A trio of grade III races run on the same day for the first time makes up Saturday's Million Preview Day at Arlington Park outside Chicago. The races are set up as a prep for Aug. 18, when the meet's premier day of racing goes with the Arlington Million, Beverly D., and Secretariat Stakes.
Million Preview Day consists of the $250,000 Arlington Handicap on the turf, the $150,000 Round Table for 3-year-olds on dirt, and the $150,000 Modesty Handicap for fillies and mares on turf.
The Arlington Handicap at nine furlongs features co-highweights Make No Mistake and Takarian. The latter ships in from California with trainer Beau Greely with a victory in the grade II American Handicap July 4 at Hollywood Park under his belt. That was his first graded stakes win since winning the same race in 1999. Make No Mistake comes off a good second to Hap in the grade II Dixie Handicap at Pimlico in May. Since arriving stateside from Ireland last year, the 6-year-old, trained by Burk Kessinger Jr. has one win, that coming in the grade III Bougainvillea Handicap at Hialeah in March.
Those two will likely have to hold off Bobby Frankel's El Gran Papa to get the money. The 4-year-old by El Gran Senor comes to Arlington off a score in the Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star Park last month.
A field of six contests the Round Table at nine furlongs, headed by San Pedro, who comes in with a three-race winning streak, most recently scoring by daylight in the mud in an allowance test at Arlington three weeks ago. Joe Broussard trains the son of Leo Castelli, who will carry 120 pounds from the rail. Breaking from the outside post is co-highweight Discreet Hero, a convincing winner of the Alydar Stakes over the track earlier this month. The colt by Honour and Glory has three wins from seven races for trainer Albert Stall Jr.
The Modesty attracts a field of 11 and is run at the Beverly D. distance of 1 3/16th miles. Megans Bluff is highweighted at 118 and starts from the middle of the gate. Jockey Craig Perret is back aboard after the pair scored in the Mint Julep Handicap, a grade III run at Churchill Downs in May. The wide-open affair includes Solvig, who owns a graded stakes win over this turf, Jig, a Hollywood Park stakes winner, and stakes winners Polaire and Histoire Sainte. Badouizm looks dangerous coming off a close second at Woodbine in the grade III Dance Smartly last out.