The two biggest juvenile races of the year in Chicago racing were run today at beautiful Arlington Park, and it seems a select few in attendance were lucky enough to know the result before the races were even run.
Clearly jockey Eusebio Razo Jr. was one of the lucky ones. In the Grade 3 $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie, he knew what most of the crowd did not. He told Rocket Twentyone’s trainer Tom Howard after the first time that he rode her, that she would win the today’s big race.
“From the first time I got this horse, I told Mr. Howard (trainer Tom) that he was going to win the Lassie with this filly,” Razo said. “I had a feeling she was special.”
Whether she is special or not remains still in question, but her jockey looked awfully smart as he guided the 16-1 longshot to victory today.
“The first time I rode her she didn’t break really well, but today she left the gate in hand – nice and comfortable on the backside. I wasn’t really worried about the horse in front – well I was worried, but I knew when I’d ask her she’d make her run to the end. She can run either way. She’s push button.”
Sitting just off the early lead, Rocket Twentyone bided her time through fractions of 23.45 seconds, 47.70 seconds, 1:12.51 and 1:25.38, before Razo was able to cut loose his charge down the stretch. She never needed or produced a burst of speed, but was able to wear down her rival from the outside. The Frank Fletcher owned juvenile filly covered the flat mile in an uninspiring time of 1:39.13 to win by a half-length over the pacesetter, Essence of Bubbles, who was a half-length clear of fast closing second choice, Ann of the Dance on the wire.
Today’s victory kept the dark bay daughter of Indian Charlie’s record perfect in two starts. In her debut, she was a strong winner in a six furlong maiden race at Prairie Meadows last month.
One race later was the male’s version of the Lassie, the Arlington-Washington Futurity, and while there was not quite the bold prediction of that made by Razo, the winner’s connections had big confidence in their colt.
Trainer Tom Amoss and jockey Leandro Goncalves were afforded that confidence in Shared Property after the dark bay, gelded son of Scat Daddy ran an extremely impressive race in breaking his maiden at Ellis Park in late July. Sure enough their belief in the Jerry Namy owned juvenile would be rewarded.
Making a late rally in the center of the track, Shared Property collared leader Take Charge Indy at the sixteenth pole, and powered on by to win the Arlington-Washington Futurity by a length, covering the distance in 1:37.93 as the 3-1 third choice in the big field of 13.
“I had a lot of confidence in this horse,” said the Indiana-based rider. “He’s been training great. Tom brought him into the race in very good form. He showed me he’s the kind of horse who will do whatever you want to (in order to) win and that’s the kind of horse you need to win races like this.”
Like his filly counterpart, Shared Property is now undefeated in two starts, but in at least my mind, he was the much more impressive of the two stakes winners today at Arlington Park.
Photos courtesy of Four Footed Fotos