Jockey E.T. Baird barely had time to change into a fresh pair of silks after riding Eclipse Award winner Dreaming of Anna to an impressive victory in Arlington Park's Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) before he was out on the lead aboard Dreaming of Liz to take the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III) . The Sept. 8 wins were back-to-back for the same connections of owner Frank Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano.
Dreaming of Liz, a 2-year-old daughter of El Pradoout of the Silver Buck mare Silver Maiden (winner of the Lassie in 1997), went straight to the front in the one-mile Polytrack event and led through early fractions of :23.40 and :46.45. Never challenged, she opened up impressively as she drew away in the stretch. Longshot Rasierra angled out in the turn and held on to place as she was drifting slightly, and Minewander put in a late run. But the winner was always Dreaming of Liz by an easy 2 1/2 lengths. Her dam won the Lassie in 1997.
“With a filly like this, training the way she’s been training, I was pretty confident,” said Catalano. “I was very impressed by her win today. Dreaming of Anna is a champion and you expect great things from a champion, but this filly is still developing right now. She doesn’t quite know what the game is all about yet, but she displays a lot of talent. I told Mr. Calabrese I think we have another champion.”
Said Baird: "She ran really comfortable out there. She just ends up on the lead because she's there. I think I could place her anywhere. She's just so comfortable; her ears are just flicking. Wayne did a great job with this filly."
Calabrese would not confirm whether the filly will take the same path as stablemate Dreaming of Anna and run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), but he allowed for the possibility: "We don't know yet, but I'm hoping. Probably."
Dreaming of Liz ran one mile in 1:37.08, paying $5, $3.80, and $3.20 to win. Rasierra and jockey Jamie Theriot returned $35.60 and $14.40 to place, while Minewander and Eusebio Razo Jr. brought $11.20.
After finishing fourth in her career debut over the Arlington Polytrack July 13, Dreaming of Liz broke her maiden by an impressive seven lengths at six furlongs Aug. 10. The Lassie was her second career win from three starts and increased her earnings total to $104,880. The gray filly is named after Calabrese's mother, while Dreaming of Anna is named after his sister.