|Arlington Park Barn Notes
In today's notes:
Godolphin Racing Stable's locally based pair of Spectacular Bid Stakes winner Sharp Impact and the regally bred Anasheed are among approximately one dozen 2-year-olds being pointed for the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington Park September 28.
This year, the one-turn, one-mile Futurity, traditionally the main event for juvenile Thoroughbreds in Chicago, becomes the final local prep for the Grade I Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile, when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Arlington Park October 26 for the first time in their 19-year history.
Sharp Impact is by the Brazilian-bred Siphon, who is somewhat obscure to students of North American pedigrees. However, Sharp Impact has already shown his potential by winning the $75,000 Spectacular Bid here September 7 by three-quarters of a length. That six-furlong sprint was inaugurated two years ago as the tune-up for the local Futurity. Out of a Carson City mare, Sharp Impact was bred by former Kentucky governor Brereton C. Jones. The colt broke his maiden at first asking July 18 here by three-quarters of a length.
Anasheed, Godolphin's other nominee among the 42 nominations to the Arlington-Washington Futurity, is not as precocious as his stablemate but has the parentage to improve as the distances get longer. The chestnut is by 1992 Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic winner A. P. Indy and is out of Flagbird, a Nureyev mare. Flagbird was rated the highweight older mare in England, Ireland and Italy in 1995. In his last trip to the post August 18, Anasheed came from far back to break his maiden by a length and a half when going one mile.
Also prominent among the nominees to next Saturday's Futurity is Carl Bowling & Charles Thompson's Christmas Away, a colt by 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away. Christmas Away, who is trained by Pat Byrne, beat Anasheed in his career debut here at Arlington July 28. The gray colt out of a mare by 1991 Horse of the Year Black Tie Affair then finished second to highly regarded Lone Star Sky in the $200,000 Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes at River Downs on September 2.
Michael E. Pegram's Echeverria, trained by the ubiquitous Bob Baffert, is also being considered for the Arlington-Washington Futurity at this time. By Awesome Again, winner of the 1998 Breeders' Cup Classic, Echeverria is out of the stakes-winning mare Evil's Pic. The bay broke his maiden by three and a quarter lengths July 13 at Ellis Park and came back to tally by seven and a half in non-winners of two company at that same Western Kentucky oval. In his last trip to the post August 17, Echeverria was a good second in the $100,000 James C. Ellis Park Juvenile after making the pace.
K. K. & Vilasini Jayaraman's Comic Truth is considered a likely starter in next Saturday's Futurity. Bred by his owners in Florida, Comic Truth won the $50,000 Lafayette Stakes at Evangeline Downs by almost 14 lengths in his last start September 2. Previously, the Proudest Romeo colt had taken down winning honors in the $40,000 Pioneer Stakes at Louisiana Downs August 11. The chestnut is trained by Ken McPeek and broke his maiden at Calder for a $40,000 tag on June 10.
Overbrook Farm's Boston Park, by 1996 Eclipse Award winning juvenile Boston Harbor, is being considered for the local September 28 test. Boston Park, trained by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, was sixth in the Grade III Kentucky Cup Juvenile September 14 at Turfway, but third in Monmouth's Grade III Sapling August 10.
The recently sold Wiggins, now owned by William Pacella, Ronald T. Schwed & Joe Rizza and trained by Tony Granitz, was a close second to Sharp Impact in the Spectacular Bid and is also among those considered likely for the local Futurity. Wiggins, an Illinois-bred, broke his maiden August 10 here.
A promising juvenile among the nominations likely to go in the Arlington-Washington Futurity that broke his maiden at first asking is T. Starr Porter's Battle Tank, conditioned by Dennis Ebert.
Others being considered for the 68th running of the Arlington-Washington Futurity include Terry Raymond, Gus Goldsmith & Raymond D. Perez' Del Diablo, Ron G. Potts Jr.'s Payforaday, and Wesley Cooper & Coast To Coast Racing Fund LLC's Worker Man.
Allotted spaces are still available but going fast for Arlington Park's $15,000 Handicapping Contest that will take place next Saturday, September 28.
Approximately 40 positions still remain available in the contest, which will have a limit of 150 entries. If space is still available, walk-up entries to the handicapping contest will be accepted through 3 p.m. Friday, September 27. All mail-in entries must be received by Thursday, September 26, accompanied by a check. The entry fee is $125 per person ($100 for Twin Spires Club members) with a maximum of two entries per person.
"So far, we have received entries from 12 different states," said Brent Carter, in charge of the contest for Arlington Park. "We have two entrants from Las Vegas, one from Florida, and one from Massachusetts.
"In the Midwest, we have received entries from all over, including Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Kentucky and Ohio," Carter said. "Further mail-in entries can be addressed to me, Brent Carter, P. O. Box 7, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60006. Entry forms are available at the Twin Spires Club booths at Arlington Park, any Illinois Trackside OTB or at www.arlingtonpark.com.
"Next Saturday's contest, held on the same day as Arlington Park's 'Preview Weekend at the Park,' will be hosted by Joe Kristufek of the Daily Herald," Carter said.
Entry fee to the Arlington Park contest includes admission, $10 food and beverage tickets, reserved seats in the Starting Gate Theatre (where the contest will be held), and a Daily Racing Form.
Contestants must wager on at least 12 different races. Races 4-9 at Arlington Park on that day are mandatory, with other races available to include races from 1 p.m.-6 p.m. at Calder, Belmont, Turfway and Fairplex as optional races.
Arlington's grand prize winner will receive $10,000, with the runner-up getting $3,000, third earning $1,500, and fourth $500. Also, the top four participants will qualify for a trip to Las Vegas and a berth in the fourth annual DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship to be held next January in Nevada.
A complete set of rules and regulations are available with entry forms.
Leading rider Rene Douglas, Arlington's defending jockey champion, had a riding triple Thursday and came back with a riding double Friday at the local oval. The two-day hot streak began right after the Panamian reinsman shaved his head for good luck.
Jockey Eddie Razo Jr. had a riding triple Friday during Arlington's penultimate late Friday post time of the 2002 season.
Trainer Tom Amoss had a training double Friday at the local oval.
Trainer Al Stall Jr. had a training double Thursday at Arlington Park.
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