Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Sunday, June 16, 2013

| Churchill Downs Communications | 06/30/2013 #
  • Black Tie Affair Handicap winner could start next in the Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap on July 13.

In Today’s Notes: Impressive Black Tie Affair Winner Coalport Possible for Arlington Handicap | Canadian Bettor Brings Down Jackpot High 5

Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Coalport exited his impressive win in the Black Tie Affair Handicap on Saturday June 15 in fine style, according to conditioner Wayne Catalano.  “He looks good.  The (Grade III $200,000) Arlington Handicap is maybe next.  I’m not sure he’s good enough for the Million, but he sure did look good,” the trainer reported. 

In a field filled with stakes winning and placed turf horses, Coalport made his third start of the year his most impressive.  Coming from just off a decent pace of :24.24 and :48.72, the son the Ramseys’ prolific turf sire Kitten’s Joy inhaled the leaders and easily held off the favorite, The Pizza Man.  It was his second consecutive win at Arlington International Racecourse.

The Arlington Handicap is scheduled for Saturday July 13 – Million Preview Day – and is contested at the Arlington Million’s distance of 10 furlongs (a furlong and a half longer than the Black Tie Affair).  The race should be a great barometer on how much Coalport has improved in 2013 and where he fits class-wise with some of the best turf horses in America. 

Coalport’s ability to get the extra distance should not be in question, at least from a pedigree standpoint.  He is a 4-year-old colt out of the Ballade’s Girl, a daughter of 1992 Arlington Classic winner Saint Ballado – a sire who would go on to produce Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year Saint Liam.  Thought of highly enough to race in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in 2011, the Illinois-bred colt could be on his way back to such higher profile events if his form keeps its upward momentum. 

The Ramseys and trainer Catalano also had their 4-year-old filly Tipsy exit her runner-up finish in the Lincoln Heritage Handicap, which is the sister stakes to the Black Tie Affair.  Held earlier in the card, the race was won wire-to-wire by local buzzsaw La Tia.  Tipsy, racing under Florent Geroux, made a strong bid at the quarter pole, but could not catch the winner.  Admirably, after being headed by eventual third-placed mare With a Twist, the tall leggy filly fought back to regain the place spot.  

She came out good.  I’m not sure where we’ll point her next.  We’ll look at what we have here (at Arlington),” reported the trainer.  Options for the filly include stepping up into open turf company in the Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap on July 13, dropping back into a turf allowance, or shipping out for a stakes easier than the Modesty. 

If she does eventually run in the Modesty, she will have to face the top cat in the Catalano barn, her Grade I-winning stablemate Stephanie’s Kitten.  That mare is hoping to use the Modesty as a springboard to the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D.  No matter what happens with Tipsy, the daughter of Kitten’s Joy from the family of Robert Sangster’s French champion and stamina influence Caerleon should improve as the distances increase.

The Catalano stable also revealed Cameo Appearance a promising and impressive 3-year-old in the first race of the day on Saturday.  Racing for breeders Gary and Mary West, the muscular son of Grade I-winning young sire Majestic Warrior, the bay colt made his 2013 and Catalano barn debut in what was only his second career race.  Winning wire to wire with style, the colt could be one to watch. 

“He’s excellent – a very good colt,” the winning trainer remarked.   Finishing six furlongs in a solid 1:10.55, the attractive bay was making his first start since August 12, 2012. 

One lucky bettor out of Canada did something nobody else has been able to do through the first 28 days of meet – be the lone winning ticket on the JackPOT High 5.  The $1 wager, which requires the bettor to pick – in exact order – the top five finishers in the final race of the day pays out the entire pool only when there is exactly one winning ticket sold.  Multiple winners would split 50% the net daily pool with the remaining 50% being added to the jackpot.

Entering Saturday’s card, that jackpot had swelled to $374,516 and with another $49,000 being bet Saturday, the winning bettor on the 5-9-1-10-12 combination had a ticket worth $425,049.30. Last year, one lucky bettor won a JackPOT High 5 worth more than $1.1 million - an Arlington record.

The JackPOT High 5 pool resets to zero today and will continue to build until one bettor can take down the entire pool.