Former Arlington Park mainstay Garrett Gomez made a winning return to his old stomping grounds Saturday when guiding Swifty Farms' Pataky Kid to a convincing score in the Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity.
Making his stakes debut in the one-mile Polytrack test, Pataky Kid sat a pocket trip a few lengths behind odds-on choice Muppet Man, who set an honest pace of :23 2/5, :46 4/5 and 1:11 2/5. In the stretch, Pataky Kid split Muppet Man and pace presser Stormin Monarcho when guided off the inside, easily wore down the favorite inside the furlong marker and drew off to win by three lengths despite briefly swerving out in reaction to Gomez's urgings. The final time was 1:37 2/5.
"He made the lead and I got into him a couple of times," Gomez explained of his horse's late-in-the-race antics. "The second time I got into him he didn't like it too much and he let me know. He ducked out a little bit but I got him straightened out and he continued on his way."
The 2-1 second choice in a field of eight, Pataky Kid returned $6.80, $3.20 and $2.60. Muppet Man held second by a length over Stormin Monarcho. Completing the order of finish were Ultimo Trago, Mylute, Glenco Kid, Scissortail G and Urban Renewal.
A distant third in his Churchill Downs debut July 1 after a slow start, Pataky Kid took immediately to Polytrack in his second start on August 9 at Arlington. Down eight lengths at the first call, the Tom Proctor trainee rallied nicely to score by three parts of a length as the 5-2 favorite over next-out winner Tulira Castle. His earnings now stand at $116,050.
Bred in Oklahoma by H. Allen Poindexter, Pataky Kid was a $95,000 Fasig-Tipton February two-year-old in training purchase. The son of Rockport Harbor was produced by the Gold Case mare Prom Princess.
Pataky Kid's fourth dam was Rokeby Venus, a half-sister to Hall of Famer Arts and Letters, and the second dam of the multiple champion filly Silverbulletday. Also hailing from this family are Grade 1 winner Forest Secrets, Fourty Niners Son and Cindy's Hero.