Horses readying for the 37th Arlington International Festival of Racing a month later will compete in Saturday’s Arlington Million Preview Day program. The nine-race card features four stakes including $150,000 Arlington H. (G3), $150,000 Modesty (G3) and $150,000 American Derby (G3), respective preps for the Arlington Million (G1), Beverly D (G1) and Secretariat (G1) on August 10.
Captivating Moon, second as the favorite in last year’s American Derby, will return from a 9 1/2-month layoff against nine opponents in the Arlington H. Chris Block trains the four-year-old son of Malibu Moon and Captivating Moon was last seen finishing a close third in the Jefferson Cup last fall, his ninth stakes placing (including three graded. He will seek his first stakes tally and Carlos Marquez Jr. rides the 3-1 morning line favorite.
Other contenders in the 1 3/16-mile turf affair include 2018 Secretariat third-placer Bandua; multiple Chilean Group 1 victor El Picaro, sixth in the June 15 Wise Dan (G2) when making his U.S. debut; and Cullum Road, a good third in the Fort Marcy (G3) at Belmont Park two starts back.
Nine turf distaffers will contest the Modesty over 9 1/2 furlongs and Simply Breathless invades from California in good form, posting wins in the Golden Poppy at Golden Gate Fields and Wilshire (G3) at Santa Anita. Those were the first starts stateside for the English import and Flavien Prat will be in to guide the four-year-old filly for Neil Drysdale. Simply Breathless has been tabbed the early 9-5 favorite by the Arlington Park oddsmaker Grant LaGrange.
Juliet Foxtrot also brings a two-race win skein, taking both U.S. starts for Brad Cox since arriving from overseas, and steps up to face stakes foes after defeating allowance runners at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. Florent Geroux has the assignment. Last-out Matron (G3) runner-up No Pali Spirit and multiple Grade 3 winner Vexatious are also part of the mix.
The American Derby drew 13 three-year-olds for 1 1/16 miles on turf and marks the 2019 bow of Flying Scotsman, who was last seen winning the Cecil N. DeMille (G3) at Del Mar in late November. Jack Sisterson now trains the Calumet Farm homebred and Prat will be up on the 3-1 morning line favorite.
Crafty Daddy brings a three-race win streak, most recently taking an allowance at Churchill Downs for Cox. Faraway Kitten exits a win in the Majestic Lake Derby at Canterbury Park and other contenders include High Crime, who will try turf with solid dirt form to his credit; stakes runner-up Bundibunan; and last-out Belmont maiden scorer The Last Zip.
The $75,000 Hatoof kicks off the stakes action and Princesa Carolina, who placed in the Appalachian (G2) and Herecomesthebride (G3) earlier this season, is the one to beat among nine three-year-old fillies in the 1 1/16-mile turf event.