Venus Valentine a Bloodlines Play in Lassie

Venus Valentine a Bloodlines Play in Lassie
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

For many handicappers, one of the first proverbial red flags they search for when analyzing out-of-town ship-ins for stakes races is whether or not they have had a trip over the Arlington International Racecourse surface – especially when the stakes race is over the all-weather Polytrack of its main track. Such can be especially tricky when it comes to juvenile stakes races like Saturday’s Listed $75,000 Arlington Washington Futurity – a race with 10 entrants with 13 starts between them.

One of the well-fancied ship-ins for said event is Rosemont Farm’s Venus Valentine, whose high-percentage trainer Tom Amoss has consistently done well over the years at the Chicagoland oval with his diverse stable and clientele. A winner of her sole outing, the daughter of Congrats was a chic winner upon debut at Ellis Park on July 26 – defeating seven other 2-year-old fillies by 3¼ lengths.

“When we were getting her ready to run at Ellis, she showed us she had some talent,” Churchill Downs-based Amoss explained.  “In the race, she got left early and then put herself back in the race and finished up really impressively.


“I will look for improvement in this race for two reasons,” he continued. “For one, she’ll be a more learned and mature horse this time. Secondly, and maybe even more importantly, her family has done well quite a bit on the synthetic surfaces.”


Venue Valentine is out of the Stormin Fever mare Valentine Fever, who was not only a multiple stakes winner, but also won her pair of added-money events over Turfway Park’s Polytrack surface. Additionally, in her lone graded stakes-placing, the five-time winner in 24 starts was a game second in the Grade III Bourbonette Oaks at that same greater Cincinnati track.


In addition to her dam’s success, Congrats has also produced his fair share of top synthetic performers. The son of A. P. Indy’s top runner Turbulent Descent was a multi-surface multi-distance specialist who impressively annexed the Grade I Hollywood Starlet over its all-weather Cushion Track in 2010. That same year, Congrats’ Wickedly Perfect won both the Grade III Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar and Grade I Alcibiades at Keeneland over their respective Polytrack surfaces. Not so coincidentally, Turbulent Descent, Wickedly Perfect and Venus Valentine all hail from Storm Cat female lines.





Reigning Illinois-bred champion juvenile Recount is looking to take his Prairie State show on the road when the four-time stakes winner in seven career starts heads to Pennsylvania next month for the Grade III $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx. At six furlongs on the main track – and part of the Grade I $1,000,000 Pennsylvania Derby undercard – the Gallant Bob is one of the last times stakes-level sprinting sophomores can face each other in age-restricted company.


“It looks like we may take him to Parx for the Gallant Bob,” trainer Jimmy DiVito confirmed. “He seems like he is in great shape after his last win and this will give him a little time between races.


“We will see what happens, but that’s the plan for now,” DiVito continued. “I think he can run on dirt as well as synthetic. He ran great at Hawthorne over it and was a good second at Prairie Meadows. Plus, it’s one of the last times he can run against 3-year-olds.”


Previous to winning the $50,000 Addison Cammack Handicap against older horses and the $50,000 Bruce D. Memorial at Arlington within 14 days of one another, the son of Limehouse was second in the $75,000 Golden Circle Stakes at Prairie Meadows on May 1 and won the $75,000 Land of Lincoln Stakes at Hawthorne Race Course three weeks earlier.





On Friday, Arlington International Racecourse will offer advance wagering on Saturday’s Travers Day card from Saratoga. The blockbuster stakes card includes six Grade I races along with a Grade II and marks the first time Triple Crown champion American Pharoah returns to New York since his June 6 romp in the Belmont Stakes to take on Breeders’ Cup winner Texas Red, among others.


A $1 million guaranteed Pick-4 covering four Grade I races will begin on race 8.




Apprentice jockey Keiber Rengifo got off the duck for his first career win as a jockey on Thursday in the opener when heguided Jose Rodriguez’s Grand Procession to victory for trainer Gabe Retana. A 21-year-old native of Caracas, Venezuela, Rengifo came to Arlington this month on the advice of ex-jockey and decorated multiple Grade/Group I-winning conditioner Wesley Ward.


“It feels really good,” Rengifo said afterward. “This win isn’t for me, it’s for my family and my baby.”


Rengifo proceeded to the jockey’s room, where he received the traditional celebratory baby powder, soap, eggs and various other substances shower, courtesy of his fellow jockey colony mates. He then missed winning the second race by a long nose in an exciting finish under Earl Hughes’ Leonard Slager-trained Hollow Creek.

Source: Arlington Park


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