Arlington International Notes (8/29/14)
Contact: Michael Adolphson
In today's notes:
IKE WALKER SET TO RUN IN FUTURITY
One would assume that a colt carrying the first and middle names of his owner is probably fairly talented – or at least well intended – and both seem to be the case with Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Ike Walker, a runaway maiden winner over seven furlongs on Aug. 7 in his second career start. The well-developed son of Bellamy Road showed speed throughout his second attempt, then galloped away from his talented stablemate Alltheleavesrbrown by 7 1/4 lengths under Channing Hill.
Sold at Keeneland’s September yearling sale in 2013 for $125,000, expectations have always been significant – even after his disappointing debut on July 20 going 5 1/2 furlongs – a distance much too short for the long-striding sort. Immediately after sitting mid-pack and crossing the line to finish fourth in that effort, the dark bay colt was seen striding past his opponents in the gallop-out as if he had just started the race.
After reveling in the aforementioned successful step-up in distance, Ike Walker will now attempt a step-up in class at those same seven panels in the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity on Sept. 6. Trainer Mike Stidham confirmed such on Friday morning for the colt who seems to have two turns and a bright future at his hooves.
A. P.’S GLORY POSSIBLE FOR LASSIE
Curtis Green’s stakes-winning A. P.’s Glory, who ran off the screen in her debut at Arlington International Racecourse en route to the fourth-highest 2-year-old Beyer Speed Figure of the year on July 10 and then won the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies Stakes three weeks later on Aug. 2, is possible to make her third start in the Listed $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie next Saturday.
“She’s undecided right now, but I’m looking at the race,” confirmed trainer Jimmy DiVito who has the filly based at Arlington. “She’s doing fine right now and we’re not going to rush her. I think she has a big upside and if you run them too many times early on, it can be bad.”
Last out at Mountaineer, the daughter of Mineshaft – after making all the running en route to a 7 1/2 length victory on debut – showed the ability to break and settle before taking command and holding off an onrushing Heart’s Song under a hand ride. The athletically built charge hinted at an ability to stretch her speed, as well as the versatility to win on both a dirt and synthetic surface (Arlington).
“She’s relaxed and has won going very easily,” DiVito explained. “She was moving on again at the finish when (jockey Corey Nakatani) saw that other filly coming. That’s another reason I think she can get two turns. That was a big effort.” The Lassie would be another increase in distance from six to seven furlongs.
DiVito also confirmed that Doubledown Stable’s Recount will be running in the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity on the same day. The son of Limehouse was last seen finishing third – beaten 1 1/2 lengths – in the $100,000 Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile on Aug. 9. One race prior, the bay gelding defeated next-out winner Bourbon Cowboy by 4 1/2 lengths over 5 1/2 furlongs on Arlington’s Polytrack surface. That victory earned him a solid 83 Equibase Speed Figure.
“He had a bad trip (at Prairie Meadows),” DiVito explained. I don’t think he liked (running under) the lights. He seemed to have one of those trips where he should have been in front. I am happy with him and he is probably going in the Futurity.”
RIVELLI POINTING PRIVATE PURCHASE TO FUTURITY
Leading trainer Larry Rivelli has an exciting prospect in his barn in Zip’s Moondance, a son of City Zip who impressively won a five-furlong maiden by 3 1/4 lengths at Saratoga on July 24 with a stalk-and-pounce trip. The chestnut gelding was then owned by Nicholas Cammarano and trained by Guadalupe Preciado, but was privately purchased for an undisclosed price by Suzanne Hanifl’s Suzanne Stables – a big supporter of Rivelli.
“We purchased him privately and were really impressed with his race,” Rivelli explained. “He ran a big race and his breeding suggests turf – but he won on dirt, so that’s a bonus – and he has breezed twice really well on the Polytrack here.”
By a stallion whose offspring – despite him being a Grade I winner on the dirt – seem to love turf and synthetic surfaces out of a Giant’s Causeway mare, the sky seems to be the limit for the medium-sized charge. “He’s a pretty nice horse and is doing really well,” Rivelli said. “He’s about average size, but was a good buy for the owners. They have a little bit of a breeding operation and they also try to buy younger, good horses like him.”
Rivelli also mentioned that one of his stable stars, Patricia’s Hope’s promising sprinter Good Bye Greg, is possible to either return later this meet in an allowance race at Arlington or could seek bigger prizes. “He had some issues last out (in the $65,000 Straight Line Stakes on Million Day) with his reins, where the jockey said it was too slippery,” Rivelli said. “He’s a better horse than that and should have gone :47 and change instead of :46. We will either run him in a two-other-than here or at Kentucky Downs – but I also nominated to the Grade III Gallant Bob at Parx.” The Gallant Bob, over the last few years, has attracted some of the best sophomore sprinters in the country.
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