El Picaro, who is a multiple time GI winner in his native Chile, will be making his second start in the U.S on Saturday in the GIII Arlington Handicap which will be run at 1 3/16th-miles over the Arlington turf course. A field of ten is set for the Saturday feature on Arlington’s Million Preview day card.
The 4-year-old son of Looking At Lucky was victorious in five of his seven tries in Chile before shipping to North America for his 4-year-old debut in the GII Wise Dan at Churchill Downs.
“He pretty much missed the break that day so overall yes it was a good race for him,” said Ignacio Correas IV who trains El Picaro. “He’s done everything right so far. I think the next few races he’s going to run he’ll show us what he’s made of. That first race was a good sample but now he has really settled in and I think he’s going to show us what he can do.”
El Picaro will break from post 5 on Saturday and is to be ridden by Arlington’s leading rider Jose Valdivia Jr. for the 1 3/16th journey.
Breaking from the rail on Saturday’s Arlington Handicap will be Bandua. The 4-year-old son of The factor is exiting what looks to be one of the most competitive turf races so far this year in the GI Manhattan last time out. Bandua battled early on before being passed by potential horse of the year Bricks and Mortar, and last year’s Arlington Million champion Robert Bruce.
“I was happy with the overall performance,” said Sisterson who trains the 4-year-old colt. “He finished up well considering how much we had to use early in the race. I think this could be a great stepping-stone for him. We know he has the talent and he’s been training really well coming into this race. We just hope he can get his head out there in front and I think he has the talent to take them all the way.”
Owned by Calumet Farm, Bandua will be looking for his first North American win on Saturday. He will break from post 1 and will be ridden by Adam Beschizza.
Captivating Moon, who is also cross-entered in an allowance race earlier in the card, will be making his first start of 2019 on Saturday. The now 4-year-old son of Malibu Moon ran second in the 2018 GII American Turf as well as a second place finish in the 2018 GII American Derby.
He will be looking for his first win in graded stakes company as he comes off of a ten month layoff for trainer Chris Block. Owned by Lothenbach Stables Inc, Captivating Moon has hit the board in nine of his ten turf tries, and has earned over $240,000 in his thirteen-race career thus far.
He will break from post 6 and will be ridden by Carlos Marquez Jr.
Rounding out the field will be Botswana (post 2, Mitchell Murrill), Nobrag Justfact (post 3, Eddie Martin Jr.), Spooky Channel (post 4, Julio Felix), The Great Day (post 7, Flavien Prat), Royal Artillery (post 8, Miguel Mena), and Cullum Road (post 9, Florent Geroux).