We look at Saratoga stakes races on Saturday, but that's not the only action going on that day. Saturday's card at Arlington features a pair of two-year-old maiden special weight races, both six furlongs on the polytrack.
Race 4: Maiden special weight, two-year-old fillies, six furlongs on the polytrack, post time 2:36pm CST
This race drew a field of eight, evenly split between debut runners and horses who have raced already.
The Mike Stidham barn has a pair in the race: he sends out Sunset Wish in the Godolphin blue, as well as Mistress at Sea for the Dare to Dream partnership.
There is a second Godolphin horse in the field, as well; rail-drawn Twixt and Shout heads out for their other Chicago-area trainer, Eoin Harty. Harty had been struggling for a win this meet, but last week he shot up from zero wins on the meet to two, sending out maiden race winners Sayin Grace on August 24 and then Lancelots Lady the next day.
- TWIXT AND SHOUT (7/2) - Sire Discreet Cat was a debut winner at two, and though his progeny have done more at three and up than they have at two, he has been a useful sire of two-year-olds, including juvenile stakes winners like Secret Compass and Discreet Marq. The dam side has positive two-year-old form. Her dam, Betwixt (Empire Maker) is a unraced mare out of Half A. P. (Pulpit); though Half A. P. was third in her only career start (which came at two), she is a half-sister to Halfbridled, a debut two-year-old winner, and a Champion two-year-old filly. In addition to producing Betwixt, Half A. P. also produced Fully Living (Unbridled's Song), a debut two-year-old dirt sprint winner who hit the board in the Adirondack (G2).
- SUNSET WISH (5/1) - This filly is by Malibu Moon. His first-time starter win percentage is a respectable 14%, though that includes older horses. 28% of his two-year-olds to have started won as juveniles, and his 6.6-furlong average winning distance for northern-hemisphere juveniles suggests this isn't impossible, but it wouldn't be a surprise for him to want longer. Dam Burgundy Ice (Storm Cat) did win first-out at two, but in a seven furlong grass race. Burgundy Ice is a half-sister to a long-winded horse who has tended to sire long-winded horses: Bernardini (A. P. Indy). Burgundy Ice has produced two winners among three horses to start -- including Lapinski (Street Cry), a juvenile debut winner in an Arlington turf dash for Mike Stidham, the same trainer as Sunset Wish.
- MISTRESS AT SEA (9/2) - She is a daughter of 2008 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman, who broke his maiden first-out at two sprinting over an all-weather track. His progeny wins at a strong 17% rate first-out. 63 of his 149 juvenile starters have won at two, and his juvenile average winning distance is a useful 6.2 furlongs. Mistress at Sea is the first starter out of dam Headmistress (Bernardini), who was unplaced in four starts at age two. Second dam Headline (Machiavellian) is an unraced half-sister to a pair of horses who were both debut maiden winners and juvenile Grade 1 or Group 1 winners: Saratoga Six (Alydar) and Dunbeath (Grey Dawn II). Headline produced four winners of nine to start; the one two-year-old winner among them, Jilbab (A. P. Indy), graduated at third asking over the Arlington dirt (for Eoin Harty and Godolphin), and went on to win the 2002 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1).
- CALIENTE CANDY (4/1) - Her pedigree was covered before her race on August 17. She is by a strong synthetic-track racehorse in Sidney's Candy, and her female family is a more-precocious-than-usual branch of a deep older-horse (and surface-versatile) family.
- BELL'S THE ONE (12/1) - This filly is by Majesticperfection, whose progeny have won at a 15% clip first-time out. Majesticperfection himself only raced at four; with 46 of his 127 juvenile starters winning (as compared to 142 of 203 to win overall), his progeny have tended to be better at ages three and up than at two. Dam Street Mate (Street Cry) was unplaced in three outings at two, and eventually got off the mark in a maiden special weight dirt sprint at age four. Street Mate has produced two winners of two to start, including Running Mate (Creative Cause), who won his first two races at age two. Both were six-furlong dirt sprints. Second dam Day Mate (Dayjur) produced six winners including Tap Day (Pleasant Tap). Tap Day was a Grade 2 winner at nine furlongs on dirt at four, but at age two, he won at second asking and followed his maiden win up with a minor stakes score. Both of those came at six furlongs on dirt.
- KAJAWA (5/2) - Her pedigree was covered before her race on July 27. It is strong for a two-year-old polytrack sprint, as first-crop sire Cross Traffic has had some win-early types, and her dam produced a two-year-old polytrack sprint stakes winner.
- AMERICAN BIZ (30/1) - Her pedigree was covered before her race on July 27. She is by first-crop sire Fed Biz, who already has a polytrack winner, and her dam has a reasonably good "win early" record.
- PERUVIAN APPEAL (8/1) - This filly is by Successful Appeal, a solid 16% producer of debut winners. His two-year-olds have seen success, with 173 of his 355 juvenile starters getting a win photo. and their average northern hemisphere win distance being 6.02 furlongs. (That is representative, as he has only had 12 southern hemisphere juvenile runners.) Dam Solarana (Mutakddim) won on debut at age two, and was a Group 2 winner in Argentina at age three, going 1000m (about five furlongs) on dirt. Two of her three foals to start have won. The only one to start at two, La Galy (Warrior's Reward), hit the board in both juvenile starts (sprinting on dirt), but didn't break her maiden until her ninth start at age four. Second dam Sorpresiva (Southern Halo) was a solid source of juvenile winners; in addition to Solarana, So Shiny (Indygo Shiner) and Sortija (Luhuk) also won at two.
Mitchell Murrill typically rides first-call for trainer Mike Stidham -- but instead of riding either of his fillies, he instead shows up on #4 Caliente Candy. Caliente Candy chased home a runaway winner in Thunderous Gem (now nominated for the Arlington-Washington Lassie), and got home almost ten lengths clear of the third-place horse. Caliente Candy is by a sire who loved polytrack and out of a close female family with a good record for precocity. She also adds Lasix for the first time. With the jockey upgrade from Carlos Ulloa to Mitchell Murrill, the Jeff Engler trainee looks well placed to get off the mark.
#6 Kajawa keeps running into front-running buzzsaws: Craft Show on debut, and then Winning Envelope on the Arlington million undercard. She has shown early speed in both of her starts -- just not quite as much as either Craft Show or Winning Envelope, both of whom are quite fittingly nominated for next weekend's Arlington-Washington Lassie. With none of the other horses who have run already showing much early speed, and none of the debut runners boasting super-speedy drills, perhaps Kajawa can take the initiative.
#5 Sunset Wish may prove most formidable of the debut runners. She is by a solid first-time starter sire in Malibu Moon, and Stidham has already conditioned this filly's half-sister to a debut win at Arlington.
Race 7: Maiden special weight, two-year-olds, six furlongs on the polytrack, post time 4:16pm CST
This race is similar to the 4th, except not restricted to fillies, and drew a field of seven juvenile colts and geldings. Three of the entrants have raced; four debut. All seven go out for different trainers and owners, so unlike the fillies' race earlier in the day, there's not the possible question of uncoupled "A" and "B" entries.
Worth noting is the sale price for W W Springtime. Though $67,000 is not a head-turning auction price on the broader scale, it's a higher level of the market than owner William Stiritz typically plays in.
- KINETIC SWAGGER (9/2) - This colt is by Proud Citizen, who did his best work at three but did graduate at second asking at age two. His progeny win at a useful 11% rate at first asking, and they tend to be hit-or-miss at two and better older. Though neither of Kinetic Swagger's two half-siblings to have raced have won -- and Heavenly Strut (Utopia) was unplaced in five starts as a juvenile -- his dam She's Got Swagger (Suave) is a half-sister to Doremisollatido (Bernstein) -- who is not only the subject of a delightful Tom Durkin call, but was also a dirt sprint winner second-out at two and the winner of the Matron (G2) in her fourth start at two. (For those who are putting data in their pockets for dirt races at Hawthorne? She's Got Swagger is also half to Smokinatthefinish (Discreet Cat), the dam of Smokey's Bandit, as much of a slop monster at the Chicago circuit has seen in recent years. Given that Kinetic Swagger's sire Proud Citizen is a 17% mud sire, this colt might like the mud someday.)
- DAZZLING TRUTHS (5/1) - His breeding was discussed before his August 2 race. He is by strong juvenile sire Yes It's True, and his dam is half to a G2-placed juvenile.
- DIPLOME (6/1) - This colt is by first-crop sire Noble Mission. Noble Mission, a full brother to Frankel who was a three-time Group 1 winner in his own right, excelled going ten to twelve furlongs on grass. His progeny are inheriting his acumen for turf, acquitting themselves nicely in the shorter two-year-old races (his average winning distance so far is 5.31 furlongs). Polytrack remains a question. She is the first starter out of her French-bred dam Divinite (Mr. Sidney), who placed in one of two starts as a juvenile and eventually broke her maiden in a turf mile at age three. Divinite hails from a deep, classy Head Family/Haras du Quesnay family; fitting, as Diplome is a Ghislaine Head homebred. This filly's second dam Dissertation (Sillery) won a turf sprint at second asking at age two. Dissertation went on to produce several good foals. Dedication (Highest Honor) graduated second-out at two in a six-furlong turf sprint, and went on to win the seven-furlong Prix de la Foret (G1) at age three. Dunkerque (Highest Honor) placed in his only juvenile outing; he went on to win a pair of Group 3 turf sprints at age four. Dissertation also produced juvenile winners Durer (Motivator) and Time to Study (Motivator).
- ASSEMBLYMAN (5/2) - This colt is by Speightstown, a strong 16% first-out sire, though Speightstown's progeny have tended to show stronger form at three and above, not two. Even so, the Speightstown progeny who have found their stride at two, like so many who have done well when older, have often found this six-furlong trip suitable. Dam Sister State (A. P. Indy) did not start at two, but she got her diploma third-out at three going the one-turn dirt mile at Belmont, and her only other starter Astrakhan (Street Cry) won at a mile and seventy yards in her debut at age three. Like Mochi (Street Boss), a third-place finisher for Godolphin in her debut earlier this Arlington meet, Assemblyman's second dam is Well Related (Quiet American), a full sister to Cara Rafaela, the dam of dirt route star and stamina merchant Bernardini. Though most of that family tends to prefer a route of ground, Cara Rafaela's half-brother Abaginone (Devil's Bag) won at first asking in a dirt sprint during his two-year-old year, and was a multiple G3-winning dirt sprinter.
- W W SPRINGTIME (4/1) - Sire Kantharos is a proven producer of precocious foals, and has a respectable record of 68 two-year-old winners out of 146 two-year-old starters. His foals tend to be best going short, with a 5.64 furlong average winning distance for two-year-olds (relative to a 5.91-furlong average raced distance for his juveniles). There isn't a great deal of precocity on the dam's side. Dam Love In Bloom (More Than Ready) never raced at two and won fifth-out at four; her one winner, Starship Muffy, also never raced at two and won fifth-out at three. The closest juvenile form, in terms of the female family, comes from the fact that second dam Pretty Jane (Subordination) did produce Our Eleanor (Successful Appeal). Our Eleanor won at second asking, at age two, sprinting on the Churchill dirt.
- FLATSTER (6/1) - His pedigree was discussed before his August 2 race. Sire Flatter is a proven producer of juvenile sprinters, and dam Frabster had precocity and polytrack form.
- GOTTA BOUNCE (7/2) - This colt is by third-crop sire Dialed In, a 11% first-out sire who has had 33 two-year-old winners of 90 juvenile starters. He has a 6.6 furlong average winning distance; with a 6.22 furlong average winning distance for two-year-olds, his juveniles have tended to go shorter than his older horses, but not jarringly so. Dam Dynashore (Dynaformer) did not race at two, and graduated sixth-out at four. She has produced six winners of ten to race, including two-year-old winner Shore Do (Include), who won a turf mile second-out at two and then finished third in the Norfolk (G3), a mile and a sixteenth route on the all-weather at Santa Anita.
This race looks like it belongs to the experienced horses, and the most experience runner of all looks well situated. Fourth-time starter #2 Dazzling Truths keeps drawing outside. This time he gets a relatively inside draw, and doesn't have a Rivelli speedball or a horse with blazing fast works who threatens to outgun him. It won't be uncontested -- W W Springtime has shown early pace -- but he drew a few gates outward and may not be fast enough to outjump him. Between that and the first-time Lasix, that may get the Kerry Zavash trainee over the top.
If it's not Dazzling Truth who gets the lead, it's probably #5 W W Springtime, who was forward in his Million Day debut but could not keep Hide the Demon at bay. By top-flight juvenile sire Kantharos, and with plenty of promise shown in the debut, W W Springtime would be no surprise second-out.
As a longshot, make sure not to underestimate #6 Flatster. His start was not the best last-out, and his juvenile breeding and polytrack breeding are solid. The lack of a published work since the last race isn't great -- so it's worth looking at him in the paddock or post parade -- but if he looks fit and is behaving well, there's enough upside to suggest he can outrun his odds.
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