Saturday, August 14 is the biggest day of the year at Arlington Park. The track is still calling it Million Day, though they have renamed the feature race. Once known as the Arlington Million, this year’s edition has been renamed the Mister D. Stakes (G1), in honor of chairman emeritus Richard Duchossois. This is expected to be the final edition of the race.
This horse race has a storied history of drawing the best turf horses in the world and producing serious contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Turf. This year, ten horses will line up to go a mile and a quarter on the turf, with the lion’s share of a $600,000 purse awarded to the winner. Let’s get to know the field, and find out the best bets on the 2021 Mister D. Stakes!
Where to Bet the Mister D. Stakes
Picking the right horse can make betting the Mister D. Stakes profitable. However, it is also important to choose the right place to bet the race. Betting with the right sportsbook helps you get the most for your money by giving you the best odds and bonuses. Choosing the best sportsbook also helps ensure a smooth user interface and trusted deposit and cash-out options.
There are hundreds of online sportsbooks, but we can help you choose the best ones no matter what kind of a bettor you are. Our guide to the best online sportsbooks can help you find the best one for you. Once you read the reviews and find your favorite, you can confidently create your account and bet the Mister D. Stakes (and every other race) with confidence!
History of the Mister D. Stakes
Though the race is called the Mister D. Stakes this year, the race was previously run as the Arlington Million. When it started in 1981, it was the world’s first million-dollar Thoroughbred horse race. Ever since that first edition, which John Henry won by a nose over longshot The Bart, the race has been an important part of the turf calendar.
In 1984, John Henry won the Arlington Million a second time, becoming the first horse ever to win it twice. In 1985, even though the grandstand burned to the ground 25 days before the Million, people cleared rubble and built tents quickly enough to run the Miracle Million, which Teleprompter won.
The race has continued to be important, with winners including Awad, Powerscourt, Gio Ponti, Little Mike, and The Pizza Man. The last year it was run, in 2019, winner Bricks and Mortar went on to be Horse of the Year. It was not run last year due to COVID-19. This year’s race is expected to be the final edition, as Churchill Downs is planning to sell the track.
Mister D. Stakes Horses
This is the official field for the 2021 Mister D. Stakes. This includes post positions for each horse, as well as their trainers and jockeys for this race.
- Strong Tide (Michael Lauer/Julio Felix)
- Glynn County (Michael Maker/Julien Leparoux)
- Domestic Spending (Chad Brown/Flavien Prat)
- Two Emmys (Hugh Robertson/James Graham)
- Zulu Alpha (Michael Maker/Luis Saez)
- Another Mystery (Chris Block/Jose Lopez)
- Space Traveller (Brendan Walsh/Daniel Tudhope)
- Bizzee Channel (Larry Rivelli/Jareth Loveberry)
- Armory (Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore)
- Big Dreaming (Wayne Catalano/Adam Beschizza)
As the race draws closer, the track will release morning lines and sportsbooks will then begin to offer odds on the Arlington Million horses. Your best bet is to make an account at one or more top online racebooks, follow the odds, and place your bet when you see an overlay on your horse.
Free Mister D. Stakes Picks
With a field of ten, there is a lot to think about in the 2021 edition of the Mister D. Stakes. Let’s look at the field and figure out the top contenders!
Mister D. Stakes Handicapping
Chad Brown has won the last three editions of this race and sends out another strong contender in #3 Domestic Spending.
The son of Kingman has raced just twice this year, but both were wins in iconic Grade 1s: the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic and the Manhattan. Domestic Spending’s closing style should get a decent setup since there are several longshots who will very likely show pace: #1 Strong Tide, #4 Two Emmys, and #10 Big Dreaming.
However, with Chad Brown’s horses so often overbet, it is worth looking at the rest of the field to see if a horse is good enough to topple Domestic Spending. And, one horse looks particularly suited for the task: #9 Armory, who ships out to Arlington for trainer Aidan O’Brien.
Even though Armory has yet to win a Group 1, horses with Group-level wins and Group 1 placings tend to do well in races like the Million, and that’s exactly what Armory is. He has four Group-level wins in Europe as well as six Group 1 placings. He has hit the board at this distance behind truly world-class horses like Love and Magical. Armory is a late runner, as well, a style that should suit.
One horse to stand against is #5 Zulu Alpha. Though he has a right to improve on his flat Arlington Stakes (G3), both because of the fitness and because he should get a better pace setup, there are still questions. He will probably be heavily bet on his back class, and he is still a better horse at a mile and a half than this mile and a quarter distance.
Two others to consider for exotic wagers include #8 Bizzee Channel and #6 Another Mystery.
Bizzee Channel won the local prep, the Arlington Stakes, for leading Chicago trainer Larry Rivelli. He proved in that race that he could rate and rally, something that should keep him out of the contested pace in this race. He finished in the Arlington like a horse who will take to the extra half-furlong, well in keeping with him being by sire English Channel.
Another Mystery goes out for another local Chicago outfit, trainer Chris Block. He has a long history of hitting the board with local hopes on Million Day. The stretch out to a mile and a quarter should help Another Mystery along; his only effort at the distance was a strong third behind top American turf horse United. And, he should enjoy rallying into the contested pace.
Mister D. Stakes Best Bets
Here are the best bets to make on the 2021 Mister D. Stakes.
- $10 Win: #9 Armory
- $5 Exacta Key: #9 Armory with #3 Domestic Spending and #8 Bizzee Channel
- $1 Trifecta Key #9 Armory with #3 Domestic Spending, #6 Another Mystery, and #8 Bizzee Channel
Place these bets and more at top sportsbooks.