08/09/2013 6:04PM

Arapahoe Park: Wally Van may get favorable pace scenario in Classic


Wally Van could get the right kind of pace setup Sunday in the $100,000 Arapahoe Park Classic, with five of the 12 older horses in the 1 1/8-mile race stretching out from sprints.

Those making the distance move include Hezamazing, a two-time winner of the Classic, and Behold de Buy, the runner-up in last year’s edition. For this season’s Classic, the purse was doubled in value last month because of an 11 percent increase in handle at Arapahoe.

Those invading for the rich purse include multiple stakes winner Red Lead, who was third last out in the $98,000 Prairie Meadows Handicap won by Grade 1 winner Golden Ticket, and Mojo Workin, a starter-allowance runner based at Remington Park. No Spin, a stakes winner, enters off a runner-up finish in a $25,000 optional claimer at Prairie Meadows.

Wally Van was third in the $44,000 Mount Elbert at 1 1/16 miles at Arapahoe in his most recent start July 28.

“The last race, there was kind of no pace,” said Tyrone Gleason, who trains Wally Van for Bill Vanlandingham. “I’m hoping for a little pace.”

Wally Van could have a few other factors in his favor Sunday.

“The other day was his first two turns in a while, and I’m hoping he’ll benefit from that,” Gleason said.

Wally Van also is a horse for the course, with an 8-for-16 record at Arapahoe. He will be making his second appearance in the Classic, having finished an uncharacteristic eighth in the race last year at 7-2.

“I really think that he was kind of run-out last year,” Gleason said. “He had just thrown a pretty good race the race before, and it just took it all out of him.”

Wally Van will break from post 3 under regular rider Mike Ziegler.

Hezamazing won the Classic in 2010 and again in 2012. He enters this year’s renewal off a win in the $40,000 Front Range, a seven-furlong sprint at Arapahoe on June 30.

Hezamazing raced with the pace that day, and since that outing, two of the horses he defeated, Dance to the Star and Treacherous, have returned to win allowances at Arapahoe. Both of those rivals return in the Classic.

Also in the field is No Stadium, a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Orientate.