Thursday’s sixth race at Arlington Park is a maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies, going a mile on the grass. The race is a mix of horses who have tried a turf mile before, runners stretching out for the first time, and others who are debuting at this longer trip.
As has been common in these juvenile maiden races, there are a few pairs of same-connection entries. Godolphin has two in this race, both bred to the nines. Carnival Colors, from the family of Royal Delta and closely bred to Khozan, makes her second start for trainer Mike Stidham. But, Beautify from the Eoin Harty barn is also entered to make her debut. She is by Lemon Drop Kid out of Hall of Fame inductee Ashado.
And, aside from their Godolphin charges, both Stidham and Harty have second entrants in the race. Stidham sends out Rainbow Warrior for her debut. Second-time starter Prima Valentina, a Peter O. Johnson homebred, also hails from the Eoin Harty shedrow.
Trainer Mikhail Yanakov entered a pair of homebreds, as Olympia Star, Inc. is Yanakov’s nom-de-course. Both by his stallion Skipshot, they include fourth-time starter Rosa Star and second-time starter Vasilisa.
- PRIMA VALENTINA (5/1) – This filly is by Hard Spun, whose progeny tend to do better with distance — even his two-year-old average winning distance is 6.85 furlongs, and his foals tend to pick it up later in their two-year-old year and into their three-year-old year. Dam Miss Alphie (Candi’s Gold) is a well-proven producer, with five of seven starters to have won, and four of those to have won on the lawn. Her most prominent foal is a turf miler, albeit a late-blooming one: Twentytwentyvision (Pollard’s Vision). He did win at second asking, but at age four. Miss Alphie has produced one two-year-old winner. Unusual Heatwave (Unusual Heat) won fifth-out down the Santa Anita hillside turf. That was a sprint, but not only do milers often adapt to the hill, he specifically went on to win at a mile on grass.
- RAINBOW WARRIOR (9/2) – Rainbow Warrior is by first-crop sire Verrazano, who still awaits his first winner but does have a son who finished second in the five-furlong Kentucky Juvenile Stakes in May. Verrazano, a son of More Than Ready, won first-out but did not make his debut until age three. Though he was a multiple Grade 1 winner on dirt, he was twice Group 1 placed at a turf mile, as well. Dam Becky’s Rainbow (Indygo Shiner) never won in five career starts, but did place in her two-year-old debut going five furlongs over the Retama grass. And, looking back up her family tree reveals two-year-old aptitude. Becky’s Rainbow is half to a pair of juvenile stakes winners: grass filly Oscar Party (Dixie Union) won the seven-furlong Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies Stakes, and Major Gain (More Than Ready) won the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3) going a mile on polytrack.
- SENORITA TAPIT (8/1) – Despite her name, this filly is not by Tapit — she is by Lookin At Lucky out of a Tapit mare. Lookin At Lucky has a respectable strike rate with juveniles; five out of his 13 starters this year have won, and 71 of 162 so far. His progeny have been the kinds of runners who can tackle a short race as a juvenile, and then grow into themselves at three and beyond. Senorita Tapit’s female family has hit a dry spell in recent generations, and dam Tapit’s Rose missed the board in four career tries. But, third dam Rose of Summer (El Prado) produced Laragh (Tapit), a G1 winner routing on all-weather at two and a stakes winner routing on grass at three, as well as MGSW Summer Front (War Front), who won at age two going a mile on grass.
- SAMIS CAR (8/1) – Samis Car is by G1W turf miler and second-crop sire Data Link. Data Link hasn’t had great luck with two-year-olds this year; though 10 of 48 of his two-year-old runners were winners last year, only one of 22 this year have won. Samis Car is the first starter out of dam Cause to Celebrate (Giant’s Causeway). Second dam Bear West produced two-year-old winner Musico Oso (Unbridled’s Song), who won a dirt sprint in his second career start. Looking further back in the family uncovers some serious turf route class: third dam Amelia Bearhart produced Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) and Canadian International (G1) winner Chief Bearhart, Hollywood Derby (G1) winner Explosive Red (G1), and Ruby Ransom, whose family tree has produced G2W Strut the Stage and G3W Aldous Snow. (Acute Picks and Ponderings readers may recall that this is the same family as 2018 Arlington Million contender Twenty Four Seven.)
- ROSA STAR (20/1) – Sire Skipshot broke his maiden sprinting on all-weather, but grew into a graded stakes-quality router on both dirt and all-weather. His progeny have tended to do their best going long, even as juveniles. She is out of the Five Star Day mare Cedar Island, who won a dirt sprint at age four, in her second career start. Her other starter Unleash the Beast (American Lion) did win at fifth asking as a juvenile. That victory came in a four-furlong turf dash, though later he won at six and a half on dirt. Cedar Island is half to Summerdale (More Than Ready), a juvenile debut winner at seven furlongs on grass, as well as to two-year-old debut dirt sprint winner Sir Gusta (Yonaguska).
- BEAUTIFY (8/1) – Top and bottom, Beautify’s pedigree suggests “cut to the chase and go a route of ground”. She is by proven turf route sire Lemon Drop Kid, whose average winning distance for two-year-olds is 7.18 furlongs. She is out of Ashado (Saint Ballado), a two-time champion and a hall of fame inductee. Though Ashado’s first-out victory at two came sprinting on dirt, she won the nine-furlong Demoiselle (G2) later in the year and blossomed into a multiple G1-winning dirt router at three and four. Ashado is full to a pair of other graded stakes winners going a route of ground, G1W turf runner Sunriver and G3W dirt router Saint Stephen. Ashado’s own get have not been quite as good as her dam’s yet, but she does have three winners of four to start. One, Regent’s House (Street Cry), won at first asking, though none of her progeny have yet won at age two.
- MOVE OVER NOW (12/1) – Move Over Now is a member of Mucho Macho Man’s first crop. He has two winners of thirteen to start; Mucho Amor and Jersey Rose both got their diplomas first-time out in dirt sprints. Dam Muse of Fire (Dixie Union) has one winner of two foals to start. Sheplayswithfire (Mizzen Mast) won as a two-year-old last year, at fifth asking, in a seven-furlong dirt race that had been washed off the grass. The other starter, War Factor (The Factor), remained a maiden after three starts at two and has not run since. Second dam Big City Dream (Horatius) hit the board in a pair of five-furlong dirt sprint stakes, and won races at between five and seven furlongs on dirt. Late in her career, she also won a turf dash. She produced Baena (El Prado), who graduated at two turns on turf at age two (in her fourth start), and was solid at a mile and a mile and a sixteenth on grass through her career.
- LOCASH (30/1) – Locash is by first-crop sire Cairo Prince, whose two winners so far (Abyssinian and Prince Pierce) have gotten their diplomas on dirt. She is the first starter out of the Dixie Union mare, Cash In Hand. Cash In Hand didn’t race at two; she won fourth-out at three, going long on dirt. Her full sister, Union Cash, was stakes-placed at two turns on dirt, but also won going five furlongs on dirt. Digging deeper into her family reveals some affinity for going long on grass, which she tries for the first time today.
- VASILISA (15/1) – Like Rosa Star, Vasilisa is also by Skipshot. Looking to the progeny of dam La Belle Marquet (Marquetry), Vasilisa is a full sister to Vasilika, his sire’s top earner to date. Vasilika, a dyed-in-the-wool turf router, has hit her stride this year. She has won six of seven starts this year and ten times in all, though she was winless in six tries at age two. Vasilisa is also full to Golden Dragon, a two-time turf mile winner as a juvenile last year for Vasilisa’s trainer, Mikhail Yanakov. La Belle Marquet also produced Agoodlawyer Willdo (Lawyer Ron), who won at fourth asking at age two, sprinting on the dirt. Still, the match with Skipshot suggests Vasilisa will be well suited to this two-turn trip.
- CARNIVAL COLORS (5/2) – She is by Distorted Humor, whose progeny win at 13% on the grass, and at 10% first-time turf. Carnival Colors is the first to race out of her dam Carnival Court, though a three-year-old full sister Carnival Lass is on the worktab at Saratoga. Carnival Court’s family is all class: Carnival Court is a Street Sense half-sister to champion Royal Delta and graded stakes winners Delta Prince and Crown Queen. Delta Prince and Crown Queen made their mar on grass. Carnival Court won second time out, though three others out of her dam won on debut. Empire Way won a six and a half furlong juvenile sprint over the Del Mar polytrack at first asking, and Royal Delta won on debut at the one-turn dirt mile at Belmont.
- ULTRA MISSION (10/1) – Ultra Mission 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. From what few have run so far, it looks like his progeny are inheriting his acumen for turf. Underneath, her dam Market Buzz is an After Market half-sister to MG1W Giant Oak. That family has proven it can be any kind surface-wise; like Giant Oak himself, his relatives have shown form and class on all-weather, dirt, and grass. Ultra Mission debuted going short on poly, but this longer race should suit her pedigree better: Market Buzz’s only win came at a mile and a sixteenth turns on polytrack, after a few starts at age three. Her only other foal to race (Market Top, by Cape Blanco) has her only win to date going a mile on grass.
Trainer Eoin Harty’s 0-25 line on the meet gives pause, but #1 Prima Valentina is his best chance yet to get off the duck. Prima Valentina missed by less than a length on debut behind well-fancied second-timer Castlewood Terrace and next-out winner Best You Ever Seen. That try came at a turf mile, so not only her pedigree suits, but her race record so far does, too. She keeps 27% rider Jose Valdivia in the irons, and as long as she can handle the inside draw, she may prove tough to beat.
#4 Samis Car can improve at a price. She took a step forward — a perfectly expected one, given her pedigree — when switching from micro-sprints on polytrack to a mile on the grass. Now she adds blinkers, something that should keep her a bit more focused than last out (when she spooked in the lane), and keep her engaged all the way to the wire.
Between the pair of well-bred Godolphin entries, #10 Carnival Colors is the one to use on tickets. She finished third at this level last-up, and can improve if she doesn’t use so much energy before this start. Beautify’s pedigree is exciting, but it seems suspicious that she’s debuting on a Thursday at Arlington, and not at the Spa.
Among the first-time starters, #7 Move Over Now ranks as the most intriguing. The pedigree does have some threads of turf route prowess. The worktab is exactly what you want to see for a horse debuting in a route race: like clockwork all summer long, with plenty of long drills. The trainer also appeals, as it’s not summer at Arlington without Ignacio Correas winning a turf maiden or two at boxcar odds.
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