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Solitary Ranger, She’s Offlee Good Impressive Juvenile Winners
Susan Moulton's Solitary Ranger graduated in style Saturday for trainer Wayne Catalano, breaking his maiden by a widening 5½ lengths under Florent Geroux in the Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity on Saturday at Arlington International Racecourse.
Last seen in April at Keeneland when running second to eventual Group I winner No Nay Never, Solitary Ranger tracked the early pace set by Lotsa Mischief through solid splits of :22.89 and :46.43 before assuming command on the far turn and never facing a serious challenge thereafter. He returned $9.00, $4.80, and $3.60, stopping the clock in 1:38.17 for the one-mile trip. With the winner’s share of $88,200 his earnings now stand at $109,000.
"I had a good trip,” said Geroux, who was winning the Futurity for the first time. “My horse broke very sharp. My horse was a little bit fresh. Mr. Catalano said to make sure I had something left in the tank. I just tried to nurse him around the turn and he got very relaxed. When I asked him, he went all for it and won very easy.”
Catalano, notching his third win in the Futurity (Dixie Band, 2009; Major Gain, 2010), said, “The horse has a lot of talent. Wesley Ward has a nice horse (No Nay Never) that beat him and he went on across the pond and won the best two races in (Europe). That flattered our horse. I just pointed him toward this race the whole time. He ran a nice race. We talked about that he might be fresh. I told (Florent) to use his own judgment but whatever you do don’t move too early.”
Windy Hill Farm's Whyruawesome, well-bet off a local maiden score for trainer Anne P. Smith, inched toward the eventual winner around the turn but could not keep pace in the stretch, crossing the wire a well-clear second, returning $4.00 and $2.80.
“He ran great,” said Diego Sanchez, who rode the runner-up. “He ran a really good race. He learned from the last race, but he was a little bit aggressive today. He was a little harder to control. If he would have had more control, maybe he would have finished more strong. He didn’t lug in as much today as last time. He ran very good.”
Cee 'n O, trained by Dale Romans for McKee Stables, Inc., tracked the pace down the backstretch and stayed on for third under Edgar Perez, returning $5.20. Perez said, “Around the 1/8th pole we couldn't get out, but then he did and ran good until he got tired.”
Captain's Affair, High Roll, Joedini, and Lotsa Mischief completed the order of finish.
A short time later, Holmark Stables II's local maiden winner She's Offlee Good remained unbeaten in two starts with her two-length score in the Futurity’s sister race, the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie.
Well-rated mid-pack off quick fractions of :22.66, :45.50 and 1:10.89, the Richie Scherer trainee shifted out wide at the top of the stretch, collared the leaders in mid-stretch and held firm through the final yards, returning $12.20, $7.40, and $4.80 while completing the one-mile trip in 1:37.98. The $56,400 winner's share boosted her career earnings to $79,200.
Winning jockey Eddie Castro said, “I knew there was a lot of speed up front and the pace would be fast. At the three-eighths, I knew I had a lot of horse and she had a nice response the last part.”
“I know she can rate so it was all Eddie’s race,” Scherer said. “I said if it’s fast up front, you sit off. If it’s not, you sit up there where you want to be. She does everything you ask her to. It was an impressive race and a nice ride by Eddie. For a second I thought she was getting late and tired but then she dug in and went on by. I’m extremely happy, of course.”
WinStar Farm LLC's Sweetsoutherndame, recently second against stakes company at Woodbine for trainer Tim Hamm, finished best of the rest from mid-pack to complete the exacta, returning $8.60 and $5.80. “My filly tried hard all the way to the wire. She got a little hung out wide, but she still tried hard,” said her rider Pablo Morales.
Maria Maria, racing in the colors of Curtis C. Green for trainer Jimmy DiVito, prevailed in a four-way photo for third after a less than ideal trip, returning $3.40 as the public's 5-2 choice. Jockey Francisco Torres said of his trip aboard the beaten favorite, “We needed a little racing luck, didn't have it turning for home. There was a wall of horses in front of me, and nowhere to go."
Tamazula, Istanford, Battlefield Angel, Gumdrop, Bellarada, Richies Sweetheart, Divergent View, and Look Who's Here completed the order of finish.