|Arlington Park Barn Notes
In today's notes:
One day before entries will be drawn, Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Sharp Impact, hero of the $75,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes at Arlington Park September 7, is expected to join forces with impeccably bred stablemate Anasheed to complete a formidable coupling in Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity.
Combined with the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie, female counterpart of the Futurity also offered on that day, the pair of juvenile races will make up Saturday's half of Arlington Park's "Preview Weekend at the Park."
On Sunday, the Grade II Washington Park Handicap and the $150,000 added Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile are slated to complete "Preview Weekend at the Park," packaged this fall in advance of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
That series of eight championship races, often called the "Super Bowl of Thoroughbred Racing," comes to Arlington Park for the first time in their 19-year history on October 26.
When winning the Spectacular Bid, contested at six furlongs, Sharp Impact pressed the early pace, challenged for command when set down for the drive and was best by three-quarters of a length at the wire. The Spectacular Bid is the final major local prep for Saturday's Arlington-Washington Futurity for 2-year-olds at one mile. However, this year, the local Futurity becomes a prep for the Grade I Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile, to be contested at a mile and an eighth on the last Saturday in October.
Also, any horse who wins Saturday's local Futurity and the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile is awarded an additional $250,000 as part of the Bessemer Trust Two-Year-Old Challenge.
However, in spite of Sharp Impact's credentials, some believe that Anasheed is the stronger half of Godolphin's expected Futurity coupling. The entire son of A. P. Indy, winner of the Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic in 1992, is out of the mare Flagbird. That daughter of Nureyev was named highweight older mare in England, Ireland and Italy in 1995. Anasheed broke his maiden going the one-mile distance here August 18.
K. K. & Vilasini Jayaraman's Comic Truth, with three trips to the winner's circle from six career starts, is also prominent among horses expected to go in Saturday's local Futurity.
Horses who have won two races that are expected for Saturday's Arlington-Washington Futurity include Overbrook Farm's Boston Park, trained by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, and Michael E. Pegram's Echeverria, conditioned by the more recently successful Bob Baffert. Lukas has saddled four winners of the Kentucky Derby while Baffert has countered with three.
Others expected in Saturday's Futurity here that have earned two career wins include Tom R. Durant's Most Feared and Ron G. Potts Jr.'s Payforaday.
Those completing the likely local Futurity field as of Wednesday include Robert M. Evans' Alpier, T. Starr Porter's Battle Tank, Preston Stable's High Octave, Glen Hill Farm's Unleash the Power, and Wesley Cooper & Coast To Coast Racing Fund LLC's Worker Man.
Saturday's Arlington-Washington Lassie, traditionally the main event for 2-year-old fillies on the Chicago Thoroughbred racing scene, will be drawn Thursday morning.
One day before the Lassie is to be drawn, the likely field appears to be headed by Nelson Bunker Hunt's undefeated Souris. The daughter of Defrere won the $75,000 Top Flight Stakes here August 31, designed to be the final local prep for the Lassie.
This year, the Lassie becomes the final major local prep for the Grade I Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, to be contested at a mile and an eighth here October 26. On that last Saturday in October the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships come to Arlington Park for the first time in their 19-year history.
Saturday's Lassie, held on the same day at the Grade II Arlington-Washington Futurity, is part of Arlington Park's "Preview Weekend at the Park," a grouping of four stakes races over the coming weekend held in advance of the upcoming Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
In the Top Flight, Souris prompted the early pace, took clear command in upper stretch and held sway in the late stages for a two-length tally. She had broken her maiden at first asking before that here on August 1.
K. K. & Vilasini Jayaraman's Fabulous Brush, another expected Lassie participant, won the $100,000 Pepsi Bassinet Stakes at River Downs by five lengths August 31. The homebred daughter of Cobra King broke her maiden at previous asking on August 10 at Ellis Park when she tallied by five and a half.
Another filly with two career wins who is expected for Saturday's Lassie is Edward Marshall's Bolaro, an Ohio-bred who captured the state-bred $40,000 Miss Ohio at Thistledown in her last trip to the post August 24.
Also with two career wins and considered likely for the Lassie is Rodney E. Orr's Calldara, five-length victress in the $75,000 Barbara Shinpoch at Emerald Downs August 24.
The Woodbridge Farm's Moonlight Sonata, another expected Lassie participant, finished clearly second best in the Bassinet last time at the Cincinnati oval, five lengths behind Fabulous Brush but four and three-quarters to the good of the third place finisher.
Others expected for the Lassie field include Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Ashraaf; Robert, Bertram & Elaine Klein's Competitive Edge; the Jayaramans' Explosive Beauty; Preston Stable's Parting; and J. Rester & J. Treece's Sea Bloom.
Possible Lassie contestants include Kenneth Mahler & Castle Rock Racing Stable's Belle of Perintown and Walts-David Stables LLC's Glacial Victoire.
Defending Arlington Park jockey champion Rene Douglas rode four winners on Sunday's program to increase his already insurmountable lead in the 2002 jockey standings. Douglas crossed under the wire first in five races, but was disqualified and placed fourth in Sunday's seventh race.
Gary A. Tanaka's Falcon Flight, fifth in the Grade I Arlington Million under Douglas, will be ridden by Pat Valenzuela in Saturday's Grade I Canadian International at Woodbine Race Course. The Million was the fifth leg of the 2002 World Series Racing Championships, and Saturday's upcoming Canadian International will serve as the eighth leg.
Mrs. Carde Ostermann-Richter's Paolini, sixth in the Million, returned to North America from Germany on Sunday for Saturday's Canadian International. Paolini is trained by Andreas Wohler and will be ridden by Andreas Suborics. That pair captured the 2001 Arlington Million with Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof's Silvano.
Judy Cox of Marseilles, Ill., won the tiebreaker between two perfect scores of 20 points in the Twin Spires Club National Handicapping Championship qualifier held Sunday. Cox was the third of eight Twin Spires Club National qualifiers to collect $1,000 and secure a spot in the NTRA/DRF National Handicapping Championships to be held in January in Las Vegas.
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