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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/10/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


When it comes down to talking about leading candidates for Saturday’s Arlington-Washington Futurity and Saturday’s Arlington-Washington Lassie, who you gonna call?

Defending Arlington trainer champion Wayne Catalano saddled Darrell and Evelyn Yates’ Dixie Band to win last year’s local Futurity and also saddled Catalano Racing Stable’s Jose Adan to finish first under the wire two years ago. Unfortunately, Jose Adan was disqualified and placed second following a controversial decision by the stewards.

Catalano has also won two out of the last three Lassies, taking down last year’s renewal with Nancy Mazzoni’s She Be Wild and winning honors in the 2007 Lassie with Frank Calabrese’s Dreaming of Liz.

Last year, of course, She Be Wild went on to capture the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita and was subsequently named Eclipse Award-winning juvenile filly.

So what’s up with Catalano’s 2010 2-year-olds with designs on the 75th renewal editions of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity and Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie?

In Saturday’s Futurity, the 54-year-old native of New Orleans who is on his way to his sixth straight local training title (and ninth of the last 11 years) will saddle the Gary and Mary West-owned duo of Major Gain and Impersonator and complete his personal troika of runners with Darrell and Evelyn Yates’ Ghetto Cat.

In Saturday’s Lassie, Catalano will saddle Darrell and Evelyn Yates’ Jordy Y as well as Peachtree Stable’s Honey Chile.

“I just got off the phone with the owner of Honey Chile (Peachtree’s John Fort) and brought him up to date on her progress,” Catalano said Friday morning. “She’s probably the fastest filly in there and she’s certainly got enough speed to win it.”

Honey Chile is a homebred daughter of Invisible Ink, who finished second in the 2001 Kentucky Derby while wearing the Peachtree silks, and is out of the Gilded Time mare Christmas Time. Gilded Time, incidentally, won the 1991 Arlington-Washington Futurity and was subsequently named the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old colt or gelding that year. Honey Chile breezed a half in 49 flat Sunday.

“Jordy Y is a big, long strapping filly,” said Catalano. “She has been training very well (a half-mile in 1:01.60 last Saturday) and I expect she will run well this weekend.”

Jordy Y is undefeated in two starts, her most recent victory coming against colts and geldings on Aug. 1.

“The fillies do that a lot (win against the boys) when they’re 2-year-olds,” Catalano said.

“Major Gain ran a little green in his only start,” said Catalano of his More Than Ready colt who finished second Aug. 14 to Futurity morning line favorite Caleb’s Posse, owned by McNeill Stables and trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel. “We’re going to give him another chance in the Futurity on Saturday.

“Ghetto Cat won his only start against Illinois-breds,” said Catalano of the Forest Wildcat colt who would give Darrell and Evelyn Yates and Catalano back-to-back Futurity wins, “so we’re going to give him a shot in there, too.”

No owner-trainer combination has won successive local Futurities since Lazy Lane Farm and Frank Brothers won the 1989 Futurity with Secret Hello and came back to the winner’s circle in 1990 with Hansel, who went on to win the 1991 Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

“Impersonator bobbled at the break in his first start, but still finished third,” said Catalano of the West-owned son of Tale of the Cat, “but he won his next on Aug. 22, so we’re just going on from there with him.”


Jockey Michael Baze now has a 10-win advantage over Arlington’s defending jockey champion Junior Alvarado entering Friday’s twilight racing program after scoring a “hat trick” Thursday at the local oval.

All three of Baze’s Thursday wins came aboard horses flying the silks of perennial leading owner Frank Calabrese, and all were saddled by Nick Canani.

The trio won Thursday’s opener with Byline, the seventh with Bourbon Trail and the eighth with Bella Moneta.

It was Arlington’s first jockey-trainer-owner triple since July 3 when Calabrese and Canani combined forces with jockey Alvarado for the only other such threesome of the meeting.

- END -

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