Sunday, July 27, 2014

Arlington Barn Notes: Sunday, JUly 27

                                Contact: Michael Adolphson
(847) 385-7558
Arlington Barn Notes:  Sunday, July 27, 2014           
  • Stormy Wayllen a Welcome Winner for Connections
  • La Tia Poweful in Canada, to Consider Beverly D.
  • Sweet Luca Exits Cammack Well, No Plans Yet
  • Geroux and Graham Stay Tied Atop Standings
Two-year-old maiden special weight races on the grass are always exciting, but Saturday’s was especially fulfilling for the connections of victorious Stormy Wayllen.  The chestnut colt with an attractive blaze down his face won what was the first two-turn juvenile race of the Arlington International Racecourse season under jockey Channing Hill for the partnership of Susan Moulton, Darrell and Evelyn Yates and Catalano Thoroughbreds – all very good friends. 
The win was very special for the connections for two reasons.  First, the son of Stormy Atlantic is named after Hill and wife Shelbi’s son Wayllen, and is therefore the grandson of trainer Wayne Catalano.  Secondly, Catalano has been hospitalized all week with acute pneumonia and it has been a trying few days for all closely involved with the 11-time leading trainer.
A full-brother to multiple stakes-winning turf mare (and Catalano trainee) Cumulonimble – a two-time winner of Arlington’s Lincoln Heritage Handicap – Stormy Wayllen was joined in the winner’s circle by his toddler namesake, Wayllen Richard Hill. 
“I think this will make Wayne smile,” Hill heartily summed it up.

Hernandez Racing Club’s multiple Illinois champion La Tia took her show on the road and dominated the Grade III $150,000 Ontario Oaks at Woodbine on Saturday.  One race after disappointing as the favorite in the rained-off turf and weather-stricken Lincoln Heritage Handicap at Arlington, the daughter of City Place went wire-to-wire in a snappy, near-track record 1:42.70 under Justin Stein. 
“She’s riding back with me now and she’s very happy,” trainer Armando De La Cerda said via phone interview on Sunday morning.  “She looks great.  She was nice and relaxed, the jockey didn’t even use the stick and she almost broke the track record.
“She really didn’t like the paddock last time and everything that happened with the weather – it really bothered her,” he continued.  “This time she was hyper and feeling good in the paddock – it was hard to put on her saddle.  I’m really happy with the race.”
A winner of eight races in 19 starts – including three graded stakes – the impressive victory could mean a step up in class.  “We’ll see what happens and how she feels coming out of the race,” De La Cerda said. “We’ll look at a race in Canada and maybe go back to the Beverly D.”  Last year, the earner of $620,656 was a respectable fifth in the Grade I $750,000 centerpiece for turf fillies and mares.

        Ed Fortino’s Sweet Luca landed his second consecutive win in the $100,000 Addison Cammack Handicap on Saturday in fine style, closing stoutly on the outside to beat highweighted Work All Week,  who toted an imposing 130 pounds.  The son of Candy Ride has exited his impressive race in fine style, according to his connections. 
        “He came out in really good shape,” trainer Chris Block reported.  “I’m not sure what’s next for him.”
        The talented and consistent bay was making his 22nd start and his third of 2014.  One race prior, he ran an excellent fourth to Midwest Thoroughbreds’ The Pizza Man in the Black Tie Affair Handicap on June 21 at 1 1/16-miles on the grass.  The versatile animal, who seems equally as good at sprinting on synthetic and running mile races on the grass, will be given a couple weeks to recover before his connections decide on the next step.

        Leading jockeys Florent Geroux and James Graham made it clear at the beginning of the season that they were loaded with top clients and prepare for a good meet.  So far this season, their performance has substantiated such as they are tied with 53 wins, each, atop the Arlington International Racecourse standings. 
Geroux, with 20 more rides, has a 20% win rate while boasting a 50% in-the-money. Graham trumps him with 22% and 53%, respectively.  Geroux has a solid lead in purses earned, thanks to his triad of graded stakes victories on July 12, and is the first jockey this meet to pierce $1.5 million.  Such is even more impressive considering Graham has led the money list three of the last five seasons. 
        Geroux has maintained a slight edge the majority of the meet (which is now about 60% finished), but going into Saturday’s card, they were finally tied at 52 after a long and steady series of victories by Graham.  After each acquiring a victory on the 10-race Saturday card, they are still tied going into the last day of the week.  Intriguingly, Geroux and Graham each ride eight races Sunday afternoon.
David ZennerSenior Manager of Communications
Arlington International Racecourse
2200 W. Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights IL 60006-0007
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