Arena Sportsnet

US Racing Weekend Preview

Arlington’s International Festival of Racing is set to be contested on Saturday, Aug. 11. Headlined by the 36th running of the Arlington Million (G1), along with the Beverly D. (G1) and the Secretariat Stakes (G1), the International Festival of Racing will encompass a stakes-filled race card containing all three of Arlington Park’s Grade 1 races — the only three Grade 1 races run annually in the state of Illinois.
In an excellent article that appeared in the Thoroughbred Daily News a while back, “Lasix: Why the Effinex Team Just Said Yes,” author Bill Finley recounts the story of Effinex, a four-year-old colt that won the Clark Handicap after finishing second to American Pharoah in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has won five previous editions of the $200,000 Adirondack Stakes (G2) at Saratoga (including the last two), will send out a pair of talented fillies in search of his sixth winner in the 6 ½-furlong feature for juvenile fillies.
Saturday’s $200,000 Best Pal Stakes (G2) at Del Mar is the first main graded stakes event for 2-year-olds in Southern California and also a first glimpse into the future star quality of the juvenile crop racing in the Golden State and, perhaps, a first look at an eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner or even Kentucky Derby (G1) winner.
Many handicappers believe the trainer angle is the single most important piece of the handicapping pie, especially when top-rung racing is taking place — like at Saratoga during the heart of summer in July and August.
If Churchill Downs is American thoroughbred horse racing’s cathedral, then its steeple and eternal landmark is the Twin Spires. These two pinnacles cast a glow up and down Louisville, Kentucky’s Central Avenue and across the landscape of horse racing history.

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Special thanks to Derek Simon and US Racing

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