Edited from NTRA press release--
The NTRA National Pick 4 wager--offered in conjunction with three of the "Emirates Airline Super Saturday" series installments airing on ESPN and ABC through Oct.1--will again be available to bettors Aug. 13.
The wager challenges fans to select the winners of four graded stakes: The Arlington Million (gr. IT) and $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) from Arlington Park, and the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) and $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. II) Handicaps from Saratoga.
All races will air live Saturday on ABC from 4p.m-6p.m. ET.
The wager carries a $400,000 gross pool guarantee, has a $1 minimum wager amount, and will be hubbed as a separate card event by Saratoga with a 25% takeout. To wager, fans should ask for "National Pick 4."
The first leg of the ticket will be the A. G. Vanderbilt, with a post time of 4:15 p.m. ET, followed in order by the Beverly D. (4:35 p.m. ET), the Sword Dancer (4:55 p.m. ET), and the Arlington Million (5:35 p.m. ET).
"We are again pleased to link a national wager with a prominent national telecast," said NTRA senior vice president for product development Kenneth E. Kirchner. "This year's first NTRA National Pick 4 linked to the Emirates Airline Super Saturday series June 18 was very well received by fans.
"The National Pick 4 we offered last year on these same races handled $1,208,442. So with the promise of full, strong fields, we think customers will again find the wager highly attractive," Kirchner said.Arlington Million (gr. IT)
Next to the $2 million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), the Arlington Million can be classified as America's premier turf event as it traditionally attracts a stellar field of international stars, many or whom will later compete in the World Thoroughbred Championships.
Heading this year's list is the Dale Romans-trained Kitten's Joy, the 2004 Eclipse Award winning male turf horse who won the Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Churchill last month, and the Aidan O'Brien-trained Powerscourt, who finished first in last year's Arlington Million, but was disqualified and placed fourth.
In addition to Kitten's Joy, the other top American based contenders are Sweet Return, back-to-back winner of a pair of grade I West coast races--the Charles Whittingham Memorial and Eddie Read Handicaps--and Cool Conductor, who captured the July 23 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT).
The 1 1/4-mile race is part of the John Deere Turf Division. Kitten's Joy and Powerscourt were second and third, respectively, in the 2004 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT). Joining Powerscourt in making the trip from Europe are Touch of Land, and Alost, both stakes winners overseas. Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT)
Saratoga's top turf event, the 1 1/2-miles race for horses is also part of the John Deere Turf Division and will be headed by Better Talk Now, winner of last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf. Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT)
Some of the best female turf horses in training will compete in this sister event to the Arlington Million. Heading the field will be the Bill Mott-trained Wend, winner of the New York Handicap (gr. IIT) in her last start. Among her foes will be the Bobby Frankel-trained 3-year-old Melhor Ainda, who will take on her elders for the first time.
Megahertz is another potent threat to win from the Frankel barn. The 1 3/16-miles event for fillies & mares is part of the Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf Division. Alfred G. Vanderbuilt Handicap (gr. II):
The six-furlong contest is part of the TVG Sprint Division. Smokume, trained by Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens and ridden by Chantal Sutherland, figures to be the morning line favorite in a field that will include Kelly's Landing, who broke the Churchill Downs track record for six furlongs in his last start.
Additional NTRA National Pick 4 wagers will be offered during subsequent Emirates Airline "Super Saturday Series" on Oct. 1 (ESPN, 4-6p.m. ET), and in conjunction with NBC's Oct. 8 Breeders' Cup Preview telecast (4:30-6:00 p.m.)