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The Beverly D. and Secretariat

The Beverly D. is shaping up to be a very tough race; Dreaming of Anna, Precious Kitten and Mauralakana are the headliners, but it’s a quality field all around. Although Precious Kitten has excelled in California (and my general rule is ‘never bet against Bobby Frankel with a turf filly’), I like the home-track advantage that Dreaming of Anna has at Arlington Park. In any event, it will be something of a family reunion – Precious Kitten is Dreaming of Anna’saunt‘ (as Kitten’s First was the dam of Justenuffheart, Precious Kitten’s dam).

Neil Milbert writes in the Chicago Tribune that moving the Beverly D. and the Secretariat onto the Arlington Million undercard, rather than the early 1990s arrangement of each race headlining a different day over Labor Day weekend, may have made the feature race somewhat less exciting. He argues that the connections of top fillies and mares and 3-year-old colts now find it much more attractive to keep them in their own divisions rather than give the Million a go, which was not as uncommon in the past. (He notes 3-year-old Tolemo beating John Henry and Estrapade beating the boys). I don’t know that I’m entirely convinced (much as I like Tizdejavu – and more on him below – I think he is better off waiting to tackle the Million next year), but it’s an interesting idea.

And so to the Secretariat – it is hard to see beyond Tizdejavu, given how effortless his wins on turf have been. The foreign invaders in the Secretariat seem to be the second string, although it’s easy to like Plan’s breeding – he’s out of Distaff champion Spain – but he’s clearly not in the same company as his fellow Ballydoyle 3-year-olds at this point. (An interesting side note is that Ballydoyle’s unprecedented success this year is apparently hitting bookmakers quite hard – it’s worth considering when betting against them).

Check back tomorrow for more on the Million…

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