Chicago Barn to Wire


Contact: David Zenner
(847) 255-4300
Saturday, September 23, 2000


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. --- California-based invader Trailthefox, a $50,000 claim by owners Jack Liebau, et al. in July, led from start to finish in the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity, winning the Grade 2 race by 1 lengths Saturday at Arlington International Racecourse.

Shane Sellers rode the two-year-old son of Foxtrail, who set fractions of 22.44 for a quarter mile, 45.29 for the half mile and 1:10.71 for three-quarters of a mile. He covered the one-turn mile in 1:37.25 over a track officially listed as muddy.

"The trainer (Pat Biancone) said to me 'I would prefer if you got the lead but don't go to the lead at all costs,'" Sellers said. "He broke with his ears up, relaxed nice for me and took me to the lead on his own. I think this horse will be even better going long because now I know I can back him up a little and we won't have to ':22 and :45' it on the front end like we did today."

The sloppy track was a bit of a concern to winning trainer Pat Biancone, who was testing his horse for the first time over off going and the first time at a mile.

"He's never run on this kind of ground before," Biancone said. "We knew he was fast but we were concerned about his stamina. On this kind of ground it's a test of stamina. Today he showed he has both - speed and stamina."

Starbury, a 17-1 longshot making only his fourth career start, tracked the leader from third and rallied in the lane to finish second in the 11-horse race.

"If I could have got him settled a little bit earlier he would have finished even better," said jockey Carlos Marquez Jr., who was riding the runner-up for the first time in the Futurity. "He's only run three times. The horse that beat him ran six times already. He's got a lot of room to improve. He'll be a better horse later on."

Blame It On Ruby was another 7 lengths back in third, finishing a head in front of Spectacular Cat, second choice in the wagering who apparently had difficulty covering the off going.

"Once he got into the stretch he relaxed nice for me but down the backside he was zigging and zagging and did some slipping on the turn," said Chris Emigh, Spectacular Cat's rider.

For Trailthefox, the win was his third in six lifetime starts. He earned $90,000 to boost his career bankroll to $237,135. He will likely make his next start in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park October 14.

The Arlington-Washington Futurity is part of the NTRA Two-Year-Old Challenge and as a result should Trailthefox win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile this November, his owner will receive a $250,000 bonus. Should he further go on to capture next year's Kentucky Derby, his owners will earn an additional $1 million bonus.

Earlier in the day, Ioya Two won the $52,400 Reluctant Guest Stakes by 2 lengths over pacesetter Please Sign In. Unbridled Emotion rallied to finish third in the one-mile turf race.

A daughter of Lord At War, Ioya Two covered the distance over soft turf in 1:43.39 and paid $6.00, $4.80 and $3.20. Eusebio Razo Jr. had the ride aboard the Chris Block-trained mare.

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