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Two-Year-Olds Spotlighted Saturday with Renewals of Futurity & Lassie
Two-year-olds of both sexes take the spotlight Saturday at Arlington Park with the 76th edition of the Grade III $100,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity and the 76th edition of the the Grade III $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie sharing top billing on the nine-race card. Each of these prominent fixtures on the racing calendar will be contested at one mile on Polytrack.
An overflow field of 13 2-year-old fillies were entered for the Lassie, a race captured last year by eventual Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies heroine and Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly She Be Wild.
Wayne Catalano, who saddled She Be Wild to take last year's Lassie, has two fillies entered for this year's renewal - Darrell & Evelyn Yates' Jordy Y and Peachtree Stable's Honey Chile. The former, a daughter of Congrats, is two for two here while the latter, by Invisible Ink, won her only start on Aug. 19. Junior Alvarado has the mount aboard Jordy Y and Michael Baze is listed on Honey Chile.
Mark Dedemenico's Wonderlandbynight comes into the Lassie off an impressive victory in the $150,000 Ontario Debutante at Woodbine Race Course on Aug. 14. The Mike Reavis-trained Illinois-bred daughter of Sky Mesa rallied from mid-pack to win that 6 ½-furlong test over Polytrack by 1 ¾ lengths. Prior to that, she officially broke her maiden over the Arlington strip on June 27 and has since been credited with a victory in her career debut when racing against male rivals on June 4. E. T. Baird has the call Saturday.
Ron Magers & Roe Conn's Third Chance is another Illinois-bred filly coming off a visually impressive victory, a six-length tally in her lone start on Aug. 6. Shane Sellers has been named to ride the daughter of Kafwain who is one of three horses trained by Jim DiVito to be entered in the Lassie.
DiVito will also send out Curtis Green's One Star, with Julio Felix slated to ride, and B Jock LLC's Tellme All About it, with Diego Sanchez named.
Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel also has two entered for the Lassie - Robert Zoellner' Larue Lovelake, second in her last start to Sherriff Cogburn when racing against male rivals in the $60,000 Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile, and Mueller Thoroughbred Stable's Miss Inclined, a maiden winner on turf last out on Aug. 26. Quincy Hamilton has the mount aboard Larue Lovelake while Eusebio Razo Jr. is slated to ride Miss Inclined.
The remainder of the field in the Lassie (with riders listed) are: John Adger, Oakcrest Farm, Three Kings Stable & Hilary Pridham's Crepe Myrtle (James Graham); Sullimar Stable's Edie (Inez Karlsson); Michael Helmbrecht's Image of Grace (Inocencio Diego); Christine Hicklin Mamakos's Songofthecity (Alex Birzer); and Stone Farm & Michael Stidham's Summer Savory (Tanner Riggs).
McNeill Stables' Caleb's Posse and Gary & Mary West's Impersonator should vie for favoritism in the Futurity, which drew a field of eight colts and geldings.
A son of Posse, Caleb's Posse broke his maiden in his second start on Aug. 14 after finishing second to the impressive Sherriff Cogburn in his debut the previous month. Trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel, he will be ridden by Quincy Hamilton who returns from his Oklahoma base to take the assignment Saturday.
Impersonator, a Tale of the Cat colt, also broke his maiden at second asking, winning a seven-furlong race here on Aug. 22. Previously, the Wayne Catalano trainee bobbled at the break and finished third in his bow on July 15. Chris Emigh has a return call in the Futurity.
Catalano also sends out Gary & Mary West's Major Gain and Darrell & Evelen Yates's Ghetto Cat for the Futurity. The former, by More Than Ready, ran second to Caleb's Posse in his only start while the latter, a son of Forest Wildcat, scored a length victory in his lone start. Junior Alvarado is named aboard Major Gain and Ghetto Cat will be ridden by James Graham.
Mervin & Barbara McNamara's Weekend Wildcat invades from Kentucky for the Futurity. The Larry Demeritte-trained son of Lion Heart broke his maiden at Churchill Downs on May 20 and most recently finished sixth after veering in at the break in an allowance race over Polytrack at Woodbine. Victor Lebron is slated for the tack.
Completing the field for the Futurity (with riders listed) are: Dede McGehee's Big Blue Caboose (Eusebio Razo Jr.); Jack Smith Thoroughbreds' Rough Sailing (Michael Baze); and William Ryan's Wheemaway (Shane Sellers).