Chicago Barn to Wire


Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 255-4300
Thursday, September 21, 2000
96th Day


A pair of stakes-placed Kentucky invaders may vie for favoritism with locally-based Spectacular Cat in Saturday's 66th running of the Grade 2 Arlington-Washington Futurity, the showcase event of the season for two-year-olds at Chicago's premier oval.

Michael Tabor's Take Arms, trained by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, and Joann & Alex Lieblong's Firststatedeposit, conditioned by "Jenks" Fires, are the Bluegrass-born and based pair who have each finished in front of the other in past meetings. Dee & Bill Davenport's Spectacular Cat is the Jerry Calvin trainee who won the $75,000 Spectacular Bid, the final local prep for this weekend's Futurity, and might still be favored in Saturday's full field for the one-mile juvenile event.

The most recent Arlington-Washington Futurity hero that went on to win an Eclipse Award as two-year-old colt or gelding was Gilded Time in 1992. However, in the past two decades such winners as Hansel, Bet Twice and Spend a Buck have gone on to capture at least one of the Triple Crown classics the following spring.

After breaking his maiden last May, Take Arms, a son of Honour and Glory, was third in Churchill's Grade 2 Bashford Manor in July, finishing in front of Firststatedeposit who was fourth. Charles Woods Jr. is named aboard Take Arms.

In Firststatedeposit's last trip to the post August 13 in the Ellis Park Juvenile, the Deposit Ticket colt finished second, beaten a length, but three parts of a length to the good of Take Arms, who was also completing his most recent start. Jon Court rides.

In the local Futurity prep on September 3, Spectacular Cat was allowed to settle, rallied well off the rail when set down for the drive, took command late and drew clear to tally by a length and three-quarters. Chris Emigh returns in the irons.

Other invaders worthy of consideration include Kinsman Stable's Starbury, a Saint Ballado colt most recently fourth in Monmouth's Grade 3 Sapling; Jack Liebau et al's Trailthefox, second in Del Mar's Grade 3 Best Pal in his last; and James McIngvale's What's Up Dog, fifth in Saratoga's Grade 1 Hopeful at last asking.

Starbury has Carlos H. Marquez Jr. named to handle the reins, Trailthefox has Shane Sellers slated for the saddle, and What's Up Dog has Alison Hershbell astride.

Locally, Mark & Kate Herzog's Wheat Penny, second to Spectacular Cat in the Spectacular Bid, is not to be discounted. The Wheaton colt set an Arlington track record of :51.64 for the four and a half furlong distance in June. Ramsey Zimmerman is up.

Completing the Futurity field: G. A. Smith & W. E. Johnston's Blame It On Ruby, Corey Lanerie; Blazing Meadow Farm & Bruce Hudson's Cee Dee, Tommy Molina; Winstar Farm's One by the Knows, Carlos Silva; Victoria Racing Stable Inc.'s Saint Damien, Lonnie Meche; and Dan W. White's Solingen, Fabio Arguello Jr.


Nancy A. Vanier's Wade for Me, a competitive seventh in the Grade 1 Beverly D. here at last asking August 19, will be challenged by Team Block's Ioya Two, heroine of the Lincoln Heritage Handicap earlier in the summer, in Saturday's co-feature.

The $50,000-added Reluctant Guest Stakes will be contested at one mile on the Arlington grass course.


Dedicated horseplayers will receive a free copy of Daily Racing Form's newest publication - DRF Simulcast Weekly - by attending a free handicapping seminar with DRF handicapper Marcus Hersh Saturday from 12 Noon to 12:45 p.m. in the Starting Gate Area of the Arlington Grandstand. Later Saturday afternoon will be the third qualifying round of the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship.

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