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Oscar Performance early favorite for 36th Arlington Million field

Oscar Performance. | Photo by Four Footed Fotos

Oscar Performance, who won the Secretariat last year, is the early favorite in the 11-horse field for the 36th running of the Arlington Million on Saturday at Arlington International Racecourse. Post time is 6:08 p.m.

Oscar Performance — who has 3-1 odds to bring home the Tiffany & Co. trophy, according to Sports-Line — has one prep-race victory, the Poker Stakes at Belmont Park on June 17.

But there are several other horses to watch in the 1¼-mile turf race, according to Howard Sudberry, the senior director of marketing and communications for the Arlington Heights’ racetrack.

Trained by Aiden O’Brien, one of the world’s best trainers, Deauville returns to the Arlington Million after finishing third last year. Although Deauville has been inconsistent this year, Sudberry said, “You can’t rule out a horse trained by Aiden O’Brien.”

Century Dream, who has won seven of his last 15 races, and Robert Bruce, who won six consecutive races in Chile before being shipped to the United States this year, also are worth watching.

Other notable Grade I races Saturday include the Secretariat Stakes and Beverly D.

With Million Day being the biggest event at the northwest suburban racetrack every year, there are a lot of things to look forward to off the turf, including a variety of performances by local entertainers and a best-dressed contest.

As the main events draw near, several musical acts will perform while the horses make their way to the starting gate.

Jim Cornelison will sing the national anthem after Race 5. The Blackhawks’ anthem singer will be accompanied by world-renowned saxophonist Frank Catalano for a rendition of “God Bless America” after the sixth race. Catalano also will play a solo of “Sweet Home Chicago” in the winner’s circle.

Grammy-nominated country musician Eric Paslay will perform in the band area, which is free with general-admission tickets, before Race 8.

Arlington Million Odds: There are five horses with opening odds between 3-1 and 6-1 to win it all, according to SportsLine: Oscar Performance 3-1

Robert Bruce 9-2

Almanaar 6-1

Deauville 6-1

Money Multiplier 6-1

Spring Quality 8-1

Divisidero 10-1

Century Dream 12-1

Catcho En Die 20-1

Circus Couture 30-1

Twenty Four Seven 30-1