Glee at Laurel Park on Thursday and heartbreak at Gulfstream Park. With one leg left on the Pick 4, our final horse came a spot short of winning the final race of the day. In any event, I was content with how I handicapped the five races and just got a bit unlucky. Laurel Park was a winning day with 2 for 3 horses coming through. Fast Master and Kwist ended up being bigger payouts on the parimutuel scale than originally anticipated. Our final selection of the day in Maryland didn’t connect, but it was nevertheless a good day at Laurel Park.
Arlington Park, which has a murky future in Illinois, is hosting an eight-race card worth $173,880. The CEO of Arlington Park indicated last month that there’s a good chance the land will be sold at some point. It would then be up to the new owners on what they want to do with the property. This race course has been there in Arlington Heights since 1927. We do know that there will be a racecard on Friday afternoon at Arlington Park. Head below for our free Arlington Park picks for September 11, 2020.
Post Time: 2:05 p.m. CST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
We’ll get started at Arlington Park with the first race of the day in Illinois. Race 1 covers 6 furlongs on the synthetic track for a $37,260 purse. This is a shade lower than the top purse of the day in Race 3.
Atone and Rule Follower should be in the mix in the stretch for the top prize. Rule Follower was a $275,000 purchase at auction last March. From $9,500 in 2017 to $90,000 in 2018 to $275,000 last year. It’s early in his career, but he hasn’t justified that purchase price thus far.
Rule Follower has finished 5th in back-to-back races to open his career. He finished 5th in a $27,000 event in his debut on July 25, and then followed up for the same in another $27,000 event on August 15.
The good news for Rule Follower is that he looked good in two workouts since his last race with times of 1:26.40 at 7 furlongs and 48 seconds at 4 furlongs most recently on September 1. Rule Follower will have to show something on race day soon, though.
Atone is taking a huge stop down in class for Friday’s race. After appearing in February at Gulfstream Park in a $50,000 event, and then a $123,200 race at Woodbine on August 16, Atone moves down to a winnable level.
Atone finished 6th in both races. I can’t really blame him too much for his run at Woodbine. He was blocked in by traffic and only began to open up when he was loose in the stretch. Expect a duel going into the stretch, with Atone outlasting Rule Follower at the wire.
Post Time: 3:06 p.m. CST
Race 3 is the feature race of the day, with a purse slightly more than Race 1. This event will cover 5 furlongs for a purse of $37,950. Can’t Say No and Unscatched should have a good shot at the top prize in this one. Can’t Say No is 9 for 39 in his career and has been on a nice run recently to go 1st, 1st, 4th, 2nd, 1st in his previous five outings. In his most recent, Can’t Say No beat Lost in Manhattan by 3 ¼ lengths for a $15,500 purse.
His last three wins were for $11,800 twice and $15,500. This is a considerable step up from those races. In the race he finished 4th in, Can’t Say No was racing for a $13,800 purse. In any case, I think that Can’t Say No can at least keep this race close. It’s not the most difficult field in the world in Race 3. That said, Unscatched is going to provide Can’t Say No with a big challenge.
Unscatched is 10 for 23 in his career and in search of a hat-trick on Friday afternoon. He is in search of a hat-trick in this one after winning on August 1 and August 22. Unscatched was able to secure the wins by 9 ¼ lengths and 1 ½ lengths in a more difficult race for $33,000. This is for a bigger prize, but his competitors haven’t had success running in a class this high. Unscatched does, though, and he’s in great form at the moment. I’d lean towards a play on Unscatched.
Post Time: 5:51 p.m. CST
One more selection at Arlington Park for today, which takes place in the early evening hours just after 6:00 CST p.m. Para Viri and Looktheotherway have a good case in this 7-furlong event. Para Viri is 12 for 52 in her career and feeling confident after her previous two races.
She is coming off back-to-back wins on July 21 and August 14 by 6 ¼ lengths and 5 ¼ lengths. Those were considerably easier assignments for $7,200 and $11,000, though. Prior to those to wins, Para Viri was struggling in the $9,000-$12,000 range, so a race at $17,250 is a big step up for the mare. Looktheotherway is 10 for 38 in her career, and isn’t coming off two wins, but is coming off a much tougher race than this.
She finished 4th in a $33,000 race two week ago, which was after Looktheotherway won by 2 lengths in a $12,500 event on August 1. She has had problems finding success in higher classes, but no problems in the $10,000-$20,000 range. Looktheotherway will likely have to fight for a win in the stretch, but should be able to get it done from a favorable post position. The form from her previous race in the $33,000 event should be more than enough against these opponents when it’s all said and done.