Before American Pharoah's dominating run to the Triple Crown this spring, the last three horses to accomplish the feat were all bred in the 1970s.
One of those was Secretariat, the 1973 champion who has never been forgotten by Arlington Park, where he ran less than a month after winning the Belmont Stakes.
Since 1974, the Secretariat Stakes have been run on the local turf course, and Saturday's 39th edition brings together a group of seven 3-year-olds traveling 1¼-miles for a Grade I purse of $450,000.
Force The Pass could join Triple Crown winner and 5-time Grade I winner American Pharoah as just the second 3-year-old male to earn multiple Grade I wins this year.
Force The Pass, the 2-1 morning line favorite, has won 4 of his 6 turf starts this season, including a ¾-length victory on July 15 in the Belmont Derby.
"He does everything right," trainer Alan Goldberg told Arlington publicist Michael Adolphson. "Right now, he's doing the same as he's always done. He's a good work horse and excellent on the racetrack."
A son of Speightstown, Force the Pass has earned more than $1 million making all his starts as a 3-year-old.
"I thought he was a little high-priced in the 1¼-mile Belmont Derby," Goldberg said. "You're always worried if they can get the distance, but he has a big, nice, long stride and has the mind for it."
Joel Rosario rode Force The Pass to victory in the Penn Mile and Belmont Derby. He gets the return call from post two in the Secretariat.
Rosario was second in the 2011 Beverly D aboard Dubawi Heights and second in the 2014 Secretariat aboard Tourist.
Irish-bred Highland Reel, the second morning line choice at 5-2, is trained by Aidan O'Brien, who has won the Secretariat three times, including last year with Irish-bred Adelaide.
"I think Highland Reel is the pick of the European bunch," said Alastair Donald, chief executive of the International Racing Bureau. "He impressed me a lot in his last start (Group III event in Europe). War Dispatch is also a nice horse and should not be discounted."
Trainer Jean-Claude Rouget's War Patch (4-1) has only raced in France, winning the Group III Prix de Guiche three starts back.
Trainer Andreas Wolter's Goldstream (9-2) is undefeated in five starts in Italy,
"He is a hard one to assess because he is running in Italy," Donald said. "He is wining in Italy, but it is difficult to know what quality of horses he is beating. But he was the Italian Derby winner. When you look at his form, he has to have potential."
Granny's Kitten (10-1) was sired by champion Kitten's Joy, who won the 2004 Secretariat Stakes for Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey.
Completing the field are trainer Bill Mott's Closing Bell (10-1) and Eoin Harty's Crittenden (12-1).