Saturday, Sept. 5, Arlington Park
The Low-Down: Arlington offers up a "Stakes Tripleheader" on Saturday with the "Win and You're In" Washington Park Handicap (Classic Division) joining a pair of baby races: the Arlington-Washington Futurity and the Arlington-Washington Lassie. A $100,000 guaranteed late pick four pool should entice multi-race wagering fans, as all three stakes are part of that sequence. Arlington fans also note that Labor Day Monday has been labeled as a "Turf Extravaganza." The majority, if not all, of the races will be carded for turf, and two courses will be used. A $100,000 guaranteed "all turf" late pick four is being offered on Monday, and all turf races with at least eight starters with carry a $75,000 pool guarantee on the trifecta.
For our Scouting Report purposes, we're going to focus on the G3 Futurity. Trainer Wayne Catalano, who has the favored She Be Wild geared up for the Lassie, dishes the undefeated DIXIE BAND for this one-turn mile event. The last-out winner of the Spectacular Bid, the local Futurity prep, the son of Dixie Union takes on Spectacular Bid runner-up U APPEAL TO ME, local maiden special weight victors OAK MOTTE and HERECOMESBERT and the capable East Coast invader KRATISTO.
Our Eyes: Purchased for $60,000 as a Fasig-Tipton 2-year-old in training, DIXIE BAND is out of the Forty Niner mare Tutorial, a $200K earner who did her best work routing. He beat a quality field when breaking his maiden at first asking on June 21, and returned six weeks later to score a workmanlike victory in the Spectacular Bid Stakes as the odds-on favorite. He didn't appear to be nearly as sharp in his second start, but the temperatures were in the 90s, and he was still able to gut out the win. Today's task appears tougher, but the pedigree suggests that he should relish the added distance.
A sharp maiden winner at first asking at Arlington on May 28, U APPEAL TO ME traveled for stakes engagements in Canada and Iowa and failed to make a serious impact. He returned home for the Spectacular Bid Stakes, and returned to top form, finishing a game second behind DIXIE BAND. He's trained smartly between starts, and may have what it takes to turn the tables on the likely Futurity favorite.
Bred to dash, OAK MOTTE debuted off a series of solid drills and made a very positive impression, finishing a sharp second behind a talented foe. He trained smartly leading up to his second start, and returned with first-time Lasix. Super-live on the toteboard for a reason, he pressed and pounced his way to a visually impressive score. He appears to have plenty of upside.
HERECOMESBERT was dismissed at 19-1 odds in his Churchill debut on Independence Day. He ran evenly, but passed a couple runners to finish fourth over that sloppy strip. Stretching out over a mile of Arlington Polytrack for his follow-up start, he rolled to a stalk-and-pounce victory. He posted a trio of solid works leading up to this stakes try, and is one of only two horses entered here to have won over the distance.
Purchased for $60K as an April 2-year-old in training, PISCITELLI has paid immediate dividends. Second in his career debut over five furlongs at Monmouth, he stretched out over a mile in his follow-up starts, and scored a professional, stalk-and-pounce victory. He arrived at Arlington a week early, and posted a solid work over the Polytrack surface. Leading rider Junior Alvarado has been lured to the saddle. Looks like the connections are quite serious about winning, but is their colt good enough? We shall soon find out.
The Bottom Line: Catalano has been talking up She Be Wild, his Lassie favorite, all week, but I think DIXIE BAND is an even more likely winner. He waxed a solid group of maidens in his debut, and gutted out a minor stakes score on a really hot Million Day. He might run his best race yet in the Futurity. Let's key DIXIE BAND on top of OAK MOTTE and HERECOMESBERT in exactas and turn them around for half the amount with DIXIE BAND second. Be sure to get some win money on the top pick as well.
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