|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Trainer Tim Hamm had just left Chicago and was driving back to Ohio when reached by cell phone Sunday, the morning after he had saddled the winner of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie.
"She came back good, and ate up good last night," Hamm said, when speaking of Dan Martin & Jerry Ayres' Joanies Bella, victress by a neck in Arlington's main event of the season for 2-year-old fillies. "In fact, she's in a trailer about half an hour behind us. She should be leaving the Arlington stable gate right about now."
Joanies Bella was also never very far behind the pacesetters on Saturday. When she challenged for command it was during the late stages, and even then she had to withstand a run from a fast closing rival.
"I was pretty sure we had held on to win it," said Hamm, speaking about the photo finish, "but I was awfully nervous right around the sixteenth pole. I wasn't at all sure we were going to get there at that time."
Joanies Bella, an Ohio-bred, has now won two open stakes in a row, having captured the $100,000 Pepsi Bassinet at River Downs on Labor Day weekend, so Hamm was asked what plans were on the table for Joanies Bella's immediate future.
"I'm not real sure," Hamm answered. "We had talked before about going in the 'Best of Ohio' on October 8 at Beulah, but now I'm thinking about saving her for Keeneland."
By saving her for Keeneland, did he mean that he was pointing her for the Grade II Walmac International Alcibiades on October 5?
"Probably," Hamm said of the filly who is not Breeders' Cup-eligible. "I'm also planning on taking her to Gulfstream with me when I head down to South Florida this winter."
Three King Stable's Brief Bliss, after being unhurried early in Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie, closed with a bold late rush to be second and was in front a jump past the wire.
"I thought I got there in the last jump," said Corey Lanerie, the jockey aboard Brief Bliss. "I was hoping that last stride was before the wire."
"We couldn't be happier with the way she ran," said Michael Stidham, the trainer of Brief Bliss on Sunday morning. "The only thing that would have made us happier was if she had won. We have no definite plans for a next start, but she came out of the race Saturday just fine."
Stidham also saddled the maiden Leeward City, owned by Craig B. Singer, to finish sixth in the Lassie, beaten only three lengths for all of it.
"That was more disappointing," said Stidham speaking of Leeward City's troubled trip. "Zoe (jockey Cadman) tried to come up the rail, and once she did the rail shut down on her. If she'd have had a clear trip I think she would have been third.
"But Leeward City also came back fine," Stidham said. "I would think that now we'll probably look for another maiden race for her."
Trainer Michael Reavis saddled Flaxbeard, Oliphant & Sharp's Shining Light to win the Lassie in 1994, and thought that Edgar Diaz' First Again could have won it this year.
"She's not real quick," said Reavis, speaking of First Again. "Larry (Sterling, First Again's jockey) said he went for a hole but she wasn't quite fast enough to get there before it closed. It's like driving a car. When he had to check her, she lost her momentum.
"Of course, I'm only watching my horse," Reavis said, "and my jockey is only riding one horse. We don't necessarily know that others didn't have as much trouble as we did.
"However, she came out of the race without any trouble," said Reavis. "I don't know what we'll do for a next start. I'll talk to the owner. I might try her on grass. I know one thing. She'll run all day."
As for her Lassie trip, jockey Sterling agreed with Reavis.
"If I'd have had a better trip," Sterling said on the way back to the jockey's room, "she wins. I got stopped."
Larry F. Tulle's Double Zero Seven, who rallied in the lane to win the $75,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes here September 8, is expected to head the field in Saturday's 67th running of the Grade II Arlington-Washington Futurity.
The Spectacular Bid, a six-furlong sprint, was the final local prep for the one-mile Futurity, main event of the season for juveniles at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval.
George Todaro, Howard Litt & Jerry Hollendorfer's Cappuchino, a precocious Capote colt who is undefeated in two starts on the West Coast, is expected to invade from California for the $150,000 Futurity.
Godophin Racing, Inc.'s Dubai Squire, an improving son of 1990 Preakness winner Summer Squall, has also visited the winner's circle in each of his last two outings and is being pointed for the Futurity next weekend.
James Tafel LLC's Tinker, a fast-closing third in the Spectacular Bid, beaten two lengths for all of it, is another expected starter in the Futurity, as is Darwin Olson's It'sallinthechase, who finished fourth, a head further back.
Also expected to go to the post in next Saturday's Futurity is John Oxley's Test of Time and Triple Crown Bloodstock's Publication, a pair of colts who each broke their maiden at first asking and will be making the second start of their careers.
In addition to racing in the Oxley colors, Test of Time is trained by John Ward. That owner-trainer duo won the Grade I Kentucky Derby this year with Monarchos.
Possible starters in the Futurity at this time include Stewart M. Madison's Jeremiah Jack and Stonerside Stable LLC's No Trouble.
Leading rider Rene Douglas, as well as jockeys Eddie Martin Jr. and Corey Lanerie, scored riding doubles on Saturday's Arlington-Washington Lassie Day program.
Douglas also went over the $3 million mark in purse earnings during the current Arlington meeting on Saturday.
Jockey Chris Emigh went over the $1 million mark in purse earnings during the Arlington session last Thursday.
Jockey Marlon St. Julien, who won the Lassie on his final day here this season as a member of the local jockey colony, concluded his local statistics with 32 wins, 43 seconds, and 30 third-place finishes from 273 mounts. He had local meeting earnings of $1,157,418.
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