The final stakes blowout of the 2019 Arlington live racing season happens this Saturday when Arlington’s two premier juvenile stakes races will highlight the track’s nine-race card. The Arlington-Washington Lassie for fillies and the Arlington-Washington Futurity for colts and geldings are both $75,000 stakes for two-year-olds going seven furlongs, and both races have drawn fields comprised of many of the best young maiden winners to have run at the 2019 Arlington meet, as well as an assortment of shippers hoping that Polytrack is their horses’ forte.
Here’s a closer look at Arlington’s twin two-year-old stakes races this Saturday, the Arlington-Washington and the Arlington-Washington Futurity:
Race 7 – Arlington-Washington Lassie
First the fillies take center stage in the Lassie at seven furlongs on Polytrack, which has drawn a field of 10 that includes a first-time starter as one among three maidens in the race, a pair of synthetic track maiden winners from Presque Isle Downs, and five of the top two-year-old filly maiden-breakers who’ve won during the entirety of the Arlington meet since juveniles really got rolling there back in June.
The horse to beat is not the morning-line favorite, it is Mom’s Red Lipstick (#8) (3-1) trained by Chris Block, the all-time leading stakes-winning trainer in Arlington history. Mom’s Red Lipstick was enormously impressive in her maiden victory, breaking dead-last at five furlongs in that career debut and then effortlessly blowing past the field for a 4 1/2-length win. Now gets first-time Lasix and is likely to improve more than morning-line favorite Angelcents (#1) (8-5) at seven panels.
The likely favorite will be Angelcents, in large part thanks to her connections. Trained by Arlington’s perennial runaway leading trainer Larry Rivelli (36% wins at the meet) and ridden by Arlington’s leading jockey, Rivelli’s main man Jose Valdivia (26%), Angelcents blew away maidens at first asking going 4 1/2 furlongs in a fast time, blasting to the lead and never looking back. That win looks even better now that the second-place horse out of that race, Fair Maiden, came back to break her maiden on Arlington’s Polytrack and then shipped to Woodbine for trainer Eoin Harty to win the grassy Catch a Glimpse Stakes and appears to be a very good one for Godolphin. Angelcents will not need to stretch her speed to seven furlongs, but if she’s unchallenged she could just get out to the front and be long gone.
Beyond the top two, other contenders include Fifthatnarraganset (#6) (15-1) for trainer Ingrid Mason, and Spitefulness (#3) (15-1) for Phil D’Amato. Fifthatnarraganset distinguishes herself amongst this field as the only horse so far to win at this seven-furlong distance. Spitefulness lost her last race in the Ellis Park Debutante on dirt, but when last seen on an all-weather track she won the maiden with a strong wire-to-wire performance at Presque Isle Downs.
This race shapes up as a battle of the Arlington titans featuring a showdown between Chris Block’s Mom’s Red Lipstick (#8) (3-1) and Larry Rivelli’s Angelcents (#10) (8-5). Go big in exacta boxes with those two favorites, and then play each of them on top in trifectas while mixing in Fifthatnarraganset (#6) (15-1) and Spitefulness (#3) (15-1) in the underneath positions.
Race 8 – Arlington-Washington Futurity
The Futurity at seven furlongs on Polytrack for colts and geldings appears to be a much more wide-open race than the top-heavy Lassie. The favorites are likely to be Peruvian Boy (#6) (2-1), who finished fourth behind chalk Green Light Go in the Saratoga Special (G2) last time and now returns to the site of his maiden win here at Arlington, and Vincent William (#2) (5-2), the speedy and precocious first-out maiden winner trained by Larry Rivelli who defeated Peruvian Boy when the pair met in the same maiden race on this track but at 4 1/2 furlongs back on June 22. That pair will be challenged by other live ones including Godolphin’s Breckenridge (#3) (6-1), who broke his maiden by nearly nine lengths going seven furlongs at Arlington last out; January Won (#8) (8-1), a first-out winner at Saratoga in a key race last time for Ken McPeek (trying the all-weather for the first time); and Snake Bite (#9) (30-1), who overcame a tough trip to win his maiden at one-mile last time on a synthetic surface at Presque Isle Downs.
Of the chalky pair, the one to focus on in the Futurity is Peruvian Boy, who is much more well-suited to winning at seven furlongs than the other favorite, Vincent William, who is bred to win early and win at five furlongs or max 5 1/2 furlongs. Instead of Vincent William, go for value with the other contenders mentioned above. Play Peruvian Boy (#6) (2-1) and Breckenridge (#3) (6-1), January Won (#8) (8-1) and Snake Bite (#9) (30-1) in boxes in both the exacta and trifecta. If Vincent William can’t get the distance, which he probably won’t, you’ll be sitting on a decent ticket.
Enjoy two-year-old stakes racing and wagering this Saturday on the Polytrack at Arlington! Best of luck!
PHOTO: Mom’s Red Lipstick (c) Coady Photography/Arlington Park