Odds-on choice Dixie Band remained undefeated in three starts when he won the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) (VIDEO) by 1 3/4 lengths at Arlington Park Sept. 5. Dixie Band earned the first of two graded stakes victories for trainer Wayne Catalano, who swept both of the Chicago racetrack's signature events for 2-year-olds about 90 minutes apart.
Owned by Darrell and Evelyn Yates, the 2-year-old son of Dixie Union slipped past U Appeal to Me in deep stretch and edged away in the final strides.
Ridden for the first time by David Flores, Dixie Band tracked the pacesetting Beware the Tiger and U Appeal to Me while three wide on the outside through comfortable fractions of :23.57, :47.78, and 1:12.95 for the one-turn mile on Polytrack. Dixie Band drew closer coming off the turn and rallied on the outside to gain control inside the eighth pole. He won with good handling.
U Appeal to Me, who took the lead from Beware the Tiger mid-stretch, lugged out late and brushed the winner, but held second, with James Graham aboard, by a nose over the fast-closing Piscitelli and Junior Alvarado. The final time was a slow 1:39.45.
“If you let him, he’ll fall asleep on you and come off the bridle,” Flores said of the adventurous final furlong.
Dixie Band has won all three of his races on the Arlington Polytrack. The bay gelding broke in with a 3 1/4-length win over maidens at 4 1/2 furlongs in June, then returned to capture the Spectacular Bid Stakes Aug. 8 by 1 1/2 lengths as the even-money choice. Dixie Band earned $88,200 for the Futurity victory, boosting his career total to $136,920.
G. Watts Humphrey Jr. bred the Dixe Band in Kentucky. The gelding, out of the Forty Niner mare Tutorial, sold for $60,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training in February.
Dixie Band carried top weight of 119 pounds in the Futurity and paid $3.60, $2.60, and $2.10. U Appeal to Me, who ran second in the Spectacular Bid for trainer Michael Stidham, returned $5.80 and $3.60. The Monmouth Park shipper Piscitelli, who came from off the pace to break his maiden in his second start July 30, was $3 to show.
Oak Motte, Beware the Tiger, Kratisto, and Herecomesbert rounded out the field.
In the Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III) (VIDEO), Nancy Mazzoni’s She Be Wild was rated off the rail a bit off the pace, split horses in the stretch and quickly drew off to win easily by 5 3/4 length under Alvarado. The daughter of Offlee Wild got the mile in 1:38.67, nearly a full second faster than her stablemate's Futurity clocking.
“She’s a nice little filly and we’re very happy with her,” Catalano said of She Be Wild, who made her debut for a $40,000 claiming price in May before winning Arlington's Top Flight Stakes last month. “Everything went our way today and she came into the race good. Once in awhile you have to take shots and do things (referring to running her for a $40,000 claiming price). The opportunity came and we needed to get a race into her. We were fighting some shins and we didn’t want to miss a race with her and that’s how that came about.”
She Be Wild, unbeaten in three career starts, added $87,600 to hear earnings which now stand at $131,040.
Tiz Miz Sue ran second in the nine-horse field, a neck clear of Screen Legend.
Deceptive Glory, Suzanne, That’s Whatshesaid, Gabba Girl, Highest Power and Attempt to Name completed the order of finish in the Lassie.
She Be Wild, the 9-10 favorite paid, $3.80, $2.40 and $2.10. Tiz Miz Sue returned $3 and $2.80. Screen Legend paid $5.