Set Piece Aims To Add Grade 1 To His Resume In Arlington Million - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Set Piece Aims To Add Grade 1 To His Resume In Arlington Million

Set Piece wins the G2 Dinner Party Stakes in May at Pimlico Race Course.

Set Piece (GB) arrived in the United States two years ago to the care of multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox, and since then owner Juddmonte has been rewarded with seven victories. The one missing link in Set Piece's résumé is a Grade 1 win but Cox hopes that could change in Saturday's $1 million Arlington Million (G1) at Churchill Downs.

Set Piece recorded seven of his 10 lifetime victories in the barn of Cox, most notably winning last year's $250,000 Wise Dan (G2) by a half-length over Somelikeithotbrown. The son of Dansili (GB) came 1 ½ lengths from Grade 1 glory in last year's $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga but was defeated by the sensational mare Got Stormy.

“He's been training very well up at Saratoga and we were between running him back in this year's Fourstardave or going back to Churchill for the Arlington Million,” Cox said. “He's had a lot of success at Churchill and hopefully on Saturday he can add a Grade I win to his résumé.”

Set Piece arrived to Churchill Downs early Tuesday morning and had a 1 ½-mile gallop Wednesday under exercise rider Fernando Espinoza.

In his last start, Set Piece finished a disappointing fifth in the $175,000 Forbidden Apple (G3) as the 2-1 betting favorite. Through 15 starts with Cox, Set Piece has gone to post as the favorite 10 times. Set Piece was made the 4-1 third choice by morning line oddsmaker Mike Battaglia in the Arlington Million.

Here's the complete Arlington Million field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds):

  1. Set Piece (GB) (Geroux, Cox, 4-1)
  2. Sacred Life (FR) (Manny Franco, Chad Brown, 9-2)
  3. Field Pass (Rey Gutierrez, Mike Maker, 8-1)
  4. Smooth Like Strait (John Velazquez, Michael McCarthy, 5-2)
  5. Megacity (Gerardo Corrales, Mike Maker, 15-1)
  6. Santin (Tyler Gaffalione, Brendan Walsh, 3-1)
  7. Admission Office (Brian Hernandez Jr., Brian Lynch, 10-1)
  8. Cavalry Charge (David Cohen, Dallas Stewart, 20-1)
  9. Cellist (Corey Lanerie, Rusty Arnold, 15-1)

The Arlington Million will be conducted in Lane 1 on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Saturday's first post at Churchill Downs is 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the Arlington Million will go as the Race 11 finale at 6:25 p.m.

Thanks to cooperation from Ellis Park, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Kentucky horsemen, the 1 1/8-mile Arlington Million, which annually attracts some of the nation's elite turf stars age 3-years-old and up, will be staged at Churchill Downs for the first time in a special stand-alone, one-day, summertime event at the historic Louisville racetrack. Previously, it was run at Arlington Park until the racetrack closed in 2021.

Saturday will mark only the fifth time in Churchill Downs' 148-year history that racing at the home of the Kentucky Derby will take place in August. In 1983-84, Churchill Downs hosted extended 93-day Spring Meets that ran from late April through Labor Day. The famed track also hosted Fall Meets in 1895 and 1922 that began on Aug. 24 and Aug. 30, respectively. (Editor's note: the Churchill Downs communications team inadvertently left out the 1895 and 1922 meets in Tuesday's Arlington Million advance).

Saturday's unique 11-race program will be co-headlined by the $500,000 Beverly D. (G1) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf. The Beverly D. is a Breeders' Cup “Win and You're In Filly & Mare Turf Division” race. The card will also include the $200,000 Fort Larned Stakes and the $200,000 Lady Tak Stakes.

Fans can still purchase tickets for Arlington Million Day. For ticket options and more information, visit www.churchilldowns.com.

Wagering is available for the Arlington Million and every race from Churchill Downs on www.TwinSpires.com, the official wagering provider of Churchill Downs Inc. and the Kentucky Derby.

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