06/06/2011 2:17PM

Arlington Park: No toss-outs among eight in feature


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – A handicapper can find all sorts of angles in the featured sixth race Wednesday at Arlington, a highly competitive third-level allowance race carded for one mile on Polytrack also open to $80,000 claimers.

Best last-race Beyer Speed Figure? That easily belongs to Saint Leon, whose 103 figure from a sharp May 3 Arlington sprint victory is a stakes-quality number.

Only horse in an optional claimer entered under allowance conditions? That’d be Hattaash, whose bid into a furious pace in a race at this class level and distance on May 21 might have been premature.

Euro import? Got one of those. Beauchamp Viceroy is a 7-year-old warrior who has specialized in synthetic-surface racing. His trainer, Gerard Butler, has picked spots wisely with his short string of Arlington stock, compiling a record of 2-1-0 from five starters.

Eight in all were entered in the Wednesday feature, and there’s not an easy throwout among them. Saint Leon gets a narrow call not so much because of his triple-digit figure, but because Arlington’s main track has on several occasions this meet promoted speed. (That was especially true this past Saturday, when inside speed dominated.) Jockey E.T. Baird, so far having an outstanding meet, winds up on Saint Leon over Exchanging Kisses, having ridden both to victory in their most recent starts. Exchanging Kisses is a front-running type like Saint Leon, but Saint Leon almost certainly is the quicker horse. He’s also versatile, having scored wins in races as disparate as five furlongs on Polytrack and a two-turn turf mile.

It’s entirely possible that Saint Leon makes the front and never looks back, but if he falters, his trainer, Michele Boyce, has late-running Princeville Condo also in the race. Princeville Condo has made just one start on Polytrack, but it was a good one, a close second-place finish last year in a restricted Arlington stakes.

Coragil Cat’s ideal race probably is a one-turn synthetic mile, but his second-place finish at this class level last time came with Coragil Cat rallying late into a hot pace. Coragil Cat beat Hattaash by a neck that day, but Hattaash might have turned in the better performance.

Beauchamp Viceroy, the English horse, had some sort of minor setback shortly after arriving at Arlington, but he apparently is back on track now, and his top efforts would at least give him a fighting chance. The same, however, might be said about all in the Wednesday feature.