Nine runners entered today for Saturday’s Arlington Million as the iconic turf test takes up a new residence at Churchill Downs. It’s part of a single-day meeting that features 11 races, including the Grade 1 Beverly D. The Million lineup is led by Kentucky Derby Day’s Grade 1 Turf Classic winner Santin (post 6) and 2021 Breeders’ Cup Mile runner-up Smooth Like Strait (post 4).
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Parent company Churchill Downs, Inc., which ceased operations at Arlington Park at the end of last summer’s season, has moved the Chicagoland’s most historic race to Louisville for the first time. In the interim, Churchill Downs proper has struggled with its new turf course during the 2022 spring-summer meet and beyond, cancelling grass racing the final days of that stand. Originally, 4 turf stakes were planned for this Saturday, but concerns over the course continue and resulted in a trimmed offering on grass. The co-featured Beverly D. drew 5 entries.
The Arlington Million shortens in trip to 1-1/8 miles from its traditional 1-1/4 miles, bringing it in closer competition with Saturday’s same-day Grade 1 Fourstardave at a mile on turf at Saratoga. The distance certainly helps lure Smooth Like Strait, who figures to show speed in the Arlington Million along with front-running Megacity. That they leave in posts 4 and 5, respectively, could ratchet the competitive fires and increase the pace tempo. Santin and Field Pass (post 3) figure to be sitting in the second flight with a chance for the first-over run.
Saturday’s 11-race program begins at a special 12:45 pm ET first post time, with the Arlington Million post time set for 6:25 pm ET as Race 11.
Churchill Downs // Race 11 // Grade 1 $1 million Arlington Million// 1-1/8 miles (turf)
1. Set Piece // Brad Cox // Florent Geroux
2. Sacred Life // Chad Brown // Manny Franco
3. Field Pass // Mike Maker // Reylu Gutierrez
4. Smooth Like Strait // Michael McCarthy // John Velazquez
5. Megacity // Mike Maker // Gerardo Corrales
6. Santin // Brendan Walsh // Tyler Gaffalione
7. Admission Office // Brian Lynch // Brian Hernadez, Jr.
8. Cavalry Charge // Dallas Stewart // David Cohen
9. Cellist // Rusty Arnold // Corey Lanerie
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