Frank Calabrese’s Lewis Michael will try to step out of his sister's shadow July 28 when he competes in the $300,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) at Arlington Park.
Wayne Catalano, who will saddle the 4-year-old son of Rahy, also trains his full younger sister, the 2006 champion 2-year-old filly, Dreaming of Anna. Both Lewis Michael and Dreaming of Anna are out of the stakes-winning Broad Brush mare Justenuffheart.
Lewis Michael, a multiple stakes winner, comes into the 1 3/16 mile race off a seven-length victory in a one-mile allowance race at Arlington July 15 and is the highweight at 118 pounds. He has run well in graded stakes company this year, finishing second in the May 26 Hanshin Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington and the April 14 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. Horses looking to spoil Lewis Michael's first graded stakes victory include graded stakes winners A.P. Arrow, Real Dandy, and Mustanfar.
A.P. Arrow finished off the board in the June 30 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) in his last start but won the Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) in March. The chestnut A.P. Indy horse is trained by Todd Pletcher, who conditions him for the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust. Pletcher has also entered Throng, who took the June 30 Dr. Fager Stakes in his last start. Starlight Stable and Donald Lucarelli own the 4-year-old Silver Deputy colt. A.P. Arrow will carry 117 pounds, while Throng has been assigned 114.
Both Mustanfar and Real Dandy found their greatest success several years ago. Real Dandy won the 2005 West Virginia Derby (gr. III), while Mustanfar took the Sycamore Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) and Lexington Stakes (gr. IIIT) in 2004.
Although Mustanfar last found the winner's circle in February 2005, he has been knocking on the door of another graded stakes victory this year. In his last start, the Kiaran McLaughlin trainee finished second in the Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) by a half-length, and he ran third in the April 26 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) for his owner/breeder Shadwell Stable. One of Mustanfar's competitors in the July 28 field, the Shug McGaughey-trained Minister's Joy, finished a nose in front of him in the Ben Ali. Mustanfar and Minister's Joy will each carry 116 pounds.
Real Dandy, trained by Steve Asmussen, comes into the Washington Park off a fourth place finish in a July 8 allowance race at Churchill Downs that signaled the return of grade I winner Brass Hat. Asmussen trains the son of Yankee Victor for Cathy and Bob Zollars.
Save Big Money and High Blues round out the field and will be seeking their first stakes victory.
The field for the $300,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II):
Post position, horse, jockey, weight
1. Save Big Money, Corey Lanerie, 113
2. Lewis Michael, E.T. Baird, 118
3. High Blues, Larry Sterling Jr., 113
4. A. P. Arrow, Mark Guidry, 117
5. Throng, Kerwin John, 114
6. Minister's Joy, Rene Douglas, 116
7. Mustanfar, Jesse Campbell, 116
8. Real Dandy, Christopher Emigh, 114