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Catalano-Trained Babies Sweep 2-Year-Old Headliners
Trainer Wayne Catalano swept Arlington's signature events for 2-year-olds when Dixie Band captured the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity and She Be Wild won the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie roughly 90 minutes apart on Saturday at the suburban Chicago oval.
In the Futurity, Dixie Band broke sharply but was taken back early by jockey David Flores. The son of Dixie Union raced three wide on the turn and moved into contention in deep stretch. The 4-5 favorite looked like he might taste defeat for the first time in three starts when U Appeal to Me took the lead in mid-stretch but Dixie Band battled back and took the lead inside the final sixteenth and drew off for a 1 ¾-length victory, covering the mile over Polytrack in 1:39.45.
"If you let him, he'll fall asleep on you and come off the bridle," Flores said of the adventurous final furlong that saw his charge brush with the runner-up.
The victory kept Dixie Band's record intact and the $88,200 winner's share more than doubled his bankroll to $136,922 for owners Darrell and Evelyn Yates.
U Appeal to Me stalked the pace and took the lead briefly in the lane before being overtaken by the eventual winner. It was just a nose back to third-place finisher Piscitelli.
"This is a nice horse and he'll get better with time and age," said James Graham, who rode the runner-up. "He ran a good race today. I was pleased with him."
Oak Motte, Beware the Tiger Kratisto and Herecomesbert completed the Futurity's finish order.
Dixie Band paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.10. U Appeal to Me returned $5.80 and $3.60. Piscitelli paid $3.
In the Lassie, Nancy Mazzoni's She Be Wild was rated off the rail a bit off the pace, split horses in the stretch and quickly drew off to win easily by 5 ¾ length under Junior Alvarado. The daughter of Offlee Wild got the mile in 1:38.67, nearly a full second faster than her male stablemate Futurity's clocking.
"She's a nice little filly and we're very happy with her," Catalano said of the filly who made her debut for a $40,000 claiming price in May before winning the Top Flight Stakes here last month. "Everything went our way today and she came into the race good. Once in awhile you have to take shots and do things (referring to running her for a $40,000 claiming price). The opportunity came and we needed to get a race into her. We were fighting some shins and we didn't want to miss a race with her and that's how that came about."
She Be Wild, unbeaten in three career starts, added $87,600 to hear earnings which now stand at $131,040.
Tiz Miz Sue ran second in the nine-horse field, a neck clear of Screen Legend.
"She took a step back right when they (sprung) the gate and that cost us a little," said James Graham, who rode the runner-up. "Then she wanted to rush up to the front and I didn't want to fight her so I let her go. I really didn't want to do that. But when the other horse came to her she couldn't stay with her."
Deceptive Glory, Suzanne, That's Whatshesaid, Gabba Girl, Highest Power and Attempt to Name completed the order of finish in the Lassie.
She Be Wild, the 9-10 favorite paid, $3.80, $2.40 and $2.10. Tiz Miz Sue returned $3 and $2.80. Screen Legend paid $5.