December 4, 2021

Zulu Alpha makes return on Arlington’s Million Preview Day

Zulu Alpha justified even-money favoritism in the Mac Diarmida (Ryan Thompson/Coglianese Photos)

Arlington S. (G3) — Race 6 (6:03 p.m. ET)

The return to action of 2020 Eclipse Award turf male finalist Zulu Alpha highlights the action on Million Preview Day at Arlington Park on Saturday. The eight-year-old gelding looms as an overwhelming favorite in the $100,000 Arlington S. (G3) over 1 3/16 miles, which serves as a prep for the $600,000 Mr. D. (G1) on Aug. 14, formerly the Arlington Million.

Trained by Mike Maker, Zulu Alpha enjoyed a successful, albeit shortened, 2020 campaign, the highlight of which was a two-length score in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) at Gulfstream in January. Subsequently victorious in the Mac Diarmida (G2) and Elkhorn (G2), Zulu Alpha bowed out for the season after finishing third to Arklow in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) in September due to a leg injury. His absence from late season events like the Breeders’ Cup hindered his chances at the turf championship, which was won by Channel Maker.

Should Zulu Alpha fall a bit short in his comeback from the long layoff, rivals like Two Emmys and Bizzee Channel bear watching. Two Emmys turned in a surprise second-place finish to Colonel Liam in the Muniz Memorial (G2) at Fair Grounds in March, and then was off until a June 19 allowance at Arlington, in which he finished second to Bizzee Channel by 2 1/4 lengths.

Captivating Moon, who upset the Fair Grounds (G3) in February and has won or placed in three prior outings over the Arlington turf, is another capable threatening for a share.

The other turf stakes action on Saturday’s card includes the $100,000 Modesty S. (G3) for fillies and mares at 1 3/16 miles; the $100,000 American Derby for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; and the $75,000 Hatoof S. for three-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, all of which serve as local preps for other graded stakes on Arlington’s Aug. 14 program.