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Contact: David Zenner
DEAD-HEAT IN FUTURITY; LASSIE DECIDED BY A NOSE
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 10, 2006) – Arlington Park’s signature events for 2-year-olds, the Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Lassie and the Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Futurity, both Grade III events, provided two of the best finishes of the meet with the Futurity resulting in a dead-heat between Frank Fletcher Racing Operations Inc.’s Officer Rocket and Sayat Stables’ Got the Last Laugh while the Lassie was decided by a nose.
In the one-mile Futurity, Officer Rocket and Got the Last Laugh hooked up inside the sixteenth pole and finished together, stopping the timer in 1:36.71 to record the second dead-heat in the long history of the race. The first Futurity dead-heat came in 1937. Mark Guidry rode the Bob Holthus-trained Officer Rocket while Rene Douglas piloted Got the Last Laugh, trained by Bill Mott.
“I thought I was in a good spot early, and then he kicked in when I asked him,” said Guidry. “I thought I had the other horse at the wire but then they were real quick to put the dead-heat up.”
“I was trying to stay with Nafzger’s horse (Street Sense) early and then when I got by him on the outside he started waiting for another horse,” Douglas said. “He just likes a little competition, but he’s a little horse with a big heart and he’s going to get even better.”
The dead-heat victory was the third straight win for Officer Rocket, who earned $80,000 to boost his bankroll to $127,050 while improving his overall record to three wins from four starts. Got the Last Laugh’s record stands at a perfect two-for-two with his victory and the $80,000 elevated his earnings to $108,200.
Street Sense was third in the 10-horse field, followed by Lightning Larry, Speedway, Morada Key, Trick N Skip, Irish Dreamer and Tillman’s Legend.
Officer Rocket, the 9-10 post-time favorite, paid $2.40, $2.40 and $2.40 (prices OK). Got the Last Laugh, sent off at odds of 5-1, paid $4.20, $4.40 and $3.60 (prices OK). Street Sense returned $3.
Two races earlier, Larry D. Bielfeldt’s Lisa M rallied from last at the top of the stretch to pass Sutra in the shadow of the wire to win the $120,000 Lassie by a nose. C. H. Marquez Jr. was aboard the Dave Kassen-trained daughter of Banker’s Gold, who covered the mile over a sloppy racecourse in 1:38.90.
“They told me to break out of the gate, ease her back because there was a lot of speed in the race, save a lot of ground and call her when I was ready,” said Marquez, who picked up his second graded stakes win of the weekend after piloting Lothenbach Stable Inc.’s Vacare to take Saturday’s Grade III Pucker Up Stakes. “When I called her, she gave me everything she had.”
Sutra, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, took the lead at the eighth pole but came up on the short end of a very tight win photo and had to settle for the place money.
“My filly fought all the way until the end,” Bridgmohan said. “I thought it could go either way.”
It was another half-length back to Call the Kitty, who finished third in the eight-horse field, followed by Natalicat, Lenaro, Change Up and Sea the Joy.
Sent of at odds of more than 35-1, Lisa M paid $73, $22 and $9.60. Sutra returned $9.20 and $6.80. Call the Kitty paid $9.40.
Also on Sunday, S. D. Brilie Ltd.’s Partnership’s Chic Dancer cruised to an easy 3 ½-length victory in the $42,375 Flawlessly Stakes. Chris Emigh rode the Christine Janks-trained daughter of Joyeux Danseur who covered the mile and a sixteenth over soft turf in 1:44.89 and paid $5.20, $3.40 and $2.40.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 95-day meet in 2006 from Friday, May 5 through Tuesday, Sept. 12. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Lucky's featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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