The 2021 Mr. D Stakes (formerly the Arlington Million) will be Race 9 on August 14th at Arlington Park. Post time is set for 6:13 PM CT. This Grade I race is one and 1/4 miles and has a purse of $600,000. This may unfortunately be the final time this race is run, given that Churchill Downs has put Arlington up for sale. The race is for three-year olds and upward. There are ten horses in the field this year. Let’s take a look at the rankings for everyone in this year’s field.
Domestic Spending is absolutely the horse to beat here. He’s won three Grade 1’s in a row: Hollywood Derby, Old Forester (Dead heat with Colonel Liam) and the Manhattan. He’s looked better and better each race over the past year and has already been included in horse of the year talks. He likes to sit off the pace and then run late and he has the best late speed in this field by far.
Zulu Alpha is a big-time name in here and as an eight-year old he’s been in his share of big races (21 graded stakes in his career). But he’s only raced once this year, the Arlington Stakes and that was off of a 10-month layoff. He went off as a 4/5 favorite and ended up finishing 5th. Maybe he needed that race to shake some rust off and if he returns to form he may have the speed to pull off the upset. Although I could see him needing at least another race to get back to his best form. But he will have probably the hottest jockey in the country on board in Luis Saez this time.
Armory makes his way over to the States for the first time. He finished 3rd in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot two starts back as a 5/2 second choice before finishing 4th in his last at the Sky Bet York Stakes. He may have taken a small step back in that last, but coming over with talented jockey Ryan Moore here makes Armory and interesting entry here.
Bizzee Channel won that prep-race, the Arlington Stakes, that Zulu Alpha finished 5th in and has now won two in a row. Two Emmys finished 2nd in that Arlington Stakes and Another Mystery finished 3rd in that one. Bizzee Channel and Two Emmys look to be the early speed here along with Big Dreaming.
Domestic Spending and Zulu Alpha will sit off that pace along with Glynn County and Strong Tide. Glynn County finished 5th in the United Nations in his last. He has some late speed, possibly the second or third best in the field and could get up for exotics. Another Mystery tends to sit even further back and close late just like he did to get up for third in his last.
Space Traveler makes his second trip to the States. His last was an 8th place finish in what was a very fast Breeder’s Cup Mile. He’s finished 6th or worse in four of his five race since then (He won the other). He’s not in his best form, but shown some serious speed in the past.
I’ve ran the Mr. D 1,000 times in simulations. Below are the results of those races.
Quick Wrap Up and Betting Strategies
Most Likely to Win: 3 Domestic Spending
My Bet: 3 to Win, 3-9 Exacta
Domestic Spending is the big favorite here and a horse that I probably won’t play against. The exotics have a lot more questions. Armory in his first race in the US, Zulu Alpha in his second off a layoff and the other horses who ran in the prep at Arlington Bizzee Channel and Two Emmys and Glynn County who hasn’t seen any of these horses before and could be running late. I’m excited to see Domestic Spending do his thing on Saturday and it will take a great effort by anyone else to take him down.