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Two-Year-Olds Spotlighted in Futurity and Lassie
High Roll and Captain’s Affair headline a field of nine 2-year-olds for Saturday’s Grade III $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity while 11 juvenile fillies including Maria Maria, stakes-placed Divergent View and stakes-placed Sweetsoutherndame passed the entry box for its sister race, the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie. Each race will be run at the one-turn mile distance over Arlington’s Polytrack.
Curtis Green’s High Roll has just one start under his belt but was an impressive winner at first asking. The son of Roman Rule wired his rivals in his debut, winning by 3¾ lengths over 5½-furlongs on Aug. 3. High Roll is trained by Jimmy DiVito who has been a dominant force with young horses in recent years. Francisco Torres gets a return call Saturday.
Team Valor International’s recent European import Captain’s Affair certainly takes the prize for most distance traveled to the Futurity having last raced at Tipperary in Ireland where the son of Captain Rio finished fifth in the El Gran Senor Stakes over a grassy seven furlongs. Prior to that, the Irish-bred colt broke his maiden at Gowran Park. Transferred to Team Valor’s American trainer Rick Mettee, Captain’s Affair will have the services of Mike Smith.
Though he is still a maiden, William Pate and Marshall Dowell’s Solitary Ranger is sure to receive support at the betting windows. Hailing from the barn of leading trainer Wayne Catalano, the son of U S Ranger has faced some formidable foes in his two races at Keeneland this spring, including eventual Group I stakes winner No Nay Never. Solitary Ranger hasn’t raced since April but shows a string of solid workouts in advance of Saturday’s Futurity. Florent Geroux has the mount.
Another impressive local winner entered in the Futurity is Windy Hill Farm’s Whyruawesome, a come-from-behind victor in a seven-furlong maiden race Aug. 16. Diego Sanchez will ride the Anne Smith-trained son of Whywhywhy.
The remainder of the Futurity field (with jockey) is: McKee Stables’ Cee ‘n O (Edgar Perez); Filippo Santoro, William Mathews and Marvin Fleming’s Lotsa Mischief (Seth Martinez); Tri Star Racing and The Farm on 4’s Mighty Brown (Emmanuel Esquivel); Greg McDonald’s Gone Mountain (Kent Desormeaux); and Jerry Namy’s Joedini (Eddie Castro).
Maria Maria, who comes from the same connections as Futurity runner High Roll, enters the Lassie off a maiden win going seven furlongs over the Arlington Polytrack on July 19. A daughter of Curlin, Maria Maria stalked the leader and drew off to score impressively under jockey Francisco Torres, who retains the mount aboard the Jimmy DiVito charge.
Hernandez Racing Club’s Tamazula broke her maiden here just two weeks ago, winning a 5½-furlong race by 3½ lengths on Aug. 24. Trained by Armando De La Cerda, the daughter of Two Step Salsa will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux.
Sweetsoutherndame invades from Presque Isle Downs where the daughter of Colonel John broke her maiden in her second start when traveling 5½ furlongs. Following that score, the Tim Hamm trainee was sent north of the border for her stakes debut, finishing second in the Listed $125,000 Ontario Debutante at Woodbine. Pablo Morales rides.
Klaravich Stables and William Laurence’s Divergent View is the only two-time winner in this year’s Lassie. The daughter of Congrats broke her maiden over five furlongs at Churchill Downs in May and added a six-furlong allowance victory at Indiana Downs to her resume last month. Between those efforts, the Tom Amoss-trained filly ran second after having a lead in the stretch in the $75,000 Prairie Gold Lassie in Iowa. Chris Emigh picks up the mount.
The rest of the field for the Lassie (with jockey) is: M and M Thoroughbred Partners’ Gum Drop (Emmanuel Esquivel); Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Battlefield Angel (Florent Geroux); Ron Magers and Bob Marcocchio’s Bellarada (Julio Felix); Holmark Stables’ She’s Offlee Good (Eddie Castro); Richard Ravin, Patricia’s Hope LLC and Larry Rivelli’s Richies Sweetheart (E. T. Baird); Ike and Dawn Thrash and Sam Alley’s Istanford (Mike Smith); and Ben Barnow’s Look Who’s Here (Noel Vigil)