Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
As summer comes to an end, juveniles
will be the focus of this Saturday's card at Arlington Park.
Two-year-old colts and fillies will square off, respectively, in the
Arlington Washington Futurity and the Arlington Washington Lassie.
While he is the third choice on the morning line, Whyruawesome is the
horse that looks to be generating the most conversation. He
certainly has a number of factors in his favor: a little-known
trainer with a good two-year-old record; a pedigree that suggests
that the added furlong will not be a problem; and a flashy, 7 furlong
maiden win at first asking over the Arlington Polytrack.
the biggest reason to like Whyruawesome, however, is the manner in
which he won his only career start. After sitting ten lengths back
at the first call, the Whywhywhy gelding made up plenty of ground en
route to a ½ length victory. While it is foolish to assume that
horses this age have truly developed running styles, there are a
number of entries here who have shown early speed. With the
exception of Mighty Brown, who will run at Louisiana Downs instead,
every other entrant has been first or second out of the gate in at
least one race. If even half of the eight other entrants battle for
the lead, the race could shape up well for Whyruawesome.
The top two morning-line choices come
from big name barns: James DiVito sends out High Roll and Watne
Catalano counters with Solitary Ranger. High Roll led every step of
the way in his 5 ½ furlong debut, drawing off throughout to win by 3
¾ lengths. The 3-1 favorite is sure to take action off of such a
performance, especially with Cisco Torres aboard. Second choice
Solitary Ranger has faced the toughest company, running two seconds
at Keeneland. Last out, he was beaten two lengths for second by
Wesley Ward's highly-rated No Nay Never. In his career debut, he
caught Ward's Pablo Del Monte and also finished second.
One other big name will be present for
the Futurity: jockey Mike Smith. He is aboard 5-1 Captain's Affair,
an Irish-bred colt making his stateside debut. Another who flashed
early speed in his first two outings, Captain's Affair will run sans
salix here. From a wagering perspective, the race looks a bit
chalky. I am on the Whyruawesome wagon, but Solitary Ranger looms a
big threat based on back class and bullets in his two most recent
works. Those seeking a price may look to Dale Romans' Cee 'n O, who
won his debut easily and has posted some nice works since, or Tom
Amoss' Joedini, who was badly beaten last out but showed some talent
in his debut.
The Arlington Washington Lassie looks to have a
deeper field than the Futurity and I would say a good chance of being
run in a faster time. James DiVito once again trains the 3-1 morning
line favorite here, Maria Maria, who comes off a solid 7-furlong win
here at Arlington. She won that race off a short layoff and comes
into the Lassie under similar circumstances. As for Catalano's
Battlefield Angel, she was making her career debut in the
second-place finish to Maria Maria. She has fun once since then,
winning by a neck in another 7-furlong race over the local Polytrack.
The rest of the field is rife with
horses who have shown some good times in morning works. Mike Stidham
has a pair of entries, led by Istanford, who comes off a 5-length win
in her career debut and a 47 4/5 4-furlong work on August 31. Hall
of Famer Mike Smith will be aboard, meaning the betting public may
cast a closer eye on this one. Gumdrop, the other Stidham horse, was
only a neck behind Battlefield Angel last out, but is 10-1 on the
morning line and could offer some value.
Bellarada is one of two longshots that
pique my interest. After winning her 5 ½ furlong debut at
Arlington, she went to Indiana Downs and was not as sharp on the
dirt. Accordingly, she is back at Arlington and will be running with
salix for the first time in her short career. She comes off a
3-furlong bullet and a 47 2/5 4-furlong work. Look Who's Here, the
longest shot on the board at 30-1, comes off a layoff for a
low-percentage barn, but she has been very sharp in the mornings,
going 4 furlongs in 47 flat and 46 flat in her last two August works
before getting a reprieve in her most recent work, clocked in 49 4/5.
I will try taking a few shots with double-digit prices here after
eating chalk in the Futurity.