|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
James Tafel LLC's Tinker, a good third when beaten only two lengths for all of it in the $75,000 Spectacular Bid here September 8, remains on track for his upcoming engagement in the Grade II Arlington-Washington Futurity next Saturday.
The local Futurity, enjoying its 67th renewal this season, has often been a barometer of eventual greatness. Buckpasser, who wore the silks of Ogden Phipps, and Spend a Buck, who raced in the colors of Dennis Diaz, used their winning efforts in Arlington's Futurity as a springboard to Horse of the Year titles later in their careers.
Tinker impressed trainer Gene Cilio with his closing bid in the Spectacular Bid, the final local prep for the Futurity, and should appreciate the additional quarter mile of next weekend's highlight, final Grade II event of the season at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval.
"The Futurity has been our goal right along," said Cilio, when speaking of the homebred son of Binalong out of a Fappiano mare. Although Tinker was foaled in Kentucky, owner Tafel is a local resident who makes his home in Barrington.
"He ran a good race in the Spectacular Bid," Cilio said. "He had to make up an awful lot of ground on the turn and he'll be ready to go a mile in the Futurity. I feel he's just as good if not better than those he's likely to meet."
No Trouble is the name of a horse, a 2-year-old with a tame name compared to his sire Wild Again, but the Grade II Arlington-Washington Futurity may give the youngster a chance to exhibit the same talent as his daddy.
"I really haven't made up my mind yet," said trainer Mike Stidham when asked if No Trouble was a likely starter in next weekend's centerpiece event of the season for juveniles. "I'll probably decide somewhere around the middle of next week."
Owned and bred by Stonerside Stable LLC out of the Argentine-bred mare Goleada, No Trouble broke his maiden impressively August 3, coming from well off the pace with a bold late run to win by four lengths. In his next start September 9, however, No Trouble encountered a muddy racetrack, could not catch the Godolphin-owned Dubai Squire, but was easily second best, finishing 11 lengths to the good of the third-place finisher. Was the colt compromised by the mud in his second trip to the post?
"I don't know," said Stidham. "He'd only run once before so it's hard to say for sure. I do expect him to move forward off that last race, however. He's bred to get a distance so we'll have to see what kind of class he is."
Sire Wild Again's most famous victory came at a mile and a quarter when he upset the inaugural running of the Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic in 1984 with a $61.60 win price.
Stewart M. Madison's Jeremiah Jack, the only gelding among the 31 male youngsters nominated to the Grade II Arlington-Washington Futurity next Saturday began his career as a colt but was altered during the summer.
At last asking August 2, he broke his maiden with an abrupt form reversal in the fifth start of his career, and is now a possibility for the main event of the 2-year-old season at Arlington Park.
"I haven't decided yet," said trainer Tom Amoss, over the phone from Churchill Downs when asked if Jeremiah Jack would be a starter in the local Futurity. "A lot depends on how the race comes up.
"One thing I do like is who he beat in that last race," said Amoss, speaking of Godolphin's Dubai Squire, one of the likely Futurity contestants.
Dubai Squire finished third, more than six lengths behind Jeremiah Jack in their last encounter, but came back to win his most recent start by seven and a half lengths and stamp himself as one of the likely Futurity favorites.
A year ago, On Target Racing's Williams News won the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf here but lost that same race at Arlington Park this season.
Conversely, Williams News lost the Grade I Canadian International at Woodbine Racecourse last year by the smallest of margins. Can he make amends by winning that same event -- sixth leg of Emirates World Series 2001 -- when contested next Sunday, September 30?
"Right now, we're trying to decide between that race and the one in New York on the 29th," said trainer Tom Amoss, referring to Belmont Park's Grade I Turf Classic Invitational next Saturday. "But we're leaning toward that race in Canada.
"What we're really trying to do is find a race with no pace in it," Amoss said, speaking over the phone from Louisville. "I thought he race a big race up there at Arlington last year, because that course was soft that day and he really doesn't care for soft turf, but he caught a field with no pace in it."
Last year's Canadian International doesn't have such fond memories for Amoss. To almost all those who watched the race on a television screen, including Amoss, who was not on site at Woodbine, it appeared that Williams News had won.
"Tell me about it," Amoss said. "It was brutal. I sent the horse up there with my brother. I was watching the replay from out of town. I was on the phone to the owners and suddenly I had to tell them: 'Guess what? They just put the other number (Godophin's winning Mutafaweq) up on the board.' I couldn't believe it, and neither could the jockey (Patrick Husbands). Did you see what he did? When they put the other number up he reached over and checked his arm to make sure what number he was wearing."
However, should Amoss choose to start Williams News in the Canadian International, he will not be the only entrant who has suffered a heart-breaking nose defeat within the last year. Expected to go to the post in the premier international event is Sam-Son Farm's Strut the Stage, who was subjected to the same sort of nose defeat when second in the Grade I Secretariat here at Arlington August 18.
Aided by contributions from numerous fans on site Friday at Arlington Park, sportscaster Lou Canellis and Arlington Park contributed $795 to the NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund Friday, primarily on wagers placed by Canellis from a backroll provided by the local oval.
One anonymous fan wagered a Pick 3 ticket and gave it to Canellis prior to its successful fruition, saying it was in honor of his 25 stockbroker friends who were in the World Trade Center at the time of the attack. All made it out safely.
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