The racing career of Gold Coyote could not have started any more impressively. After placing third in his initial effort, the 2-year-old colt won three consecutive races--by a combined 27 ½ lengths.
Two of the victories came in stakes competition, and the last one, a 5 ¾-length romp in the Middleground Breeders’ Cup Stakes, came on a sloppy track.
On Sept. 1, the son of Gold Legend out of Coyote Café will get his biggest test yet when he headlines a field of eight in the $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Futurity (gr. III) for 2-year-olds. Trained by Bret Calhoun, Gold Coyote has not only shown deadly front-running speed, but has drawn clear and extended his leads in every win. But can he do it outside of Texas while going a longer distance?
Thus far, all four of Gold Coyote’s races have been on the Lone Star Park dirt at six furlongs or shorter. The Arlington race is on the synthetic Polytrack at the one-turn mile distance. It will be interesting to see whether Clarence Scharbauer’s Texas homebred can rise to the new challenges.
One of Gold Coyote’s main rivals will be Riley Tucker, who has shown a lot of talent in his two starts. The son of Harlan's Holiday--My Sweet County broke his maiden by six lengths at Belmont Park in July, then came back to run third in the Saratoga Special (gr. II) Aug. 16. Trained by Bill Mott and owned by Zayat Stables, Riley Tucker was purchased in 2006 for $375,000.
The other contender to have tried a graded stakes is Blackberry Road, who ran fourth in the Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs in July. Before that, he had a pair of maiden efforts in Kentucky, including a half-length victory June 23. The dark bay colt by Gone West is owned by Dogwood Stables and trained by David Carroll.
T. J.’s Posse is another one to watch. The son of Posse--T. J.’s Turn has won both of his starts thus far, the last one coming in the Jamestown Stakes at Colonial Downs Aug. 7. In both victories, the Virginia-bred came from well off the pace to get up in the final yards. Steve Asmussen trains for Vinery Stables.
Sebastian County is two-for-two as well. Purchased for $1 million at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-olds in training Sale, the Hennessy colt won both of his races at Arlington for Dream Walkin Farms.
Wicked Style, Celina Slew, and Texas Wildcatter round out the field.
Last year’s Arlington-Washington Futurity ended in a dead heat between Got The Last Laugh and Officer Rocket. Street Sense, the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), winner, finished third in that race.
$200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity (gr. III, Race 9, 4:54 p.m. CDT), 2-Year-Olds, One Mile
1 Celina Slew (KY), 117, James Graham
2 Texas Wildcatter (KY), 117, Jesse M. Campbell
3 T. J.'s Posse (VA), 119, Christopher A. Emigh
4 Wicked Style (FL), 117, Robby Albarado
5 Sebastian County (KY), 119, Larry J. Sterling, Jr.
6 Blackberry Road (KY), 117, Jesus Lopez Castanon
7 Riley Tucker (KY), 117, Rene R. Douglas
8 Gold Coyote (TX), 122, Ramsey Zimmerman