08/06/2008 11:00PM

Archipenko anchors Arlington pick three


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - At every racetrack, from the worst to the best, there are horses that are chronic money destroyers. Regularly bet down to short odds, typically in maiden races or low-end contests, they look like must-win, if only by default, simply because they face a field that appears soft for the level.

More often than not these money destroyers continue to lose, and let down their backers once more.

Much harder to find are those runners that continually outperform their odds, time and time again outperforming the expectations of the betting public. But they, too, are around - albeit in fewer numbers.

One such runner - Archipenko - is in Saturday's Arlington Million, and given his history of outrunning expectations, I'll anchor an all-stakes pick three at Arlington around him, singling him in the Million and taking some shots in the first two legs of the wager.

Back to Archipenko a little later in the column, but first things first. Here's a rundown of the three Grade 1 Stakes at Arlington Saturday, beginning with the Secretariat, and how I plan to play the all-stakes pick three, which has a guaranteed pool of $250,000.

Race 8, Secretariat

Tizdejavu (No. 6), perfect in three starts on grass, is the most probable winner and will be a single on many pick-three tickets.

Besides going 3 for 3 on turf, all in graded company, he has shown the ability to handle any course condition, and would appear the controlling speed of the Secretariat.

He is also bred to handle the stretchout to 1 1/4 miles - a distance at which his sire, Tiznow, won back-to-back Breeders' Cup Classics on dirt.

I really don't see a fault in Tizdejavu, other than his price. He is 6-5 on the line, and his virtues are so apparent I see no value in backing him to win, or in singling him in the pick three.

I'll use him out of necessity, but also take a chance with 10-1 shot Winchester (No. 2) and 8-1 Your Round (No. 7), hoping one of them pulls of an upset.

Winchester, trained by Dermot Weld, drops in class after finishing seventh of 11 in the Group 1 Irish Derby, and is returned to his best distance of 1 1/4 miles. Racing this distance in April, he won a maiden race and later placed in a listed stakes race.

Weld, who unforgettably won the 1990 Belmont Stakes with European invader Go and Go, is dangerous with a shipper, and this one, who adds the anti-bleeding medication Lasix for the first time, looks the part of a live longshot.

As for Your Round, he ran deceptively well to finish an even fourth in the Virginia Derby - seemingly a stronger race than the Secretariat - finishing 4 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Gio Ponti.

Race 9, Beverly D.

With Dreaming of Anna and Rosinka seemingly the only true speed horses in the race, it is difficult to envision a fast pace developing. Neither Garrett Gomez on Dreaming of Anna, nor Cornelio Velasquez on Rosinka will wish to go head to head - knowing full well that two classy and likely superior fillies in Precious Kitten and Mauralakana are going to by waiting to pounce in the stretch.

Of the two, Rosinka would appear more likely to be rated, having won from off the pace, so I'll use Dreaming of Anna (No. 1) as a potential lone speed play, although she may not have quite enough to hold off Precious Kitten (No. 3) and Mauralakana (No. 4), my other two plays in the pick three.

Precious Kitten was unlucky in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf last year when carried out by another rival, losing all chance and finishing eighth. She has subsequently won the Grade 1 Matriarch and Grade 1 Gamely, with a fifth in the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley sandwiched between.

Mauralakana, meanwhile, comes into the Beverly D. off three straight victories, including a pair of Gradeo2's, the Sheapshead Bay and New York Handicap.

Race 10, Arlington Million

Fittingly, the Million is the best race of the three Grade 1's at Arlington Saturday, and Archipenko is no slam-dunk - facing the likes of Stream Cat, Einstein, Mount Nelson, and others.

But when I look at the recent form of Archipenko (No. 1) - his four starts with blinkers - it is impossible to not be impressed with him. He is the opposite of a money destroyer; he has overachieved relative to expectations in each of last four starts.

First, he won the Al Fahidi Fort, a Group 2 in Dubai, defeating Royal Oath and Lord Admiral in a race with no mutuel wagering. Then after a close third in the Dubai Duty Free at 21-1 odds, he won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong at 13-1 and the Grade 2 Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot at 11-1.

Besides performing well at rewarding odds, he showed an ability to ship and be effective - an important consideration for a horse traveling to race in the Million.

The Ticket

A $1 ticket - 6-2-7 with 3-4-1 with 1 - is a $9 wager in the pick three.