Bricks and Mortar should solidify his Horse of the Year case in Arlington Million

The 37th renewal of the Grade I Arlington Million is set for Saturday at Illinois’ Arlington Park. The 1 1/4-mile turf classic drew a field of 10 led by Horse of the Year candidate BRICKS AND MORTAR. Post time for the Arlington Million, Race 11 of 12 on the day, is 7:12 p.m. ET.

#3 BRICKS AND MORTAR (8-5, morning-line favorite) is a perfect 4-for-4 this season, taking three Grade Is in the process. That includes his fairly decisive score in Belmont’s 1 1/4-mile Manhattan Stakes last time out. The Chad Brown trainee has worked well for this and will have Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle once more. Based on both class and speed figures, BRICKS AND MORTAR is the horse to beat in the Arlington Million.

#1 ROBERT BRUCE (3-1) is the defending champion of the Arlington Million. He won last year’s rendition with a dramatic six-wide stretch bid, making up five lengths on the frontrunners. However, for obvious reasons, Ortiz Jr. will not be aboard ROBERT BRUCE this time around. Javier Castellano, who has never won this race, gets the leg-up instead. ROBERT BRUCE, second to the top pick in the Manhattan last time out, makes his third start off a layoff.

#10 BANDUA (6-1) won the local prep for the Arlington Million, the Grade III Arlington Handicap, when last seen. He beat a pair of returning opponents, THE GREAT DAY and CAPTIVATING MOON, rather easily in that start. However, he was no match for the top pair in the Manhattan two starts ago, finishing sixth beaten four lengths. BANDUA should be in touch with the early leaders under Adam Beschizza and hang on for a share.

The play: $6 trifecta 3/1/10, $4 trifecta 3/10/1 ($10)

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