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Barn Notes: Thurs., Sept. 8
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In Today's Notes: Arlington-Washington Futurity, Lassie Each Attracting Amoss; DiVito's Talented 2-Year-Olds Prominent in Futurity and Lassie; Trainer Tom Howard Trying Lassie With Rocket Twentyone; Reminder: Friday Post Time at Arlington Reverts to 1 p.m.
ARLINGTON-WASHINGTON FUTURITY, LASSIE EACH ATTRACTING AMOSS
The 76th renewals of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity and Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie – Chicago's twin traditional events for 2-year-old Thoroughbreds – will both be contested this Saturday at Arlington and both have attracted juveniles with unusually spirited potential.
One of four trainers with horses entered in both the Futurity and the Lassie – but the only one shipping in with Kentucky-based contestants for both stakes – is Tom Amoss, formerly a major presence at Arlington but one who has not kept a local string here in recent seasons.
Amoss, a 49-year-old native of New Orleans, Louisiana, who has won eight training titles at Fair Grounds, spoke about Jerry Namy's Futurity contestant Shared Property and Pop-A-Top LLC's Lassie runner Always Here Too when reached by phone in Kentucky Wednesday during Arlington's training hours.
"I've always liked (Shared Property)," said Amoss of his Scat Daddy gelding who won the only start of his career by four lengths at Ellis Park on July 30. "In fact, I had enough confidence in him that in that Ellis Park race that I told the jockey (Leandro Goncalves) to take him back at the start, and I never give instructions like that.
"Shared Property is owned by Jerry Nemy, who is in the oil business and lives in Dallas," Amoss said. "Jerry is an actively involved owner who enjoys his horses very much, and his stable is likely to expand rapidly if this horse is as good as I think he is.
"I expect Always Here Too is going to turn out to be a nice filly as well," said Amoss. "She broke her maiden impressively in her last start at Ellis (by 3 3/4-lengths on July 31) but I thought her race before that at Churchill was a good one, too. She had a tough trip that day but she never gave up and was coming on at the end. Pop-A-Top is the stable name for Paul Blake and his wife Shirley, and their daughter is involved as well.
"These races Saturday are the ones we have been pointing toward all along," said Amoss. "Of course, both horses will be running over a different surface this time and both will be asked to go another quarter of a mile, but both have shown that great combination of tactical speed and the ability to rate so I don't think the added distance will be a problem for either of them."
DIVITO'S TALENTED 2-YEAR-OLDS PROMINENT IN FUTURITY AND LASSIE
Arlington-based trainer Jimmy DiVito has always had a reputation for being very good with 2-year-olds, but the 61-year-old Chicago-born conditioner could easily surpass his own reputation this season.
So far this summer at Arlington, DiVito has won with eight of his 13 juvenile starters and on Saturday he will saddle B Jock LLC's morning line favorite Twelve Hundred in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity and William Cox's Ann of the Dance in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie, where she has been pegged as the third choice in the early line.
Both Ann of the Dance and Twelve Hundred have made two starts in their respective careers, and both are undefeated going into their upcoming engagements this weekend.
"We're ready to go with both of them," DiVito said this earlier this week. "Ann of the Dance worked five-eighths last Saturday in 1:03.60 and Twelve Hundred breezed three-quarters Sunday in 1:13. All we have to do now is hope they both get good trips on Saturday."
Trainers Tom Amoss, Manny Perez and John Haran are the other three conditioners along with DiVito who have horses entered in both the Futurity and the Lassie.
Amoss ships in from Kentucky with Jerry Namy's Shared Property for the Futurity and Always Here Too for the Lassie. Manny Perez has Sugar Daddy Stable's Yorona in the Futurity and that same ownership's Ville in the Lassie. John Haran has supplemented Eagle Valley Farm's Priceless Shore to the Futurity and his own filly Coyote Breeze to the Lassie.
TRAINER TOM HOWARD TRYING LASSIE WITH ROCKET TWENTYONE
Trainer Tom Howard, who had saddled one winner this season at Arlington before tripling that output with a training double on Labor Day, will try to continue to strike while the iron is hot when he saddles Frank Fletcher's Rocket Twentyone in Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie.
"She's a nice filly and we've always liked her," said Howard's wife Kathy, who rode under the name Kathy Moore and was Oaklawn's all-time leading female rider before being passed by Cindy Noll in the late '90s. "We took this filly to Prairie Meadows for her only start and she won that race easily. Eddie Razo told us she was the best 2-year-old he had been on in several years."
REMINDER: FRIDAY POST TIME AT ARLINGTON REVERTS TO 1 P.M.
Arlington guests and fans of Arlington's simulcast signal are reminded that Friday first post times will revert to 1 p.m. for the rest of the local season which comes to a close Sept. 25.