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Arlington Park: Gold Edge 2 for 2 after Lisa M victory
By Marcus Hersh
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Mix equal parts talent and volatility and you might produce the 2-year-old filly Gold Edge, who ran her record to 2 for 2 winning the $65,000 Lisa M Stakes by three-quarters of a length Saturday at Arlington Park despite throwing a minor fit in the paddock.
“I think she’s an unbelievable filly,” said trainer Lon Wiggins. “I think she’s a better horse than she showed today, considering her antics before the race.”
Gold Edge, an Eddington filly bred and owned by Dolphus Morrison (who will disperse all his Thoroughbred holdings, including this filly, at Keeneland’s November sale), was scratched at the gate of an early-June Churchill Downs maiden special weight race, and wound up debuting in a $50,000 maiden claimer June 24 at Churchill, winning by almost three lengths. Temperament, not ability, was the filly’s issue.
“She’s liable to do anything at any time, but then she’ll go for a couple months and be completely fine,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins sent Gold Edge here in early July and gave her four works on Polytrack, which Gold Edge seemed to handle just as well as dirt. In tight quarters for much of the Lisa M while tracking the decent pace of Bluegrass Ellie and Bloody Smart, Gold Edge finally found clear sailing after turning for home. Ahead of her was highly regarded maiden, All Her Class, who had opened a clear lead at the stretch call but raced greenly – swerving in and out - when put to the crop by jockey Miguel Mena.
“That might have cost me the race,” Mena said. “But she’s a very nice filly.”
Gold Edge pushed past in the final half-furlong, stopping the timer in 1:25.93 for seven furlongs. Bridgette Bordeaux, who had a traffic-filled trip, finished third. The winner paid $5.40.
If all goes well, Wiggins said, Gold Edge will make her next start in the Arlington-Washington Lassie here Sept. 8.
Muppet Man takes Meadowlake easily
Muppet Man punched his ticket to the Arlington-Washington Futurity by winning the $65,000 Meadowlake later on Saturday’s card.
Muppet Man, ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez, pressed the quick pace of Emile, who went a half-mile in 45.44 seconds, took over about three furlongs out, and sped home a 4 3/4-length winner over Triple Cross, who had finished third in the $152,000 Colin Stakes at Woodbine last month.
Racing about 45 minutes after heavy rain quickened Arlington’s main track, Muppet Man went seven furlongs in 1:23.97, almost two seconds faster than the Lisa M, which was run before the rain came. He paid $5.20 to win as the favorite.
Muppet Man won his debut by almost four lengths in a short 4 1/2-furlong race, but had no trouble stretching out to seven furlongs Saturday, giving his connections hope the one-mile Futurity will prove within his scope.
“I personally don’t think it’ll be a problem,” said Jim DiVito, who trains Muppet Man, a son of Corinthian, for owner-breeder Curtis Green. “He’s got plenty of speed, but he rates really nice.”
Triple Cross was comfortably second, finishing 1 3/4 lengths in front of third-place Stormin Monarcho. But the winner, on this day at least, was in a much different class.
So glad Arlington has a race named after my long-time nom de plume. Beyond his undefeated, 3 for 3 racing career, Meadowlake has been an outstanding broodmare sire--on any given day his daughters have their progeny running in races all over the country. And of course he was the father of the great champion filly Meadow Star. But mostly I'll remember his 1st race. The word was out that Bert Sonnier had a fast one in his barn and though I don't recall the exact odds, I know they were short for a debut runner. Anyway, Meadowlake didn't disappoint, winning by over 20 lengths in what I believe was the fastest 6 furlongs of that meet (which had to be moved to Hawthorne after the fire. Off that he took the Arlington-Washington Futurity by 6 or so beating a NY invader (I think his name was Bar Tender). Anyway, Meadowlake's problem was his feet and though he only raced once more (as a 3-y-o he beat older horses in NY--I think it was April) he remains one of my all time favorites. He really was a shooting star in a sport filled with them. Meadowlake59
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