ARLINGTON HEIGHTS -- The trainer/owner team of Ingrid Mason and Joe Ragsdale didn't attend today's eighty-first running of the $75,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie as they saddled Sarah Sis to a fourth place effort in today's G1 Ballerina. The Ballerina was contested at Saratoga on the undercard of the Travers Day program - with the feature race seeing Keen Ice win after Frosted pressured Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. The Triple Crown winner put Frosted away but couldn't hold off Keen Ice.
Back at Arlington, the local feature on an overcast late-August afternoon was the Arlington-Washington Lassie. At seven panels on the polytrack for two-year-old fillies it saw AVISIONOFCHOCOLATE and INCONCLUSIVE swap favoritism in the late stages of wagering between 5-2 and 3-1. When the latch sprang, INCONCLUSIVE was made the 5-2 wagering favorite over AVISIONOFCHOCOLATE. Also when the latch sprang, LU SEA grabbed the early lead with MOONLITEDISCRETION close in tow. This pair clicked off an opening quarter of :23.13 and a half of :.46.13. But when MOONLITEDISCRETION started to backpedal, MARQUEE MISS moved three wide on the turn and would take command in the lane of the Arlington-Washington Lassie. She saved ground going up backstretch and when LU SEA and MOONLITEDISCRETION started to wilt, she was there. She would extend the margin to three lengths in the lane, as deep closers SILVER LODE and ESCALANTE came on to the scene as well. VENUS VALENTINE was another rallying from the back half of the group as the pace setters - LU SEA, AVISIONOFCHOCOLATE, and MOONLITEDISCRETION, were in the rear half of the field at the end of the frosh filly stake.
Joe Ragsdale's two-year-old Cowboy Cal filly out of Marquetry mare Marquee Delivery paid $22.00 to win for her effort. She stopped the clock in 1:24.29 for seven furlongs on polytrack. Sent off at 10-1 odds, she was ridden to victory by Manny Esquivel for conditioner Ingrid Mason. The trainer/owner team on MARQUEE MISS was second last year in this race with SARAH SIS - the same filly that's now three and took an honorable try at Saratoga's G1 Ballerina earlier in the day. She was three lengths clear of SILVER LODE. SILVER LODE in turn, was three lengths to the better of ESCALANTE. Five lengths behind the top three came VENUS VALENTINE. 5-2 post time favorite INCONCLUSIVE reported home fifth.
Winning pilot Manny Esquivel took to working first-time starter and stakes heroine MARQUEE MISS behind others in morning workouts, and the education helped as she was able to rate, save ground, and swing three wide. He further commented that "the plan was to follow the five [MOONLITEDISCRETION] around. When she started to back up I made my move. The whole way around I knew I had a lot of horse."
Representing the winning ownership, Kelly Bell commented on how "she's a quick learner. We've been working her in the mornings." Purchased for twenty thousand dollars at OBS June, the connections didn't disclose firm immediate plans. "We didn't look ahead, we just looked at this race,"said Bell to Picks & Ponderings.
The $1 6-2 exacta of MARQUEE MISS and SILVER LODE returned $78.00. The fifty-cent 6-2-1 trifecta of MARQUEE MISS, SILVER LODE, and ESCALANTE netted $375.60. Dime superfectas with VENUS VALENTINE in the fourth position paid $533.03.
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