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Barn Notes: Monday, September 03, 2012

| Churchill Downs Communications | 09/03/2012 #
  • Gold Edge, winner of the $65,000 Lisa M Stakes on Aug. 4, is likely for the Arlington-Washington Lassie on Saturday.

In Today's Notes: Gold Edge Breezes for Saturday's Arlington-Washington Lassie; Muppet Man Pointed at Arlington-Washington Futurity Saturday; Triple Cross Likely for Futurity; Woodbine Stakes Possible

GOLD EDGE BREEZES FOR SATURDAY'S ARLINGTON-WASHINGTON LASSIE
Dolphus Morrison's Gold Edge, heroine of Arlington's $65,000 Lisa M Stakes August 4, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 Labor Day Monday morning immediately after the break in preparation for this Saturday's 77th renewal of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie – Chicago's annual signature event for 2-year-old fillies contested at the one-turn mile distance.

Trained by Lon Wiggins, the daughter of Eddington accomplished early splits of 25, 37, and 48.60 with an exercise rider in the irons and then galloped out three-quarters in 1:15 flat while "well in hand," according to Arlington clocker Bobby Belpedio.

"That's about as fast as we wanted go," said Wiggins shortly after the move. "Her last two works have been really good. It's nice to have one that can go that fast."

The Morrison-homebred broke her maiden by 2 3/4-lengths at Churchill Downs June 24 in the only other start of her career.

Wiggins is the son of longtime trainer Hal Wiggins, who retired last year after developing Rachel Alexandra to win the Kentucky Oaks for Morrison before that filly was eventually sold.

All of Morrison's remaining horses – including Gold Edge – will be offered through an upcoming dispersal sale in November.

MUPPET MAN POINTED AT ARLINGTON-WASHINGTON FUTURITY SATURDAY
Curtis Green's Muppet Man, winner of Arlington's $65,000 Meadowlake Stakes on August 4, went an easy five-eighths in 1:01 flat Sept. 1 at Arlington, one week prior to his upcoming engagement in Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity. The local Futurity is Chicago's showcase race for juveniles run out of Arlington's one-mile chute each fall.

Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez, the only rider Muppet Man has ever known, was aboard Muppet Man for the move which the Corinthian colt accomplished without company."He went well," said Muppet Man's trainer Jimmy DiVito during training hours Monday, two days after the breeze. "We got what we were looking for. Everything is on schedule for his start in the Futurity this weekend."

TRIPLE CROSS LIKELY FOR FUTURITY; WOODBINE STAKES POSSIBLE
Taylor Rice's Triple Cross, runner-up to Curtis Green's Muppet Man in Arlington's $65,000 Meadowlake Stakes August 4, breezed three-eighths in a bullet 33.80 August 24 at Pennsylvania's Presque Isle Downs and is doing "fabulous", according to trainer Wayne Rice.

"The reason we only went three-eighths with him is that you can't pull him up," said Rice on Monday morning. "A three-eighths work is more like five-eighths. If you breeze him five-eighths he'll go more like seven-eighths. When he worked the other day I got him galloping out with fractions of 46 and 59. We won't work him again.

"We'll probably be bringing him down to Chicago on Wednesday," said Rice. "The (Arlington-Washington) Futurity at one mile is high on our list, but I'm still mulling over a race at Woodbine (the $150,000 Swynford) on the next day. That race is at seven-eighths. The pots are the same in both races, and the racing surfaces (at Arlington and Woodbine) are very similar, so I haven't decided for sure which way we're going to be headed."

Rice's sister is the high-profile New York-based trainer Linda Rice, known for becoming the first woman to win a training title at Saratoga during the summer of 2009 but more recently as the winner of the spring meet title at Aqueduct this year.

Triple Cross is out of a mare Linda Rice bought as a yearling, was passed through to the Rice siblings' father, noted Ocala horseman Clyde Rice, and eventually on to Wayne Rice's ex-wife Gail, who bred her to Werblin. When Werblin proved unfashionable at stud, Gail Rice gave the foal to her daughter Taylor, whose father Wayne is now the gelding's trainer.

Wayne Rice's life partner is Arienne Cox, who has served as Triple Cross's jockey in all four of his career starts.

"When this horse broke his maiden at Presque Isle in May, we put him back in another race in June and he won that one, too," said the trainer. "Then we put him in a stakes (the $150,000 Colin July 14 and he finished third but got put up to second. When we came down to Chicago (for the Meadowlake), I told Arienne to take him back behind horses to give him an education. I like to try and train my 2-year-olds to go longer distances, and I think the mile distance of the Futurity might be very much to his liking."