Barn Notes: Saturday, August 23, 2014
In Today's Notes: Happy To Go Headed to Lassie; Catalano Festival Trio in Good Shape; My Option Works toward Fall
HAPPY TO GO HEADED TO LASSIE
Raul Bahena's Crystal Racing Enterprises is aiming stakes-placed juvenile filly Happy To Go to the Listed $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie on Sept. 6, according to her conditioner Armando De La Cerda. The daughter of Saint Anddan won her debut in useful fashion on May 29 at Arlington International Racecourse, show excellent maturity in rating before moving to win by a measured neck.
"She's very good right now," De La Cerda reported. "She did not lose by much last time. We are going to the (Listed Arlington-Washington) Lassie with her."
Since her debut victory, the bay filly was third in the Listed $125,000 My Dear Stakes at Woodbine on June 28 before finishing a deceptively good fifth in the Listed $125,000 Ontario Debutante on Aug. 9 – a length, two heads and a nose away from the victory after a tight inside trip.
CATALANO FESTIVAL TRIO IN GOOD SHAPE
Eleven-time Arlington International Racecourse Wayne Catalano's three charges from the International Festival of Racing have all exited their races well, according to assistant trainer Fernando Canteria. Gary and Mary West's Highball was fifth in the Grade I $500,000 Secretariat, while Team Valor International's Infinite Magic was eighth in the Listed $400,000 American St. Leger and Hit the Board Stable's I'm Already Sexy was sixth in the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D.
"Highball came out good," Canteria said. "All three of them came out okay – that's the main thing. Wayne talked to (the Wests) after the race and they talked about taking a little more time to develop him. He was training well going in. We're going to go step-by-step with him."
Highball – the most inexperienced horse in the field – was stepping up to a Grade I only two races out of the maiden ranks, but had impressed many with his talent. The son of Lemon Drop Kid looks to be a horse to watch under the patient guidance of Catalano.
Infinite Magic, making his first start for Catalano since being transferred from Team Valor's former private trainer Rick Mettee, ran well for the majority of the American St. Leger before folding in the stretch.
"It was a little too far for him," Canteria remarked. "He was right there and looked like he was going to be okay for a minute. He realized it was too far for him and said 'that's it for me' near the end of the race. We'll find him a different spot."
I'm Already Sexy was a close sixth behind three Grade/Group I winners, a consequential Grade I winner in victress Euro Charline and multiple Illinois champion La Tia – beaten less than three lengths.
"(I'm Already) Sexy came out really good," Canteria added. "Wayne was happy. (Owner) Anna (Seitz, principal of Hit the Board Stable) was happy. She only got beat about two lengths and she got a good number. She looks good and is back on the track and feels good."
Next moves for all three are yet to be determined, but one can surmise that with Catalano now back at the barn after recovering from a bad bout of pneumonia, decisions will be made soon.
MY OPTION WORKS TOWARD FALL
Tim Keeley's Grade III $150,000 Chicago Handicap winner My Option worked a visually impressive five furlongs on Saturday morning for trainer Chris Block. Though in a leisurely 1:02.80, the move was impressive to on-looking clocker Bobby Belpedio who sees the daughter of Belong to Me trainer nearly every morning.
Last out, My Option followed up her career-best effort in the Chicago on June 28 with a seventh in the two-turn Grade III Ontario Matron at Woodbine on July 26. Originally thought to be a candidate for this Sunday's Grade III Seaway over 6½ furlongs at that same Canadian course, such was scrapped in favor of working this morning toward a fall campaign which could possibly include the Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 4 over six furlongs.