career when positioned on or near the early lead. If Hunting Horn and Catcho En Die do not move up to contest the pace, Pivoine could hang around for a while on Saturday, but overall his running times are too slow to indicate that he’ll still be in contention through the homestretch. Andrew Balding trained Side Glance to third-place Arlington Million finishes in both 2013 and 2014.


Coady Photography

8. Captivating Moon (20-1)

Jockey: Jose Valdivia Jr.

Trainer: Chris Block

Owner: Lothenbach Stables

Career record: 14 starts – 2 wins – 6 seconds – 4 thirds

Career earnings: $262,941

Earnings per start: $18,782

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 107

Pedigree: Malibu Moon – Appealing Storm, by Valid Appeal

Color: Bay

Age: 4

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This consistent runner is still seeking his first stakes win but has only finished out of the money twice in 14 career starts. He’s shown good prior form on Arlington’s turf course, winning his career debut on there in July 2017 and placing twice in graded stakes on the grass at Arlington. Plus, he’s trained by Arlington mainstay Chris Block and will be piloted by Arlington’s current leading rider in Jose Valdivia Jr. All of those positives aside, Captivating Moon has still only won twice in 14 starts and will be facing the toughest field of his career on Saturday. In his only prior Grade 1 appearance, he finished an even fifth in the Secretariat Stakes last August at Arlington, a race in which his familiar foe and Million entrant Bandua finished third. Those two hooked up again in the July 13 Grade 3 Arlington Handicap, and Bandua won by 1 ¾ lengths while Captivating Moon rallied late to get third. A minor award appears to be his ceiling again in the Million.


Coady Photography

9. Intellogent (12-1)

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Trainer: Fabrice Chappet

Owner: F.J. Carmichael

Career record: 11 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 2 thirds

Career earnings: $492,523

Earnings per start: $44,775

Top Equibase Speed Figure: N/A

Pedigree: Intello – Nuit Polaire, by Kheleyf

Color: Chestnut

Age: 4

Running style: Stalker/closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This French-based, Irish-bred invader captured a Group 1 race in 2018 as a 3-year-old – the Qatar Prix Jean Prat at Deauville – but has yet to reach the winner’s circle in three starts this year. However, he did show improvement in his most recent start, closing late from last at odds of 46-1 to nab fourth in the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp on May 26. Aside from the two Coolmore horses, Magic Wand and Hunting Horn, this runner with an unusual pedigree represents Europe’s best chance at an Arlington Million win on Saturday. Based on his video replays from Europe, Intellogent doesn’t have the same turn of foot as do Bricks and Mortar and Robert Bruce (or Magic Wand, for that matter), but he does have proven stamina at the Million’s mile-and-a-quarter distance and also prefers firm turf. Furthermore, he picks up a rising star jockey in Florent Geroux, who first gained notice while riding at Arlington a few years ago and won the 2015 Million aboard The Pizza Man. Look for Geroux to position Intellogent behind the early leaders but in front of both Robert Bruce and Bricks and Mortar, with the aim of getting first run ahead of that pair in early stretch.


Coady Photography

10. Bandua (6-1)

Jockey: Adam Beschizza

Trainer: Jack Sisterson

Owner: Calumet Farm

Career record: 12 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $251,868

Earnings per start: $20,989

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 116

Pedigree: The Factor – If Angels Sang, by Seattle Slew

Color: Gray or roan

Age: 4

Running style: Press the pace/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This Calumet Farm-owned colt won the local prep for the Arlington Million, the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap, by 1 ¾ lengths on July 13. He began his racing career in Ireland in 2018, winning two of four starts there before moving to the U.S. last summer, and he made an impression right off the bat in his first start stateside when finishing a game third at odds of 39.70-1 in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington. Following that race, he endured a six-race losing streak, finishing second once and also trying dirt twice to no avail, but this summer he’s shown an uptick in ability, finishing a decent sixth behind Bricks and Mortar and Robert Bruce after pressing the pace in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes and then winning the Arlington Handicap. Bandua is not in the same class as his two Manhattan conquerors but has a chance to hit the board at decent odds based on his prior Arlington form. Plus, young jockey Adam Beschizza has an aggressive riding style that should put Bandua into the race early, ideally sitting just behind the pacesetters. Beschizza has been aboard Bandua for six of his previous seven starts, including his most recent win.

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