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Arlington Park

Arlington International Barn Notes (8/2/14)

Contact: Michael Adolphson

In today's notes:


Team Valor International’s Infinite Magic has been transferred to the barn of 11-time Arlington champion trainer Wayne Catalano from that of Rick Mettee, according to Team Valor CEO and Founder Barry Irwin.

“I picked him up right after his last race on July 12. He’s doing really well,” reported Catalano’s assistant trainer Fernando Canteria.

The son of More Than Ready exits a dull last-place finish in the Grade III Arlington Handicap, where he was wide most of the trip and had little rally when the glacial pace began to hasten. The effort was his second of 2014 and first at Arlington since a victory in the Grade III American Derby one year prior.

“He worked really good on the Poly(track) last week,” Canteria reported. “He went in :47 and three and was out in a minute. He will work on the grass (on Sunday). We are thinking about the (Listed $400,000) American St Leger with him.”

On the other hand, Irwin was noncommittal. “We simply did a trainer switch and have no race in mind for him.”

Canteria also conveyed that Gary and Mary West’s Highball will train on the grass Sunday morning, as well, in preparation for the Grade I $500,000 Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day, Aug. 16. Last out, the son of Lemon Drop Kid catapulted from a victory in maiden ranks to a hard-charging third-place finish in this year’s edition of the American Derby.

“He is doing very well. We are thinking about working (Infinite Magic and Highball) together,” the longtime Catalano employee said. “He has been training in blinkers every day and will probably wear them in the race.”


Mike Stidham and Tom Van Meter’s Stellaris worked Saturday morning in tandem with stakes filly Every Way. The duo worked in :49.80 over the grass course for trainer Stidham.

“They worked well together this morning. It was good; kind of a maintenance work,” Stidham reported. “It was Stellaris’ first time on grass and was a nice test run. They went out comfortably and galloped out in 1:01. We’re thinking about the Hatoof (for Stellaris).” The $75,000 Hatoof Stakes is on the Million Day undercard, Aug. 16. A race for Every Way’s next start has yet to be determined.

Second last time in the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Oaks over the Polytrack, Stellaris has now won or placed in races on Polytrack, as well as dry and wet dirt. If she races well in the Hatoof, it could possibly open doors to Arlington’s Grade III $150,000 Pucker Up Stakes on Sept. 13, which itself has often been a solid prep for the Grade I $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on Oct. 11 at Keeneland.

Stellaris’ conqueror in the Arlington Oaks, James Miller’s Aurelia’s Belle, also worked on the grass course Saturday morning in advance of a possible rematch in the Hatoof. The daughter of Lemon Drop Kid worked five furlongs in 1:00.40. Unlike Stellaris, the Wayne Catalano trainee is well acquainted with the grass, winning the Grade III Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 14.


Hit the Board Stable’s I’m Already Sexy worked toward a probable start in the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D. Saturday morning. The daughter of Ready’s Image worked a spritely five furlongs on the firm grass course in :59 flat. Regular jockey Florent Geroux was in the saddle for trainer Wayne Catalano, who is still recovering in the hospital from pneumonia.

“She looks really nice right now and worked well,” reported assistant trainer Fernando Canteria. “Florent said she was excited in the beginning, but he got her to slow down and relax. She galloped out in about 1:12 and change. She’s feeling great.”

Though she comes off a win in the course and distance prep – the Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap – on July 12, the dark bay filly is likely an outsider in the contentious filly and mare turf centerpiece of the summer. Still, it must be noted that the 4-year-old is a perfect four-for-four on the course, including three stakes.

- END -

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