Arlington International Barn Notes (5/26/11)
Contact: Michael Adolphson
In today's notes:
ARLINGTON CLASSIC RUNNERS COULD REMATCH IN AMERICAN DERBY
The horses involved in what was an eventful stretch drive and even more dramatic post-race claims of foul seem to have exited the race in good shape. Though the connections of victor General Election were unavailable for comment, it can be assumed that if the son of Harlan’s Holiday came out of his first graded stakes victory well, the Grade III $200,000 American Derby on July 13 – the second leg of the Mid-America Triple – has to be on his radar.
Terry Hamilton’s Dorsett, disqualified for interference from third to fourth, ran a tremendous race to step up in only his second race since a maiden win on the Fair Grounds turf in March. “He came out really well. Most likely we’ll aim toward (the American Derby),” said trainer Mike Stidham, who was pleased with the colt’s effort.
It would be no surprise at all to see Olympia Star, Inc.’s locally based Gefest back in the American Derby after his solid effort to finish within two lengths of the winner at odds of 41-1. The same goes for Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Admiral Kitten, who could appreciate the extra furlong after running out of real estate.
The English-bred Yorkshire Icon, who made late ground to finish eighth from last, will most likely be dropped down into the allowance ranks after not running up to expectations for trainer Danny Peitz.
“I’m a little disappointed. He was a little too keen and pulled a little bit and didn’t have his big run like last time because of that,” Peitz stated. “We will probably come back into an allowance to see what we really have in him.” Yorkshire Icon raced in blinkers, in which the colt won last out, but that equipment will most likely be removed for his next race.
IMPOSING ARLINGTON MATRON WINNER EXITS GRACEFULLY
Coffeepot Stable’s Imposing Grace, a surprising winner in Saturday’s Grade III $150,000 Arlington Matron, has exited the race in great shape, according to trainer Wayne Catalano. A rare value on the tote board for Catalano, Arlington’s second all-time leading trainer by wins, the 9-1 daughter of Empire Maker seems to be an improving type.
“She came out very good. We’ll see what we’ve got here at Arlington,” said Catalano of a next possible start. Only making her 11th start and first under leading jockey Channing Hill, she was much closer than usual, but in a very comfortable rhythm. Her running style implies that she may appreciate a distance of ground more than her previous races, which all came at a mile and a sixteenth or less. One place she can definitely find those distances is on Arlington’s world-renowned turf course.
“She should try the turf again. She ran on it once and I don’t think the track was right that day,” said Catalano. According to the trainer, the July 13 $200,000 Modesty at 1 3/16 miles on the Arlington lawn could be up next.
Shadwell Stable’s beaten post-time favorite Ausus, who defeated Imposing Grace at the wire when last at Arlington last fall, came out of her frustrating run well. With little pace, the late-running daughter of Invasor could not bite into the top three quickly enough, finishing two necks shy of second and a length and a half behind the winner in fourth.
“It is frustrating to be beaten a neck for a graded stakes placing. But, she came out of the race okay. We will look at the Modesty, next,” reported trainer Danny Peitz.
HOGY HAPPY FOLLOWING HANSHIN CUP VICTORY
William Stiritz’s Hogy, trained by Scott Becker, ran the most impressive race of the day when winning the one mile Grade III $150,000 Hanshin Cup. He has emerged no worse for the wear, and possibly better than expected.
“He came out great and bounced back today, as well. He ate up really well, too,” said John Pool, assistant to Becker. “I always thought if he was trained properly, he could run with the best and put in that kind of performance.”
Becker agreed with those sentiments. “I just think the horse has matured a little more,” he stated. As far as the next steps after this impressive win, “the (Listed $100,000) Arlington Sprint is always on the radar, but that’s not until July. In the meantime, we’ll look for something in June.”
Hogy’s blazing time of 1:34.25 earned him a 101 Beyer Speed Figure. It was even more impressive considering he burst away from and finished clear of a quality field after sitting only three lengths off fractions of :45.73 and 1:09.99. The two horses who set that pace (Hammers Terror and Nates Mineshaft) finished seven lengths behind him and last, respectively.
A multiple stakes winner who has won impressively from 5 ½ furlongs to a mile on all three surfaces, Hogy has proven both talented and versatile. “I think he can go a little bit farther, but not much more than a mile and a sixteenth,” said Becker.
Lothernbach’s Stable’s Mister Marti Gras ran a strong race in defeat, finishing only a length and a half shy of the victory and under Eddie Perez. “The one-turn mile obviously isn’t his best game, but I was real proud of him and how he dug in there. We’ll take a look at the Swoon’s Son (June 8), though that may be back a little quick – so maybe something at Churchill and then the (Grade III $200,000) Arlington Handicap,” reported trainer Chris Block.
LOCALS IOYA BIGTIME, NAJJAAR EXIT LOUISVILLE ‘CAP IN GOOD ORDER
Saturday’s Grade III $100,000 Louisville Handicap should produce some starters in upcoming Arlington stakes – namely the locally based Ioya Bigtime and Najjaar.
Chris Block also reported that stable star Ioya Bigtime came out of his disappointing fifth place finish in good order. “He’s a one-dimensional horse. He has to have the lead and when those longshots all pushed away from there, he just raced evenly from there.
“His last couple of races have been disappointing, but we’ll get him back here and ready for the (Grade III $150,000) Stars and Stripes on his home course.”
The Danny Peitz-trained Najjaar finished third in the mile and a half turf marathon, in his first attempt at a longer distance. The Shadwell Farm-owned chestnut colt lost by a half-length in a three-horse photo behind favorites Dark Cove and Atigun at odds of 11-1.
“He ran really well and against some good horses,” said Peitz. “We will aim for the Arlington Handicap. I think he may want a distance just short of a mile and a half. Hopefully we’ll get a little more pace in front of him.”
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