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Barn Notes: Sunday, August 24, 2014
In Today's Notes: One Go All Go Headed to Futurity; Mister Marti Gras Heads Washington Park Noms
ONE GO ALL GO HEADED TO FUTURITY
Friday's impressive juvenile maiden winner One Go All Go is headed to the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity on Sept. 6, trainer Mike Stidham confirmed on Saturday. The son of multi-surface sire Fairbanks seized command at the top of the stretch of the six-furlong maiden claiming event and never looked back, easily strolling across the line superior to his young foes.
Owned by the gregarious local Marty Nixon's Feel The Thunder Stable, One Go All Go was bred in Virginia by Albert Coppola and is out of the Marquetry mare See Ashliegh Run. His connections had previously mentioned that the colt was in need of seasoning and still figuring out his role as a racehorse, but a 'ton of ability' is present. Such was on display as he crossed the line with his ears pricked under Tim Thornton, who was subbing for James Graham, who had taken ill earlier in the day.
MISTER MARTI GRAS HEADS WASHINGTON PARK NOMS
Lothenbach Stables' multiple stakes winner Mister Marti Gras heads the nominations to next Saturday's Grade III $150,000 Washington Park Handicap. A winner of the race in 2011, the gelded chestnut warhorse was fourth last year as a 6-year-old for trainer Chris Block as the 2-1 second choice. In the money in eight of 12 starts at Arlington – including two wins – the son of Belong to Me exits a solid fifth – beaten just two lengths – in the Grade III Arlington Handicap on July 12 as part of what has been an excellent season for the Arlington favorite.
Previous to the Arlington Handicap, Mister Marti Gras was an impressive winner – equaling a career high 118 Equibase Speed Figure – in a turf allowance on June 21, defeating well regarded allowance locals R Great Adventure and O T B Bob. Such came one race after a huge performance to just miss in the Grade III Hanshin Cup on May 25, beaten a half-length by the Nikki's Sandcastle.
Joining likely favorite Mister Marti Gras on the nominations list is Block stablemate General Election. Owned by Hill 'n' Dale Farm, the son of the late Harlan's Holiday was sixth in his seasonal debut on July 11, but has been training up a storm in the mornings for his connections, including a solid five furlongs on Aug. 2 in :59.40.
A winner of last year's Grade III Arlington Classic and Grade III Jefferson Cup – both over the grass – General Election has shown excellent synthetic form. In his third career start last year, the attractive bay colt won the Listed John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park and was an excellent second in the Grade III Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.
Perhaps the most highly regarded possible for the Washington Park is Gary and Mary West's Cameo Appearance. A winner of three local races – including breaking his maiden last year – the son of Majestic Warrior returned from an 11-month break to win his 2014 debut by 3½ lengths over six furlongs on Aug. 10 in an allowance for trainer Wayne Catalano.
The good looking charge has proven his worth at the nine furlongs of the Washington Park before, including a third in the Grade II Super Derby at Louisiana Downs last September and a runner-up finish in the Grade III Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park three weeks later.
Likely to make the field is Ida Tafel's Fordubai, a multiple stakes winner for trainer Greg Geier. A winner last year on the Arlington Polytrack in the Straight Line Stakes on Arlington Million Day, the E Dubai 4-year-old won the Listed Louisiana Handicap at the Fair Grounds earlier this year before finishing third in the Grade Mineshaft Handicap at that same New Orleans course. Last out, the bay colt was third after showing a new dimension on the lead in the Prairie Meadows Handicap in Iowa.
A horse unproven on the Polytrack, but sure to get a lot of attention if he runs next Saturday is Lanni and Youngblood's Avanzare, a son of Grand Reward from the Tom Proctor barn. The bay gelding was fourth in a four-horse photo last out in the Grade III Arlington Handicap – beating Mister Marti Gras – losing by three-quarters of a length.
The gelding had two impressive allowance scores at Churchill Downs previous to that effort on the lawn, showing the ability to both set the pace and close successfully in those. Any worry as to whether the well regarded 4-year-old may like the synthetic surface was quelled by a bullet five-furling move on Aug. 11 in a 1:00 flat – best of 29 moves.
Looking to possibly step-up in class in the Washington Park is Savoy Stable's Gimmeadrink. Like Mister Marti Gras, the 7-year-old seems to be in career form in his old age, including eight wins in his last nine races. Since being claimed by trainer Dale Bennett this winter at Tampa Bay Downs, the son of Gimmeawink has won six times. His only loss this year was on the dirt at Tampa in April and since has grabbed three consecutive Arlington two-turn races by a total of 14¼ lengths.
One of the most impressive allowance horses of the meet, it would be interesting to see the bay gelding step up his trip to the 1 1/8-miles of the Washington Park after being so impressive thrice consecutive at 1 1/16-miles at Arlington – a distance which has a significant run-up when facing the eight or less competitors he has walloped.
Other possible entrants for the race include Law Dog Stable's classy allowance winner Lahshad; Wade Wacker's Hanshin Cup fourth-place finisher Joha; Kenneth Fishbein's third-place Washington Park finisher from last year Hattaash; and Casner Racing's Only in America – a full brother to Group I Dubai World Cup winner Well Armed.