Race 8 at Arlington Park on Saturday, July 13 | Post Time 6:19 PM Eastern Time

American Derby | Purse $150,000 | One Mile and One Sixteenth on Turf | Three Year Olds

 

Another Mystery (6) is a lightly raced colt, like many of these. He's run four times in his career and the first two starts, for whatever reason, were abysmal. Things turned a corner big time after that, when switching from Louisiana to Illinois and to the Block barn in May. He rallied from last of nine to win by a head in a main track route then was flattered when the runner-up came back to win, and then he improved again to win, again with a rally from last of seven. That race was scheduled for turf but run on the main track and I have ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT he can run as well on grass. He's bred to ADORE the turf on both sides of his family tree. His dam was a multiple winner who earned nearly a half-million on the circuit and won 11 races on grass. She's produced nine other foals, who between them have TWENTY-FOUR turf wins. Sire Temple City is a top sire of turf stakes winners as well. With a ton of early pace to set up his late kick as High Crime stretches out to two turns and Strong Will is a need-the-lead type, plus some horses drawn well outside will have to use speed to get closer to the rail before the first turn, Another Mystery will be flying down the stretch once again and I'm pretty certain he's going to run a lot better than his 12/1 morning line odds suggest he will.

The Last Zip (9) has been first or second in the early stages of all three of his turf routes, finishing second in the first two of the three then winning last month at Belmont, showing a lot of competitive spirit in all three. In his first two starts, both turf sprints, he closed nicely and so I don't think he's going to get sucked up in an early pace battle like or Flying Scotsman (11) might, who returns from seven and one-half months off and who not only may be a bit "fresh" but also showed he likes to be up close early in both turf starts to date. The Last Zip is a maiden winner in a stakes but since these are all three year olds and most have just one or two wins to their credit I'm not too concerned, plus trainer Stidham know his horses and if he thinks the gelding is ready for this level I will not argue.

Bundibunan (5) rallied from ninth to miss by a head last time out and although he has just won once in nine races he could benefit from the hot early pace to be in the mix at the end. Crafty Daddy (12) did stalk in second in his last two races, both wins, but prior to that when breaking his maiden he closed from 13th of 14 so it is very possible Geroux won't try to get any early position and will be content to let him drop back to last or nearly so. If that happens, he could have a big impact as well. Faraway Kitten (3) won the Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury Park last month, with a rally from 11 lengths back in the early stages. He won that race in spite of some trouble but there's not telling the quality of those he beat. Still, he must be considered for exotic wagers we make involving this race.

 

Betting Strategies:

Win Bets: Another Mystery (6) to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 6 to 1 or higher odds.

Consider smaller win bets on these contenders: The Last Zip (9) at odds of 4/1 or more, Bundibunan (5) at odds of 4 to 1 or more, Crafty Daddy (12) at odds of 9 to 2 or more, Faraway Kitten (3) at odds of 5 to 1 or more.

Exactas:

Box Faraway Kitten (3), Bundibunan (5), Another Mystery (6), The Last Zip (9) and Crafty Daddy (12).

Box Another Mystery (6) and Flying Scotsman (11).