Sunday, September 7, 2014

Arlington Barn Notes: Sunday, Sept. 7

                                Contact: Michael Adolphson
(847) 385-7558
Barn Notes:  Sunday, September 7, 2014 
In Today's Notes: 
  • Recount to Receive Respite after Futurity Triumph
  • Lassie Winner Quality Rocks Sold, Goes to Mott
  • Maria Maria Leaning toward Pucker Up
        Doubledown Stables' Recount exited his gutsy head victory in the Grade III $125,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity well, according to his conditioner Jimmy DiVito, and now the Illinois-bred will have a little time to rest on his laurels after defeating open, graded company.  By Limehouse – a horse who won a Grade III as a juvenile en route to also winning graded stakes at ages three and four, Recount was ridden to victory by Manny Esquivel, who has been aboard in all three starts – including two wins and a troubled but game third in the Prairie Juvenile Mile in August. 
        "He was game for sure, yesterday," DiVito said.  "They didn't give him much of a breather anywhere during the race and he just hung on.  He appears to wait on horses – at least that's what Esquivel said.  I know he likes to be out there on the pace and involved.  He's a fighter."
        After three game and strenuous efforts in quick succession, the bay gelding will get a small rest.  "I think we'll give him a little break and see what happens," DiVito explained.  "We'll keep him around for next year – that's for sure.  He's an Illinois-bred, so we can do some of the Illinois races at Hawthorne (Race Course) and then at Arlington.  Right now he just needs a breather."
Sent off as the slight favorite in his return to the site of his debut victory, Recount held off two other locally based debut winners – Mellon Patch's subsequent Prairie Juvenile Mile winner Private Prospect and Feel the Thunder Stable's One Go All Go.  Two heads separated the trio at the wire. 
"He was training really good and finishing strong in his works before the race," DiVito.  "He always finishes strong in his works, which makes me think he'll go on a little bit (in distance).  He's not one-dimensional.  He has won at five and a half (furlongs) and now seven and ran well at a mile over two turns being beaten only a length and a half."
        Destiny Oaks of Ocala's Listed $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie winner Quality Rocks – who easily tracked and conquered even-money favorite Sarah Sis on Saturday to win by 3½ lengths – has reportedly been sold to Wachtel Stable and will be sent from the barn of William Helmbrecht to that of Hall of Famer Bill Mott.
        An impressive and equally as easy winner of her debut on August 13 at Presque Isle Downs, the Florida-bred daughter of Rock Hard Ten was sent off at 4-1, but ran like she was 4-5 under jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr., closing her final eighth in :13.01 under minimal urging.
        "She broke really sharp," Homeister said after the victory. "I just took my filly back and she just settled beautifully. They did a great job conditioning this filly and when I asked her in the stretch she was gone. She kept running and she was focused when she got the lead."  A reported possible goal for the maternal granddaughter of top sire Elusive Quality is the Breeders' Cup.
        Curtis Green's Maria Maria, coming off arguably the best race of her career when second in the second division of the $75,000 Hatoof Stakes on Arlington Million Day, is leaning toward running in the Grade III $150,000 Pucker Up Stakes next Saturday, September 13. 
        Trained by Jimmy DiVito, Maria Maria has always been highly regarded and consistent, but has shown her best on the grass and around two turns.  "I think her grass races are better," DiVito said.  "She finishes much stronger on the grass than any other surface.  The Pucker Up is a mile and an eighth, and I think she'll like that.  The draw, though, is really important here.  You can't draw out in the 10-hole on the grass and expect to win – it just rarely happens."
        Other options for the daughter of dual Horse of the Year Curlin include the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies' Turf stakes at Kentucky Downs just north of Nashville on the same day against older fillies and mares.  "She might run at Kentucky Downs, but that's against older fillies," DiVito contemplated aloud.  "We will decide soon."
        DiVito also took the time to update us on another rising star of his barn – the very promising juvenile filly A. P.'s Glory.  A first-out winner at Arlington International Racecourse this meet and subsequently a winner on the dirt in the Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies Stakes, A. P.'s Glory may have some big goals down the road. 
        "She's so talented.  I don't want to push her at all," DiVito said.  "I think she'll be a really nice horse."  The veteran conditioner – known for his brilliance with young horses – confirmed that the goal would most likely be the Grade I Alcibiades at Keeneland next if the filly is aimed toward the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
David ZennerSenior Manager of Communications
Arlington International Racecourse
2200 W. Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights IL 60006-0007
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