|Arlington Park Barn Notes 9/20/03
In today's notes:
Zosima, the juvenile filly whose name would appear last alphabetically among this year's crop of the 2-year-olds racing under the Darley banner, may end up first in their hearts.
The daughter of Capote, a homebred out of the Miswaki mare Grafin, is two-for-three so far in her promising young career and is slated to make her next start in the 69th running of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie Sept. 27, closing day of the 2003 Arlington Park season. The $100,000 main event of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season for 2-year-old fillies is run out of Arlington's one-mile chute around one turn.
"Zosima is doing very well and we are looking forward to running her in the Lassie," said Dave Duggan, the assistant to trainer Eoin Harty who is in charge of Darley's day-to-day operations at Arlington. "Unfortunately, both of our most advanced colts -- Old Kent Road and Rosencrans -- have suffered setbacks so we won't have anything running in the Futurity."
The Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity, open to all 2-year-olds and Arlington's centerpiece for young colts and geldings, will also be run on closing day this year to share the showcase stakes billing.
While no other male or female youngsters are quite ready to step up to stakes competition locally for Darley, Zosima will have to carry the banner, but appears worthy of the assignment.
In her last trip to the post Aug. 17, the day following the Arlington Million, Zosima was allowed to settle early in an allowance sprint at six furlongs, challenged for command approaching the lane and drew off after the eighth pole for a two-length tally. Before that the Kentucky-bred filly had finished second, three and a half-lengths behind the winning Sweet Jo Jo but 10 lengths to the good of the third horse, in the $53,200 Silver Maiden Stakes at Arlington July 27. Zosima broke her maiden at first asking on America's Birthday, July 4.
"She's improved in every race she's run," said Duggan, "but we're still teaching her what to do. In that race she lost, we didn't really want to take on the winner too early because she was a speed filly and we had to teach our filly to relax. She has learned her lessons so far."
"The mile distance of the Lassie should help her," Duggan said. "I've been around the filly since Dubai last winter, and she's always impressed me as the kind of filly who wants to go on. We'll breeze her five-eighths on Monday, and that will about be it for her before the Lassie."
Owner Frank C. Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano only started one horse on Friday at Arlington Park, but made the most of it, winning the last race of the late afternoon program with Ocean Park, who had jockey Eddie Razo Jr. aboard.
Both halves of the Calabrese-Catalano tandem established all-time Arlington seasonal win records in 2002 at the northwest suburban oval -- Calabrese with 66 as an owner and Catalano with 64 as a trainer -- and with six racing days left in the season going into Saturday's Flawlessly Stakes-featured program, Calabrese had 62 winners and Catalano had saddled 57 of them.
"Speaking for myself, I don't worry about records," Catalano said Saturday morning. "The records are ours and that's what's most important to me. I'm very proud of what we did last year. However, I'll have a little bit of an idea where I stand this year after this weekend. We have a couple of horses in today, and some 'live' horses in tomorrow (Sunday). Check with me after the weekend and I'll have a little bit better idea where I stand."
The Calabrese-Catalano tandem have two starters together Saturday, although Calabrese also has a third starter going to the post with trainer Pat Cuccurullo.
Together, Calabrese and Catalano are represented with the 3-year-old filly Suspicious in the second race and the 4-year-old gelding Camp Randall in the fourth event.
Jockey Rene Douglas, who like Calabrese and Catalano has successfully defended his Arlington Park championship of 2002 during the current season, rode three winners Friday. Douglas started off the day in fine fashion, taking the opener with James M. Reed's Unbridled J.J. for conditioner Frank Kirby, came back to the winner's circle in the third with Lizabeth Gore's Marnita for trainer Terrel Gore, and completed his "hat trick" with WinStar Farm LLC's First Again for trainer Elliott Walden.
Brushwood Stable's Kicken Kris, hero of the 2003 Grade I Secretariat at Arlington during the International Festival of Racing Aug. 16, will go to the post in Sunday's Grade II Jamaica Handicap at nine furlongs over the Belmont Park turf course.
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