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Barn Notes: Thursday, August 28, 2014

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/28/2014 #

In Today's Notes: Promising Avanzare Tries Synthetic in Washington Park; Catalano's Winter Dawn to Spinaway

PROMISING AVANZARE TRIES SYNTHETIC IN WASHINGTON PARK

Looking to spoil favored Mister Marti Gras' parade in Saturday's Grade III $150,000 Washington Park Handicap will be Donato Lanni and John Youngblood's Avanzare – a lightly raced 4-year-old making only his ninth career start for trainer Tom Proctor. The son of Grand Reward will start from post four in the six-horse field and carry journeyman Chris Emigh for the first time.

A type comfortable with setting the pace or closing, Avanzare was a brave fourth – beaten a head, half-length and a neck for it all – after making all the running in the grassy Grade III Arlington Handicap on July 12 at 1¼ miles. Previous to that effort, he was a notable winner of an allowance optional claiming event at Churchill Downs, wiring the 1 1/8-miles to win by a length and a half over a field that included Grade III Hawthorne Derby winner Kid Dreams.

The Washington Park – over Arlington's Polytrack main course – will be the bay gelding's first attempt on any surface other than grass, but such does not worry his connections. "He works well over it," confirmed Lindsay Schultz, assistant to Proctor. "We're planning on (running)."

Avanzare has turned in seven consecutive works over the surface, including a bullet move on Tuesday, Aug. 26, in 1:00 flat for five furlongs. It was the second time he had earned the bullet. On Aug. 11, the maternal grandson of turf champion Theatrical yielded the same time – best of 29 moves.

A win by the Kentucky-bred would be the charge's first stakes win, but would not be too much of a surprise. Mister Marti Gras, the expected favorite and morning line choice at 8-5, actually finished a length and a half behind Avanzare in the Arlington Handicap. While the cutback of a furlong in the Washington Park is presumably to the aid of Mister Marti Gras, it is expected to equally aid Avanzare.

CATALANO'S WINTER DAWN TO SPINAWAY

Coffeepot Stable's Winter Dawn, who trained at Arlington International Racecourse before shipping up to Saratoga for an impressive maiden victory, is to run in the Grade I $350,000 Spinaway Stakes at that course on Sunday, according to her conditioner. Trained by 11-time Arlington champion trainer Wayne Catalano, the daughter of Sky Mesa was also nominated to next week's Listed $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie, but is more likely to compete this weekend at The Spa.

Bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Winter Dawn was sold for $185,000 at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling sale. Always highly regarded by her trainer, she was sent to Saratoga in late July after a series of solid mornings at Arlington. More impressively, the dark bay juvenile filly worked a quick three furlongs in :36.91 just two days prior to her debut, where she went off as the $5.30-1 third choice and defeated the highly touted duo of Feathered from the Todd Pletcher barn and Harbouring from the Bill Mott barn.

Winter Dawn drew post six in the nine-horse field and will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan.