|Arlington Park Barn Notes
In today's notes:
Stronach Stable's Macho Uno, the Eclipse Award winning juvenile champion two years ago, breezed five furlongs in 1:03 at Arlington Park Monday morning in advance of a projected start in Sunday's Grade II Washington Park Handicap here.
This year, the $400,000 Washington Park 'Cap will serve as the final local prep for the Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Arlington Park for the first time in their 19-year-history on October 26.
As Macho Uno's trainer Joe Orseno emphasized, the Breeders' Cup Classic is the ultimate goal, and the likely Sunday start in the Washington Park is designed merely a "prep" for an eventual start in the Classic.
Sunday's Washington Park Handicap will be contested at a mile and three-sixteenths, while the Classic -- now the richest Thoroughbred race in the United States with its $4 million purse -- will be run at Arlington Park on that last Saturday in October.
Macho Uno accomplished early splits of :12 4/5, :25 2/5, :38, and :50 1/5 on his way to the five-furlong time; and then galloped out three-quarters in 1:16 2/5 under exercise rider Tim McCanick.
"He went good," said Orseno, who flew in to Chicago Sunday night to supervise the move. "He got a lot out of it. All cylinders are working. We'll see how tired he is over the next day or so, but assuming he comes out of it okay, everything is a 'go' for Sunday.
"If I put a horse in front of him, he's going to go," said Orseno, who was scheduled to return to New York Monday afternoon, "but you do that if you don't know if a horse can run. I know this horse can run so there's no point in that. I just wanted him to get a race over the track.
"When he worked last week at Woodbine he was coming off the farm in Toronto, and he came back blowing pretty hard," said Orseno. "Today, he took one turn around the barn after his work and he wasn't even breathing hard, so hopefully we're going in the right direction."
Godolphin Racing Inc.'s distinctly different duo of 2-year-old colts expected to head the field in Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity both breezed Monday morning at Arlington Park in final serious moves prior to that upcoming engagement.
On the track later in the morning for Godolphin was the 2-year-old filly Ashraaf, presumably one of the prime candidates for Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie.
Sharp Impact, who won the $75,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes here September 7, breezed five-eighths in 1:00 4/5, while the royally-bred Anasheed, by 1992 Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic winner A. P. Indy, toured the same distance in 1:03 3/5.
"Both horses worked well," said Dave Duggan, assistant trainer in charge of conditioner Eoin Harty's local string. "I'm very happy with both of them."
Ashraaf, who broke her maiden by 10½ lengths in her last start here, breezed five furlongs in 1:04 2/5 later in the morning.
"We were pleased with her work as well," said Duggan. "We always like to work her slow and don't take her out until the track is quiet."
Saturday's $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity and $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie are traditionally the main events for 2-year-olds and 2-year-old fillies during the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season. However, this year will both serve as preps because the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Arlington Park for the first time in their 19-year history October 26.
With that in mind, the local Futurity becomes the final local prep for the Grade I Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Lassie serves that same purpose for the Grade I Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies during the last Saturday in October.
Saturday's pair of juvenile stakes, combined with the Grade II Washington Park Handicap and the $150,000 Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile on Sunday, are all being billed as Arlington Park's "Preview Weekend at the Park" in anticipation of the World Thoroughbred Championships four weeks later.
Tom R. Durant's Most Feared, winner of the $50,000 Continental Mile Stakes at Monmouth Park on September 1, breezed a half-mile in :48 1/5 at Arlington Park Monday morning in anticipation of a projected start in Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity here. The colt galloped out five furlongs in 1:01 for conditioner Ronny Werner.
In the Continental Mile on August 18, Most Feared pressed the early pace, took command entering the lane and drew off the rest of the way for a nine and a half-length score. The entire son of Commanchero out of a mare by 1975 Belmont Stakes winner Avatar broke his maiden at that same Jersey shore oval on July 17.
This year, the Arlington-Washington Futurity will serve as the final local prep for the Grade I Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile on October 26, when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Arlington Park for the first time in their 19-year history.
Any horse who wins the Arlington-Washington Futurity and comes back to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile will earn an additional $250,000 under the conditions of the Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge.
- END -