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Arapahoe Park closing weekend features huge stakes

August 17, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

Dominguez saddles four in Mile High Derby

Trainer Jaime Dominguez will saddle four of the 10 finalists in Saturday’s 400-yard, $75,000 Mile High Derby, the top race at Arapahoe Park for 3-year-old Quarter Horses. Dominguez’ Taras Secret, Galion, Yourjockeystofat and Zoomin Streak will take on this year’s Lucille Rowe Derby winner Baby I Like It and Rocky Mountain Derby winner Block N Tackle, a winner of seven of 10 lifetime and also third in last year’s Mile High Futurity. The fastest qualifier from the trials on August 3 was Hooray Cowgirl. The Jose Manuel Barron-trainee picked the perfect time to collect her first career win in her 12th lifetime start as she posted the fastest qualifying time of :19.739. However jockey Alejandro Luna, who rode Hooray Cowgirl in the trials, opts for stablemate Baby I Like It, who also won last year’s Cherry Creek Futurity and has a record of five wins in seven lifetime races at Arapahoe Park. Below is the field of 10 with qualifying times, jockeys and trainers.

Rematch in Spicy Stakes

The top three finishers from the 2011 Spicy Stakes face off again in Saturday’s renewal of the 1-1/16-mile, $30,000 race for Colorado-bred fillies and mares. Vanasee dominated last year’s race by seven lengths for owner Bill Vanlandingham, trainer Butch Gleason, and jockey Michael Ziegler. Yet her two races this season saw her finish last in the Ingrid Knotts and pulled up in the Columbine. Angel of the Wind was second and Mile High Honey third in 2011. Foxy Moon, fifth, and Irish Hazel V., ninth, also return from last year’s running. Of the six newcomers, Sorta Special won this year’s Ingrid Knotts. Sweet Dixie Van, also owned by Vanlandingham, was second to Sorta Special in the Ingrid Knotts and is coming off an allowance win on July 14. Sandhill Lady is an intriguing 3-year-old maiden with just two previous starts, a fourth in a July 6 maiden and a second in the CTBA Breeders Oaks on July 29.

P-Val leads strong contingent of shippers for Gold Rush Futurity

Legendary jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 1989 with Sunday Silence and also has seven victories in the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, will be at Arapahoe Park on Sunday to ride Manewal in the 6-furlong, $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity for 2-year-olds. The richest Thoroughbred race of the meeting, to be run as the final race on closing day, drew a full field of field of 12. Manewal, who is trained by Cody Autrey, won a maiden claiming race at Del Mar on July 27 by 4¾ lengths and was claimed out of the race for $50,000 by Ywachetta Driver and James Travis.

Last year, trainer Adam Kitchingman won the Gold Rush Futurity with California-shipper Chips All In, who has subsequently gone on to win stakes races on turf in California. Kitchingman will be represented in this year’s renewal by Miceli and R S Watson. Miceli won a maiden race on turf last month at Betfair Hollywood Park and will be ridden by California jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr., winner of last year’s Belmont Stakes with Ruler on Ice. R S Watson was third in his lone race, a 4½-furlong maiden at Betfair Hollywood Park in May.

Get Happy Mister leads the contingent of seven Arapahoe Park 2-year-olds facing five shippers. He is undefeated in three starts, including the Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association and Silver Cup futurities at Arapahoe with wins by a combined 22 lengths. He will be ridden by Michael Ziegler for Arapahoe Park’s leading Thoroughbred trainer, Kenneth “Butch” Gleason, and leading Thoroughbred owner, the Tangarae Farms of Annette Bishop and Jerry and Beverly Slaughter.

Other shippers in the race include He’s a Rockstar from Iowa. The Randy Morse-trainee to be ridden by Glen Murphy won a maiden race at Prairie Meadows on June 21 and then was third as the favorite in the $75,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes on July 21. Also, Anillo, a maiden in two career starts at Ellis Park, ships from Kentucky for trainer Eduardo Caramori and picks up leading Arapahoe Park Thoroughbred jockey Russell Vicchrilli.

The remaining Colorado-based horses in the race are recent maiden winners Stormdriver, Oneotwo, Forever Man, Hansel Tazwell, All Our Lass and Banker Bob.

Wanting To Win would like just that in Mile High Futurity

Fastest qualifier and Cherry Creek Futurity second Wanting to Win, Rocky Mountain Futurity winner Built Tuff Enough, and winner of three in a row Blue Eyed Visions headline the field of 10 for Sunday’s 400-yard, $130,000 Grade 2 Mile High Futurity. Wanting to Win posted a time of :19.964 in winning his August 3 trial to the Mile High Futurity, which was actually his first career victory in five races despite already being stakes placed. G.R. Carter, Jr., who is the all-time leading money earning Quarter Horse jockey and has won the All American Futurity twice, will come in to ride the John Hammes-trainee as part of a busy weekend that has him on mounts in Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico and Los Alamitos Race Course in Southern California.
Blue Eyed Visions qualified second fastest in :20.013 in winning a trial for trainer Lupe Chavez and jockey Alejandro Luna. It was his third consecutive victory, but Sunday will be his first major futurity final. Leading Arapahoe Park Quarter Horse jockey Elliot Bachicha, Jr., will be aboard Rocky Mountain Futurity winner Built Tuff Enough. The Rudy Ramirez-trainee saw his three-race unbeaten streak snapped with a nose trial loss to Blue Eyed Visions, although he is still the third-fastest qualifier. The field also includes undefeated My Corona and Me, who will be ridden by Edwin Pena for trainer Jose Manuel Barron. Below is the field of 10 with qualifying times, jockeys and trainers.

Cartels First Card seeks opening and closing weekend stakes wins

Cartels First Card won the 330-yard, $15,000 Dash for Speed Stakes on opening weekend of the 2012 meet at Arapahoe Park and now goes for a victory in the 330-yard, $20,000 Arapahoe Park Express Stakes on closing weekend. The Jose Manuel Barron-trained 6-year-old gelding to be ridden by Alejandro Luna was away from the races for 16 months before his Dash for Speed score. He has subsequently finished second by a nose to Patriots Glory in The Pen Pal Stakes.

Other contenders in the field of 10 are This Is Da One, a winner of two allowance races in a row at Arapahoe Park to be ridden by Flavio Lozano for trainer Lupe Chavez, and Choose, a winner of two allowance races in a row at SunRay Park in New Mexico to be ridden by Esgar Ramirez for trainer Jaime Dominguez. In addition, Wave Bac was third in both the Dash for Speed and The Pen Pal. Urbanite was second is the West/Southwest Merial Distaff Challenge at Arapahoe Park.

Sunday card features one of the longest races in United States
Arapahoe Park will contest one of the longest races in the country on Sunday in the 1¾-mile Norman White Distance Marathon for $3,200 claimers. The $15,000 race drew a full field of 12, headed by 2012 Arapahoe Park claiming winners Alley Humor, Golden Mist, Kick Rocks, and Wood Be Lawyer. Such a Deal, who has been third in this race for the last two years to Hold The Advantage, is also in this year.