Gary and Mary West’s homebred Major Gain broke his maiden in the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) (VIDEO) Sept. 11, coming from off the pace to win by a length on the Arlington Park Polytrack.
The juvenile son of More Than Ready was runner-up in his debut Aug. 14 going 5 1/2 furlongs. The extra ground in the one-mile Futurity did the trick, as he rallied by Caleb's Posse in deep stretch to post his first victory for trainer Wayne Catalano. The final time was 1:36.36 with Junior Alvarado in the irons.
Major Gain raced in sixth position in the early going and was seventh when Ghetto Cat and Weekend Wildcat hit the quarter-pole in tandem. Caleb’s Posse, with Quincy Hamilton aboard, was just behind those two when they straightened away and after splitting horses rushed the lead in upper stretch.
But Major Gain, who entered the stretch five wide, was just hitting his best stride and finally tackled the leader as he passed the sixteenth-pole. He edged clear in deep stretch for the win.
Rough Sailing and Michael Baze got up for a second with a late run up the rail, a nose better than Caleb’s Posse.
Major Gain, who is out of the Old Trieste mare Dream Lady, upped his earnings to $63,800.
“I had my eye on this colt,” said Catalano, who saddled Dixie Band to win the 2009 edition of the race. “We thought he could win this race all along. He’s been working very well and Junior rode a great race. Everything worked out great for us. We had a nice trip against some nice young horses and it worked out.”
Sent off as the third choice in a field of eight, the winner paid $8.80, $4.40, and $2.60. The exacta (3-2) returned $34.80 and the trifecta (3-2-7) was $40.50 for $1.
Two races later in the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III) (VIDEO) for 2-year-old fillies, it was Illinois-bred Wonderlandbynight who scored impressively to remain undefeated in four starts.
Owned by Mark Dedomenico, who also co-owns leading 3-year-old filly Blind Luck, Wonderlandbynight came from off the pace under E.T. Baird to win the one-mile event in a final time of 1:36.65, just three-tenths of a second slower than Major Gain in the Futurity. The daughter of Sky Mesa is trained by her breeder, Mike Reavis.
Wonderlandbynight was ninth when the field of 13 rounded the final turn, but in a flash she swung-five wide into the lane, reeled in her rivals one-by-one from the outside, and took the lead from Third Chance just before the eighth-pole. Once she had the lead she was never challenged again, as she hit the wire 2 1/2 lengths in front.
Jordy Y closed well to edge Third Chance by a neck for runner-up.
The winner survived a claim of foul by Jordy Y's rider Junior Alvarado before being awarded the victory.
Wonderlandbynight entered the race off a victory in the Aug. 14 Ontario Debutante at Woodbine. Prior to that she won a maiden special weight on June 27 at Arlington going five furlongs. In her June 4 debut at Arlington, she crossed the wire second but was later awarded the victory when the winner was disqualified.
“I was not at all concerned (about stretching her out),” said Baird. “Mike has brought her along real well. She’s a real versatile filly. She can go to the lead if you want her to or she could come from just about anywhere you want her to. It’s what makes her a good horse that’s she’s so versatile.”
Wonderlandbynight is out of the Gulch mare Onemiracleatatime. She has now earned $176,418.
The chestnut filly paid $8.80, $4.80, and $3.60. The exacta (9-6) returned $41.80 and the trifecta (9-6-5) was $72.30 for $1.