Futurity, Lassie highlight Arlington card
Muppet Man has met no serious challenges two races at Arlington Park this summer, the primary reason the son of Corinthian will likely go favored in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity. The one-mile Polytrack test has attracted a field of seven colts and one filly, while its companion race, the Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie, drew a gate load of 14 fillies when entries were taken Wednesday.
A wire-to-wire winner by 3 3/4 lengths in his 4 1/2-furlong debut July 1, Muppet Man successfully stretched out to seven furlongs in the August 4 Meadowlake. Favored at 8-5, the Jim DiVito trainee stalked the early pace in second, seized control at the top of the stretch, and opened up to win by 4 3/4 lengths under Jeffrey Sanchez, who retains the mount for the Futurity.
Also exiting the Meadowlake are Stormin Monarcho, who made a mild rally for third, and Ultimo Trago, who finished a neck behind Stormin Monarcho in fourth.
Three last-out maiden winners are in the cast: Pataky Kid, Glenco Kid and Mylute. Pataky Kid, an Oklahoma-bred, triumphed over seven furlongs last month and will be ridden Saturday by Garrett Gomez. Glenco Kid stepped up from a unplaced effort against maiden claiming foes to beat maiden special weight company over the Futurity distance of one mile August 4, while Mylute triumphed over six furlongs August 11, one race after finishing second by a neck in the Prairie Gold Juvenile. Mylute is a half-brother to juvenile Grade 3 winner She Digs Me.
The lone filly in the Futurity is Scissortail G, a Donnie Von Hemel charge who was essentially excluded from the Lassie lineup being a maiden. The daughter of Value Plus has faced her own sex to this point, finishing third in her July 26 debut and third last out when stretched out to seven furlongs. She's a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Soonerette.
The field is rounded out by Ohio-bred Urban Renewal, who broke his maiden against open company at Thistledown and was most recently second in the Hoover, a state-bred stakes at River Downs.
The cavalry charge that is the Lassie appears wide open on paper. Vying for the favorite's role will be Gold Edge, who broke her maiden in claiming company at Churchill Downs before stepping up to take the Lisa M, the local Lassie prep; Sweet Redemption, who took the Ontario Debutante in her one and only start; and Flying Rapunzel, a smart debut winner for Wayne Catalano last time.
Invading from Kentucky are two Ellis Park maiden breakers: The Larry Jones-trained Dancinginthecircle, who won by a widening 3 1/4 lengths at the Western Kentucky course over the dirt July 29, and Pappascat, who destroyed her rivals by 7 1/2 lengths on July 22 over the grass. They drew posts 1 and 14, respectively.
The top three from the July 21 Prairie Gold Lassie in Iowa -- American Sugar, Quiet Success, and Dancing Elliebelle -- are in the one-mile fixture. American Sugar subsequently ran third to males in the Prairie Juvenile Mile, while Dancing Elliebelle later passed her first-level allowance condition by more than six lengths at Canterbury. Quiet Success has not raced since the Prairie Gold Lassie, an effort preceded by a runner-up try in the Grade 3 Debutante.
Rounding out the field are the stakes-placed Bridgette Bordeaux and Love Me Good; Lisa M also-ran Bethany Belle; and last-out maiden winners You Bought Her, Custody and La Song.
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